EV/AV Report: June 29, 2020

CHARGED CITY

The City of Guelph is getting $100,000 from the Government of Canada’s Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program to instal 20 electric vehicle charging stations. The goal is to have all the stations installed across the city by the end of 2021. 

Guelph will also provide $220,000 to go towards the vehicle charging stations. 

“Transportation makes up one quarter of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions but a lack of access to charging stations can stop people from making the switch to electric vehicles. We’re providing the resources Guelphites need to make sustainable choices. Thanks to this grant funding we’re creating more options for electric vehicle charging stations and supporting people in our community who want to make the switch to electric vehicles to help reduce Guelph’s carbon footprint,” said Bryan Ho-Yan, Manager of Corporate Energy and Climate Change. 

It will cost $1.50 per-hour to use the charging stations, and they will be installed in city-owned lots where traffic is most prominent. 

This program will help Guelph get one step closer to their goal to be a net zero carbon community by 2050.

GOODBYE CAR KEYS

BMW has announced that they will be the first automaker to allow their customers to use their iPhone as a digital car key. 

The BMW Digital Key will enable customers to unlock and start their vehicles by using their iPhones. BMW vehicle owners can register iPhone by using the BMW Smartphone App. The app also allows share access with up to five people as well as a configurable car access option for younger drivers which restricts top speed, horse power and maximum radio volume. Management of the app can be done in the car as well as through Apple Wallet.

For those concerned with their phone dying and not being able to get into their car, the key actually functions for up to five hours if the phone turns off due to low battery. It is also compatible with Apple watch.

Standardizing the Digital Key contributes to user experience, security and availability in smartphone models. Apple and BMW have worked with the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) to press ahead with the establishment of global standards. 

The Digital Key for iPhone is offered in 45 countries for a broad range of models: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, X5, X6, X7, X5M, X6M and Z4—if manufactured after July 1st 2020. Compatible iPhone models will be iPhone XR, iPhone XS and newer models. Additionally, the Apple Watch Series 5, as well as newers models will also be compatible.

REMOTE ACCESS

General motors is launching a new smartphone app called Guardian. The app is meant for customers who want access to OnStar’s remote assistance service capabilities when they are not physically in their car. 

Originally, OnStar’s program only worked by pressing a button on the rear view mirror or infotainment screen of the GM vehicle. However, now, OnStar customers can connect—no matter where they are—if they have their phone. This service, currently, can also be extended to up to seven people. 

“We’ve got over 20 years of experience dealing with public safety, and we’ve been looking at ways that we can extend that promise beyond our existing member base,” says Jeffrey Haase, head of OnStar Guardian and manager of GM’s Global Innovation effort. “So this is a unique opportunity for us to deliver the promise of OnStar to friends and family that might not be driving a GM product but clearly have a relationship with that person that owns a car.”

The Guardian app also allows for active location sharing, it’s similar to Apple’s Find My Friends app. The app is expected to help “during walks home after dark, time spent in a rideshare or rented vehicle, or when a teenage child is riding in a friend’s car.” says GM.

OnStar services are complimentary for six months if redeemed by July 31, 2020. 

PUBLIC DEBUT

The Tesla Cybertruck was officially introduced in November 2019, but the general public has hardly seen the vehicle other than in videos and pictures. 

However, that is about to change, as the Petersen Automotive Museum in LA is hosting the Cybertrucks first stationary public display between June 20 and 27.

The Cybertruck will be on display in the museum lobby for visitors to take a good look at it. You can also check out the truck online as videos are beginning to emerge. The truck is very unique in its massive, shiny, angular design clad in stainless steel. 

The Cybertruck will be roped off, so visitors won’t be allowed access to the interior, but based on photos and videos little has changed from what was originally shown to the public. 

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