EV/AV Report: March 30, 2020

3D Relief

Last Friday, Volkswagen said it would be contributing to the fight against coronavirus by pursuing endeavours in 3D printing ventilators for those on the front lines of the crisis. 

The Wolfsburg, Germany-based firm currently has more than 125 industrial 3D printers and is in close cooperation with governments and other authorities to assess needs, a spokesman said.

“Medical equipment is a new field for us. But as soon as we understand the requirements, and receive a blueprint, we can get started,” said the automaker.

The company also pledged to donate protective face masks to clinics, health authorities and municipal authorities, in an agreement made with German Health Minister Jens Spahn.

The protective masks would come from VW’s own stock, which auto employees use for protection against harmful vapours.

Exclusively EV

A firm in Halifax, Nova Scotia specializing in all things electric vehicles is the first to open an exclusively EV service shop in Atlantic Canada, according to the company.

All-EV is a firm that specializes in refurbishing and reselling used EVs after they’ve sustained minor collision damage. The company also sells used EV parts.

The business is led by CEO Jeff Farwell, previously the chief executive of a large tourism company in the Halifax area. Farwell founded the company along with vice president David Giles, who has been involved with the automotive industry for over two decades and had previously worked as a training facilitator at Nova Scotia Community College. 

The company now operates out of an 8,500 square foot facility in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, just outside of Halifax.

All-EV also trains its first responders on EV technologies, including the nuts and bolts of safety precautions when working with EVs in emergency situations.

For more information, visit https://www.allev.ca/about-us.

Truck Tech

Self-driving truck startup TuSimple has partnered with automotive supplier ZF to develop and produce autonomous vehicle technology, such as sensors, on a commercial scale.

TuSimple is a self-driving technology company attempting to make it possible for long-haul heavy-duty trucks to operate autonomously on both highways and surface streets.

The partnership, slated to begin in April, will cover China, Europe and North America. The two companies will co-develop sensors needed in autonomous vehicle technology such as cameras, lidar, radar and a central computer. As part of the partnership, ZF will contribute engineering support to validate and integrate TuSimple’s autonomous system into the vehicle.

TuSimple has scaled up its operations and attract investors even as other companies in the autonomous vehicle technology industry have faltered. The company has raised nearly $300 million to date from investors such as Sina, UPS and Tier 1 supplier Mando Corporation. 

It’s now making about 20 autonomous trips between Arizona and Texas each week with a fleet of more than 40 autonomous trucks⁠—though all of the trucks have a human safety operator behind the wheel.

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