Apple reveals self-driving car plans

Apple has acknowledged for the first time that it is investing in self-driving car tech, following a long period of unacknowledged rumours.

Writing to US transport regulators, Apple said it was “excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation”, commenting that it felt there were “significant societal benefits of automated vehicles” to be realised.

Ford, which itself plans to have self-driving cars on the road by 2021, has said it was working on the basis that Apple was building one; Apple already has several car-related internet domains registered, including apple.car and apple.auto.

A company spokesman for Apple said that the letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was prompted by its “heavy investment in machine learning and autonomous systems” and that it wanted to help define best practices in the industry.

The five-page letter, written by Apple’s director of product integrity Steve Kenner, urges the regulator to not introduce too many rules on the testing of self-driving cars, saying that “established manufacturers and new entrants should be treated equally.”

It also proposes that companies in the industry share data from crashes and near-misses in order to build a more comprehensive picture than one company could manage alone, and therefore enable the design of better systems.

However, it adds that an individual’s privacy should not be compromised by the sharing of such data. It suggests that the industry and regulators “address privacy challenges associated with the collection, use, and sharing of automated vehicle data”, with collaboration from privacy experts outside the automotive industry.

Apple’s letter does not state whether it actually intends to build a self-driving car of its own. There has been speculation that the firm had switched focus from work on a physical product to creating an autonomous driving system that could be used by others.

Google is already testing self-driving cars on the roads. In October, electric carmaker Tesla announced that all the cars it now builds will have the hardware installed to drive on their own.

In the UK, an autonomous vehicle was test-driven in Milton Keynes in the summer, with further trials in London planned.

Your comments

Car Parts Distributors in Europe 2015

The profile manual “Car parts distributors in Europe” gives a comprehensive overview of the largest car parts wholesalers in Europe. The number of the introduced companies was expanded in this third release to 477 profiles.

schaeffler-autoinform-live

 

Pan-European overview
40 largest distributors with a turnover above 100 million Euro are shown in a separate view with their international cross-ownership.

Country profiles
The company profiles of the largest national wholesalers are presented for 35 countries. Each profile contains contact data and turnover figures as well as the information about the membership in a trade and buying group and the used garage marketing systems or trade marketing concepts.

Content:
• Company name
• Address (street, postal code, city)
• E-mail
• Telephone / fax
• Homepage
• Contact person
• Ownership
• Buying Group
• Marketing concepts
• Number of outlets
• Number of employees
• Turnover (2014)

Language: English
Format: Flippingbook, PDF
Price: starting from 1,250.- EUR

Sample report & further information
For further questions and interests phone or by e-mail:

wolk after sales experts gmbh
Tel.: +49 (2204) 8425-35
Email: jonathan.steinke@wolk-aftersales.de

Your comments

Success for FPS in the Supply Chain Excellence Awards

The 20th Anniversary of the Supply Chain Excellence awards saw industry leaders from across Europe gather at The London Hilton to celebrate outstanding achievements in the sector.

FPS was highly commended for their logistics and distribution capabilities, narrowly missing out on the top spot to 17 Port Maritime Regiment RLC. In the Warehouse Initiative category, the company placed in the top 6 contenders, alongside VE Commercial Vehicles and Aldi with Crown Lift Trucks.

fps-supply-chain-excellence-awards

FPS has full ownership over the logistics process from sourcing and managing product ranges to delivering to customers. This approach sees the company’s 1st pick availability continue to exceed 97%, despite growth of more than 10,000 part numbers year-on-year.

In the last year, FPS made major improvements to their distribution infrastructure, with the introduction of 3 new mega trailers, VW Crafter vans and bespoke electric Moffetts improving delivery capacity and efficiency for the business. This is supported by the company’s unparalleled driver infringement performance which is consistently better than the national average. These are just some of the initiatives which set FPS apart in the Logistics and Distribution category.

FPS Director of Logistics, Charlie Weale, said, “We constantly review our logistics and distribution capabilities, drawing on the latest technology and processes to benefit our customers, and are thrilled that our recent enhancements were recognised in the awards.”

Organised by Logistics & Supply Chain magazine, the awards celebrate companies at the forefront of innovations in supply chain and logistics, regardless of the sector, size or age of the organisation. This year, there were over 120 entries and the general quality was considered to be better than ever. MAN Truck and Bus was awarded the overall prize, beating off competition from Shell, Argos (with LLamasoft) and Tesco Distribution.

FPS will continue to drive innovation in logistics, distribution and warehousing initiatives to maintain the industry-leading service it provides to customers.

Your Comments

FPS gets dressed for success

If you’ve visited an FPS branch recently, you may have seen some weird and wonderful sights. The company has got behind some very worthy causes in the last few weeks, raising money for cancer and mental health charity campaigns.

On 21st October, teams were resplendent in pastel onesies, magenta tutus and fuchsia wigs, raising funds for Breast Cancer Now’s annual Wear It Pink day, a cause very close to many of their hearts.

The Pink Team
The Pink Team

Ben, the automotive industry charity, this year launched its first national fundraising event, ‘Hats on 4 Ben’, to raise awareness and support for its mental health services. FPS was delighted to get involved, with colleagues around the country sporting hats from trilbies to turkeys on 10th November.

FPS Managing Director, Neil Davis, said, “We are extremely grateful for the generosity of all customers and suppliers who also contributed to our fundraising, really helping to make a difference for those benefiting from the great work both of these charities do every day.”

In recognition of the fantastic efforts made, the company has matched the totals raised for each of these events. Well done and thank you to all who got involved.

Comline wins Large Business of the Year award

Comline Auto Parts (Comline) is delighted to have been named Large Business of the Year at the inaugural Bedfordshire Business Awards during a formal ceremony held at Bedford Corn Exchange on Thursday 17th November.

The Luton-based supplier of European, Japanese and Korean aftermarket parts fought off tough competition from an initial 200 entries, nominated by members of the Bedfordshire community, to emerge victorious and claim this prestigious award.

The awards were launched by Bedfordshire on Sunday and backed by headline sponsor Barclays to recognise hardworking, successful businesses that achieve success in the community.

Bedfordshire Business Awards 2016  Large Business of the Year Comline Auto Parts - pic Andy Handley
L-R: Charles Little, Director, KSK Accountants; Ruta & Leigh Davies; Richard Duxbury, MD LSN Media

The ‘Large Business’ category specifically recognised exceptional businesses operating an annual turnover in excess of £5 million. The judges were impressed by Comline’s ‘significant growth’ and close ties to the local community, including dedicated support of Luton Town Football Club.

Chief Executive of Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, Cheryl Smart MBE, one of the judging panel for the awards, commented: “Comline is not just a fantastic Bedfordshire business – it is a world-class operation.”

Marketing and Communications Manager, Leigh Davies, was on-hand to collect the award and said: “Comline is thrilled and privileged to be recognised by the Bedfordshire Business Awards.

“Receiving nominations from within the Bedfordshire community is hugely gratifying, and we were delighted to be shortlisted as one of the finalists. To actually come out on top ahead of some truly outstanding Bedfordshire businesses is a huge feather in the cap for Comline.”

He also congratulated all parties on a superb event: “Everyone at Comline would like to thank Bedfordshire on Sunday, and headline sponsor Barclays for this incredible award and for executing such a fantastic awards event.”

Editor of Bedfordshire on Sunday, Sarah Cox, was delighted with the first-ever Bedfordshire Business Awards: “We were bowled over by the standard of entries in our first year and were thrilled to be joined by hundreds of fantastic business on awards night.”

A short interview with Leigh Davies, recorded at Comline’s Luton headquarters and broadcast during the awards ceremony, can be viewed here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B58t0VGOmtoJZno1aHJxWDViSjg

This award is the latest in a long line of recent successes for Comline, most notably becoming a proud recipient of The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade 2016 and ranking a highly-credible 70th in The Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 league table.

In addition to wider commercial awards, Comline has also been recognised from within the automotive aftermarket. In September, Comline was voted A1 Motor Stores Component Supplier of the Year by the members of the well-established UK buying group.

Sponsor Link: Comline Auto Parts Ltd.

First established in 1991, Comline is an independent British brand that is currently one of the fastest growing in the European automotive industry. A proven recipe for delivering consistent, reliable product quality with genuine value for-money has established Comline as a leading aftermarket brand and resulted in a series of awards and accolades, most notably The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade and a listing in the Financial Times’ FT1000 listing of Europe’s fastest growing companies.

Comline is ‘First for Filters’ and offers this core product range alongside other lines including braking, steering & suspension, clutch kits, lubricants and much more. Comline parts are trusted to perform by distributors, workshops and technicians in over 40 countries worldwide.

www.comline.uk.com

Tel: 01582 578865

Sponsor Link: The Parts Alliance

parts%20alliance%20logo%20master%20amended%2003

As the leading business group in the aftermarket, The Parts Alliance is committed to up-skilling and driving productivity in the industry through its products and services The group, which consists of the leading motor factors in the UK and Ireland, offers national strength while providing a dedication and focus on a local service to workshops and fitting stations.

The Parts Alliance specialises in the national and local supply of O.E. manufacturer branded products and support services, including training programmes, electronic cataloguing, workshop IT systems and customer services.

The Parts Alliance prides itself on promoting the aftermarket at every level through forming professional, strategic partnerships with its customers and suppliers.

For further details, including a list of The Parts Alliance members, visit www.thepartsalliance.com/.

Your Comments

Valeo’s autonomous vehicle completes 24 hours on the Paris Beltway in a world first

Valeo’s Cruise4U autonomous vehicle has completed 24 hours on the Paris beltway. The car logged a total of 766 km, the equivalent of driving around Paris more than 20 times, and nearly 99% of the distance and time was completed in autonomous mode, not counting breaks and changeovers.

The 35 km Paris beltway is characterised by a number of specific features that make driving particularly challenging: scooters and motorcycles driving between lanes, traffic jams, roadworks, faded road markings, priority on the right and short exit and entrance ramps. The Valeo prototype was able to process and anticipate these situations over the full 24-hour period, day or night, demonstrating its unique technological prowess.

valeo-cruise4u

This breakthrough innovation in mobility is the result of a unique combination of solutions: A Valeo camera; radar and laser scanner technologies arranged around the entire vehicle to form a “cocoon” able to detect any obstacles at distances from as little as 10 centimeters to as much as 200 meters or more; and a sophisticated software program that can process data in real time to effectively analyse the vehicle’s surroundings and adjust its behaviour accordingly.

The way it works is very simple: When the driver selects the automated driving mode designed and developed by Valeo, this mode then takes over driving, steering, accelerating and braking in real driving situations.

The 24 hours spent on the Paris beltway follows the approximately 21,000km driven in the United States in summer 2016 and the 4,000 km road trip taken around France in 2015. Valeo Cruise4U now has 125,000 km on the clock, 97% of which were driven in autonomous mode, making Valeo one of the most advanced companies in terms of vehicle development.

As leader of the driving assistance systems market and inventor of the Cruise4U technology, Valeo can now promote innovative active safety features and move ahead toward fully automated driving.

Your Comments

IAAF eBulletin – Update

The IAAF eBulletin would like to apologise for the recent disruption in its circulation.  This was caused by technical problems beyond our control and in order to remedy the situation we have had to change over to this new format.

We would be interested in receiving any comments from readers about the new look eBulletin.  We hope that you will like the new style but please add this email address to your Safe Senders List to ensure a smooth delivery to your Inbox.

Your comments

Roadlink becomes approved supplier to GROUPAUTO/UAN

The achievement comes at the end of a very significant year for the braking and suspension parts supplier, as it has committed its future to UK remanufacturing by expanding its services with investment in a new brake caliper production facility.

GROUPAUTO and UAN distributors will experience the benefit of Roadlink’s distribution and remanufacturing processes, all of which are audited and approved to ISO9001 & ISO14001 internationally-recognised standards.

This continuous investment in systems and processes, combined with its Investor In People status, demonstrates the quality of Roadlink’s extensive range from production through to sales.

In addition to its expertise in CV braking and caliper remanufacturing, the company is the distributor for AL-KO, the European leader in original equipment (OE) trailer shock absorbers.

Roadlink’s full range of AL-KO shock absorbers provides a number of benefits including: ‘Virtually unbreakable’ construction; a special sealing system to minimise the chance of oil leaks, thereby significantly extending service life and a weight-saving and durable plastic outer cover.

Keith Sedgley, Roadlink joint managing director, said: “Our brand new remanufacturing facility demonstrates our ability to meet increased demand from customers and offers an unrivalled “confidence in supply” to GROUPAUTO and UAN distributors.

“We will work closely with distributors to ensure they are fully aware of the range and technical support available to them, along with the advantage of using our increasingly popular online catalogue, an indispensable tool for CV parts distributors and their staff.”

As one of the UK’s leading suppliers of braking products for commercial vehicles and buses, Roadlink currently offers a complete range of new and
remanufactured braking solutions, including calipers and brake shoes, as well as supplying a wide range of pads, discs and drums.

Your comments