Samsung gives Apple, Tesla, Uber, Google a run for their money in car tech sector
According to a recent study conducted on driverless car research and development, Samsung could be about to overtake Apple in the car technology sector. The study even indicated that silent contender Samsung could beat other players in the driverless market including Tesla, Uber and Google.
The report by Thomson Reuters stated: “Samsung was responsible for initial surge in interest in late 1990s, and renewed their interest in the field before other companies began ramping up; Uber only has 12inventions in this study.
“Samsung has the largest and broadest collection of patents in the automotive field including a very large interest in batteries and fuel cells for next generation vehicles.
“Google also has a large number of inventions, but their portfolio is [more] skewed towards communications, device integration, and autonomous driving/drivers assistance than Samsung.”
There has been a significant increase in automotive related patenting in the last four years, but traditional car manufacturers are standing their ground and producing more patents than its tech counterparts.
General Motors, Toyota and Hyundai have developed the highest number of original technologies to make cars truly driverless. This suggests that in the future, car manufacturers and tech firms may form partnerships, rather than produce specific vehicles to sell as a brand.
While the world has gone crazy over Apple’s smartwatch Tim Cook’s mention of its CarPlay division could have wider implications for industry disruption. Cook announced that 40 different car models will have Apple’s technology installed in their dashboards, signalling carmakers' long-term commitment to the tech firm. He said that all ‘major manufacturers’ were behind the project. Apple's website lists Audi, BMW, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, Jeep, Ford and Honda among its ‘committed partners’.
The CarPlay platform essentially mirrors an iPhone on a car dashboard display so the driver can see a simplified version of iOS 8 and use all the useful functions associated with the smartphone, without distracting them.
While some manufacturers will also offer Android info-tainment capabilities too, the move shows that carmakers are happy to let other brands take over a valuable aspect of the car that could have become an extra revenue stream for the firm.
Through these platforms, the likes of Apple and Google will be the gatekeeper of what is available through its connected dashboard, and the sole owner of drivers' data, taking valuable insight into drivers' preferences away from the manufacturer.
This data could be useful for advertising companies. For example, advertising companies already use Google and Apple’s user preference data to optimise offers for potential customers.
Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.