Verizon-Cisco collaboration advances autonomous vehicle tech

BASKING RIDGE, N.J.— Cisco and Verizon collaborated on a successful proof of concept demo in Las Vegas, showing that cellular and mobile edge compute (MEC) technology can enable autonomous driving solutions without the use of costly physical Roadside Units to extend radio signals.

The result paves a simpler and more efficient route to powering applications such as autonomous/unmanned last-mile delivery bots and robotaxis in cities like Las Vegas, where public MEC technologies exist. Additionally, cities and roadway operators could create safer roads with C-V2X applications including pedestrian protection, emergency and transit vehicle pre-emption, on and off-ramp protection (e.g., when a loaded truck needs autonomous guidance to merge or brake safely), and potentially others that involve vehicles approaching intersections with traffic signals.

Proof of concept

Autonomous features in connected vehicles have always relied on roadside radios to extend the signals vehicles use for low-latency communication with each other and surrounding connected infrastructure. The Cisco and Verizon test proved that Verizon’s LTE network and public 5G Edge with AWS Wavelength, together with Cisco Catalyst IR1101 routers in connected infrastructure, can meet the latency thresholds required for autonomous driving applications – replacing the costly roadside radios previously required to meet those needs.

By using LTE and edge compute to virtualize the role of the Roadside Units, C-V2X communications proved to be more streamlined – likely to result in improved efficiency and cost effectiveness for municipalities, infrastructure providers, and application developers working with autonomous vehicles. (C-V2X refers to a vehicle’s ability to communicate with other vehicles and connected infrastructure surrounding it.)

The result demonstrates that connected and autonomous vehicle applications can be deployed today using LTE networks, mobile edge compute, and in-vehicle interfaces deployed by OEMs. These capabilities could lead to safer, less congested roads with current connected and autonomous vehicles, with scalability for future applications hosted at the edge and using LTE and 5G connectivity.

Connected transportation – powered by cellular

Improving communication between vehicles and their surrounding infrastructure is essential for creating safer roadways and enabling the autonomous future of driving. Intersections must be securely connected and equipped with compute to allow applications at the edge to communicate and inform split-second decision making.

“This test is a huge milestone in proving that the future of connectivity for IoT applications can be powered by cellular,” said Krishna Iyer, Director of Systems Architecture, Verizon. “We’re marking the strength of mobile edge compute platforms for connected transportation innovation with much more streamlined architecture. Together with Cisco technologies, we’re setting the foundation potentially to realize a ubiquitous IoT in the connected and autonomous future of driving.”

“The future of autonomous vehicles cannot progress without reliable communication between vehicles and their surrounding environments,” said Mark Knellinger, Lead Transportation Solutions Architect, Cisco. “This is huge for roadway operators in that it relieves them of the massive expense of deploying and operating a dedicated V2X environment.”

— by Matt Conte, Verizon

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Ford Celebrates the Outdoor Spirit of Black Women in ‘We Do’ ad Campaign for their new 2021 Bronco Sport

DEARBORN, MI—Ford Motor Company is celebrating the outdoor spirit of Black women in a new ad campaign for the 2021 Bronco Sport. In “We Do,” Black women embrace the great outdoors in the all-new Bronco Sport, going off-roading, biking and hiking – all while reveling in a feeling of triumph as they honor their connection to nature and their sense of adventure.

Staying true to the DNA of the first-generation Bronco – designed by a team that included McKinley Thompson, Jr., the first African American automotive designer to work at Ford – the all-new Bronco Sport SUV pays it forward with modern, heritage-inspired style, available agile off-road architecture and G.O.A.T. Modes™ to go over any type of terrain.

“Our ‘We Do’ campaign challenges the perception of outdoor enthusiasm,” said Dibrie Guerrero, multicultural marketing manager, Ford Motor Company. “Over this last year of pandemic living, many Black women have doubled down on or discovered a love of the outdoors. Whether it’s solo time to convene with nature or a weekend retreat with the girls, Black women are relishing the joy and freedom of the outdoors, and the Bronco Sport is the vehicle to get them there.”

The “We Do” campaign will appear across all digital and social channels, with TV, radio and print activations. It features members of Black American outdoor organizations such as Outdoor AfroBlack Girls Do Bike and Black Girls Run. The campaign is the latest effort from UWG, the longest-standing multicultural advertising and marketing agency in the United States.

Ford is at the front of the automotive technology wave, coming up with new ideas and conveniences every year.

The all-new Bronco Sport is part of the new outdoor brand of Built Wild Ford SUVs. With off-road performance at its core and standard 4×4 across the lineup, Bronco Sport lives up to its G.O.A.T. (goes over any type of terrain) heritage with Built Wild Extreme Durability Testing, Capability and Innovative Design. The Bronco Sport is made for the trails with water-fording abilities and available features like obstacle protection, unsurpassed ground clearance and class-first Trail Control Technology.

Bronco Sport is designed for life on the trails and includes a safari-style roof that provides class-leading second-row headroom. It also has a cargo area* high enough to hold two 27.5-inch-wheel mountain bikes. More than 100 factory-backed and aftermarket accessories are available to transport gear such as kayaks, surfboards, skis and camping equipment. Bronco Sport is a gateway to the outdoors for the adventurer, the sightseer and the day-tripper.

Source and photos: Ford


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GM’s Gerald Johnson recognized as 2021’s Black Engineer of the Year

By : Lango Deen

DETROIT, MI (U.S. Black Engineer) — The 2021 Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA), held Thursday, Feb. 11 through Saturday, Feb. 13, was an all-digital event. The year’s conference theme was “Stand Up. Step Up. Make a Change,” a call to social justice action. Participants in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields had access to 24 hours of events, award shows, and entertainment.

An iconic line up of stars, including jazz saxophonist Gerald Albright, singer Parris Lane, and Detroit’s DJ Smooth, headlined performances featuring music that celebrated 500 years of African American culture, the contributions of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and Blacks in the U.S. military and federal service.

BEYA’s 35th annual STEM conference offered career development seminars, presentations, and workshops led by 150 influential speakers, managers, directors, recruiters, decision-makers, and college administrators. Discussions focused on navigating health care during COVID-19, the economy, diversity, equity, and inclusion in workplaces.

High-profile companies at the Technology Recognition event feat. Modern-Day Leaders and Science Spectrum Trailblazers event included Amazon, The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Raytheon Technologies, and Walmart Global Tech.

During the specially produced 35th Annual BEYA Gala, the 2021 Black Engineer of the Year Award went to Gerald Johnson, executive vice president, Global Manufacturing.  He was recognized for his commitment to mentoring, promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and leading General Motors’ (GM) efforts to support the United States during the pandemic.

Gerald Johnson, executive vice president, Global Manufacturing

Johnson, the first African American to lead manufacturing at General Motors, heads GM’s global manufacturing operations, manufacturing engineering, and labor relations organizations. He is a member of the GM Senior Leadership Team and reports to Mary Barra, chairman, and CEO of General Motors Company. “Gerald’s passion for the business, strong leadership skills, and extensive manufacturing and labor experience will help in our efforts to continue to transform the company, supporting both the core business and future of mobility,” said Barra. Johnson is the third GM employee to be named Black Engineer of the Year after Alicia Boler Davis in 2018 and Ed Welburn, the sixth design chief in GM’s history, in 2015.  Boler Davis and Welburn both made comments during the live-streamed ceremony.

One of the BEYA gala highlights included Mrs. Lynn Gerald Johnson serenading her husband with a song that the family holds dear. During his acceptance speech. Johnson stressed the importance of hard work, family, faith, and community.

Bruce T Crawford, retired Lieutenant General Bruce T. Crawford, 2020 Black Engineer of the Year, and former chief information officer, United States Army, beamed in for the prestigious black-tie “Passing the Torch” ceremony with his wife to congratulate the 2021 winner of the award.

Visit Career Communications Group’s YouTube channel to view.

In addition to General Motors, there were award ceremony remarks from captains of industry, head of federal agencies and military commanders from the Air Force Research Laboratory, Army Engineer Research and Development Center,  AT&T, Bell Textron Inc., The Boeing Company, Clemson University,  Collins Aerospace, Corning Incorporated,  Corteva Agriscience, Exelon Utilities, Ford Motor Company, General Dynamics Information Technology, Idaho National Laboratory, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, Leidos, Lockheed Martin Corporation, The MITRE Corporation, NASA Langley Research Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,  National Science Foundation, Naval Research Laboratory, U.S. Navy, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Office of Naval Research, Raytheon Technologies, Sandia National Laboratories,   Spirit AeroSystems, U.S. Army,  United States Air Force,  University of the District of Columbia, University of Houston, Mission and Installation Contracting Command, and Walmart.

Read the 2021 winner profiles in US Black Engineer‘s digital magazine.

At this year’s 16th annual Stars and Stripes Recognition event, part of the 2021 Black Engineer of the Year STEM conference, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff served as keynote speakers and presenters for awards uniformed and federal Black scientists and engineers. Top brass at Stars and Stripes included General Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General James C. McConville, Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David H. Berger, and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr. The Military Tribute Hall compiled memorable Black achievements in the United States military.

The BEYA World Digital Platform showcased the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Village, which featured the all-digital HBCU Engineering Deans Recognition program, the HBCU Homecoming event, and interactions with engineering deans from ABET-accredited schools at 15 HBCUs. They graduate most of America’s Black engineers.

The digital platform was also a place for job seekers. More than 100 booths were staffed by staffing specialists, corporate recruiters, and talent management professionals offering job interviews, internships, co-ops, and other positions.

The BEYA Pre-College Program featured young people’s activities to diverse STEM opportunities.  Students, alumni, parents, and supporters of K-12 organizations focused on STEM.

Career Communications Group (CCG) holds its annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Conference during Black History Month. The annual observance, which begins each year on Feb.1 and ends on the last day of February, celebrates 500 years of African American history culture and their history. Each year, the BEYA STEM Conference coincides with the national celebration of inspiration.

The 2022 BEYA STEM Conference will be hosted in Washington D.C. Information can be found at http://www.beya.org.

National BDPA’s Greater Washington D.C. and Baltimore chapters are co-hosts for BDPA Members attending annual BEYA events. Join, renew, or update membership profiles at BDPA.org for special VIP or all-access invitations.

— Photo credits: GM, CCG, and U.S. Black Engineer Magazine

GM executive Telva McGruder promoted as automotive giant’s tech-inclusion missions rapidly evolve

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DETROIT, MI (BDPA Detroit) ― General Motors Company (GM), welcomes Telva McGruder as their new Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer. In a recent statement, the global automotive corporation looks forward to Telva’s leadership as she expands on their current Diversity team’s efforts to bring GM closer to their aspiration of being the most inclusive company in the world.

Telva recently served as GM’s Director of Workplace Engineering and Operations Solutions in the Sustainable Workplaces organization at General Motors. Named to her last position in August of 2016, Telva supported the global footprint as she leads facility engineering, technologies, energy strategy and multiple facility management strategies. Her team designs and implements sustainable technical solutions, ensuring environments for successful enterprise operations. Her team also focused on comprehensive facility management operations through key business partnerships. Global process leadership in the areas of facility maintenance, energy procurement, contract management and material handling ensure coordination across the operating regions.

telva-mcgruder_gm_headPreviously, Telva was Tool and Die Commodity Engineering Manager in Global Body Manufacturing Engineering. In this role, she led the engineers responsible for closure panel engineering and launch deliverables on all North American vehicle programs.  Prior to that assignment, Telva was the Engineering Group Manager of Die Center Program Management, where she led the team responsible for tool and die strategy, planning, quality and launch for global vehicle programs.

Telva earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University and began her career as a Test Operations Engineer for Sverdrup Technology, working at the NASA Lewis (Glenn) Research Center in Cleveland, OH.  She moved on to start her career with General Motors as a manufacturing engineer in 1994 while completing her Master of Science in Electrical Engineering at Purdue University.  Since then, she has held positions of increasing responsibility and influence within manufacturing and manufacturing engineering, including manufacturing maintenance, operations and project management for major Press Center projects. Her career path has led her through Ohio, Indiana, Ontario, and she is now making contributions in Michigan.

GM Orion Assembly - Bolt EV and Sonic

Telva contributes to development of the talent pipeline for General Motors. She is the president of the General Motors African Ancestry Network (GMAAN) and also serves as the GM executive liaison for the Women of Color STEM Conference and the BEYA STEM Conference, which GM proudly sponsors.  With her focus on personal and professional growth, Telva is the Vice-Chair of the Board of Advocacy and Resource Development for the Oakland University School of Health Sciences. She also serves as a dedicated member of the Advisory Board for the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability.

Along with her professional accomplishments, Telva is dedicated to teaching and leading others inside and outside of General Motors. She enjoys mentoring professionals as well as motivating young students to pursue STEM fields and leadership opportunities. She is the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan and committed to building girls of courage, confidence and character. Among her volunteer activities, Telva has served as a mentor for FIRST FRC high school robotics teams and is a volunteer for A World in Motion, an SAE program.

Telva enjoys wonderful life experiences with her husband, son and two daughters.  Telva is a positive, driven individual with a keen sense of what is important.  She looks forward to continued opportunities to contribute in both local and professional communities.

Source and photo credits:
GM  (Assemble line Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for Chevrolet)

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Small Businesses and HBCUs, select here to register.

CES 2021 Moves to an All-Digital Experience

ARLINGTON, VA — The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® today announced CES 2021®  — January 6-9, 2021 — will be an all-digital experience connecting exhibitors, customers, thought leaders and media from around the world. The new format will allow participants to hear from technology innovators, see cutting-edge technologies and the latest product launches, and engage with global brands and startups from around the world.

CES-Marketplace_familytech

“Amid the pandemic and growing global health concerns about the spread of COVID-19, it’s just not possible to safely convene tens of thousands of people in Las Vegas in early January 2021 to meet and do business in person,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “Technology helps us all work, learn and connect during the pandemic — and that innovation will also help us reimagine CES 2021 and bring together the tech community in a meaningful way. By shifting to an all-digital platform for 2021, we can deliver a unique experience that helps our exhibitors connect with existing and new audiences.”

CES 2021 will be a new immersive experience, where attendees will have a front row seat to discover and see the latest technology. This highly personalized experience will bring a global event to the comfort and safety of your home or office.

For over 50 years, CES has been the global stage for innovation. CTA’s goal for CES 2021 is to provide an engaging platform for companies large and small to launch products, build brands and form partnerships, while prioritizing health and safety. Members of the tech community thrive by coming together, sharing ideas and introducing products that will shape our future.

BDPA @ CES 2020
Implementing Diversity from the Top” at CES 2020.  (L-R) Tiffany Moore, CTA; Carmalita Yeizman, Bosch; Lesley Slaton Brown, HP; Ben Hasan, Walmart. © 2020 bdpatoday

Mark your calendars for the first week in January and be on the lookout for more exciting news about CES 2021. CES plans to return to Las Vegas for CES 2022, combining the best elements of a physical and digital show.

Source and photos: CTA and BDPA

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An “Ecological Paradise”: Tesla Gigafactory Austin is now Official

AUSTIN, TX (BDPA Austin) — “We’re going to make it a factory that is going to be stunning; it’s right on the Colorado River. So we’re actually going to have to have a boardwalk over you, hiking, biking trail. It’s going to basically be an ecological paradise,” Elon Musk announced during the company’s earnings call this week.

tesla-model-x-rear-three-quarter-with-doors-openTesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy through increasingly affordable electric vehicles and renewable energy generation and storage systems. At the heart of these products are batteries. Tesla has seen enormous demand for energy products and electric vehicles. Today, there are more than 350,000 Tesla vehicles on the roads worldwide, and we’ve installed over 1 GWh of energy storage across the globe.

The Gigafactory was born out of necessity and will supply enough batteries to support Tesla’s projected demand. In mid-2018, battery production at Gigafactory 1 reached an annualized rate of roughly 20 GWh, making it the highest-volume battery plant in the world. Tesla currently produces more batteries in terms of kWh than all other carmakers combined. With the Gigafactory ramping up production, Tesla’s cost of battery cells will significantly decline through economies of scale, innovative manufacturing, reduction of waste, and the simple optimization of locating most manufacturing processes under one roof.

tesla_powerpack

Powerpack (shown above) integrates batteries, power electronics, thermal management and controls into a turnkey solution that’s easy to install for businesses and utilities.   Photo credits: Tesla

The Gigafactory is designed to be a net-zero energy factory upon completion. It will not consume any fossil fuels – there is no natural gas piped to the site nor are there permanent diesel generators being used to provide power. Emergency backup is fed from various electric sources, including renewable energy and storage products.

— Source: Tesla, Inc.

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