Bosch and Dragon/Penske Autosport begin long-term partnership in Formula E

Bosch and Dragon/Penske Autosport begin long-term partnership in Formula E
Bosch will be developing an electronic vehicle management system specially tailored to the requirements of the Formula E vehicle. (Facebook: DragonRacingFE)
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Updated 24 February 2021

Bosch and Dragon/Penske Autosport begin long-term partnership in Formula E

Bosch and Dragon/Penske Autosport begin long-term partnership in Formula E
  • Bosch planning to develop an entire electric powertrain for Formula E for the Gen3 cars

Bosch Motorsport and the Dragon/Penske Autosport Formula E Team have agreed on a long-term technology and engineering partnership for the Los Angeles and UK-headquartered racing team’s cars in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

Within the framework of this cooperation, Bosch will be developing an electronic vehicle management system specially tailored to the requirements of the Formula E vehicle along with the corresponding hardware and software components required.

The system core is represented by the central MS 50.4P vehicle control unit (VCU). Apart from the motor functions and central energy management, the MS 50.4P also controls other vehicle functions such as brake energy recovery and the display in the driver cockpit.

“Collaboration with Dragon enhances our successful involvement as a series sponsor of Formula E. With this partnership, Bosch underscores its claim as a leading supplier of powertrain management solutions, both in electromobility for production vehicles and in electrified motorsports,” said Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the board of management at Robert Bosch GmbH.

Plans entail deploying the innovative vehicle management system in a race for the first time in spring 2021. Preparations are already underway. Bosch is also planning to develop an entire electric powertrain for Formula E for the Gen3 cars.

Jay Penske, owner and team principal of Dragon/Penske Autosport, added: “We are very excited to embark on this journey with Bosch in Formula E. We are grateful for the support of Bosch Engineering and the entire Bosch Global board.

“Through our work together we will provide Bosch with a platform to both showcase its capabilities as it develops Formula E specific technologies, while also using the team’s storytelling abilities to illustrate the role Bosch is playing as a leader in the electrification of the mobility industry. This long-term technical partnership marks a significant turning point for the team, and I look forward to seeing the fruits of our alliance on track this season when we introduce our new Penske Autosport package later this year.”

Extensive technology package offered by Bosch

The central VCU, offered by Bosch represents the heart of the vehicle electronics for the electric race cars of the Dragon/Penske Autosport team. Bosch has developed a bespoke vehicle wiring harness to provide optimum integration within the cars. Bosch also equips the team’s development car with data loggers to improve the team’s research and testing capabilities. In order to optimally adapt the new vehicle electronics to the overall vehicle, Bosch provides its RaceConnect LTE cloud solution during development and test driving for transferring telemetric data and data analysis. This provides the race team engineers with all the important parameters and data on the vehicle, powertrain, and tires, enabling them to be analyzed and optimized swiftly and efficiently.

As the Formula E regulations prescribe the use of many systems, the performance of the electronic system makes a decisive contribution to racing success. “When optimizing the control software, we aim to always strike the right balance between energy efficiency and lap times under all track and racing conditions in order to optimally exploit the vehicle’s full potential. The extensive transfer of know-how and expertise at Bosch between volume production developments and applications for the race track helps us in this regard,” said Dr. Klaus Böttcher, vice president Bosch Motorsport. Moreover, with the race energy management function of the MS 50.4P the vehicle’s driving performance is adapted dynamically so that the fastest possible lap time can be achieved with a specified amount of energy. What is more, the central vehicle control unit also ensures maximum energy recovery rates in the interplay between the electric and hydraulic brakes, and adapts the powertrain and brakes to the individual race conditions, thereby optimizing vehicle feedback to the driver.

Nicolas Mauduit, EVP and chief technical officer of Dragon/Penske Autosport, said: “This alliance with Bosch is providing us with additional resources, amplifying our ability to scale our engineering, while giving us access to Bosch’s combination of hardware and software expertise to help us compete with the largest OEMs, in the most competitive motorsport championship. We have been hard at work together in order to hit the ground running this season, and I am eager to see the results of our efforts when the new Penske EV-5 package, supported by the Bosch electronic and hardware ecosystem, makes its debut this spring.”


Versace to design interiors for Dar Al-Arkan homes in Riyadh

Versace to design interiors for Dar Al-Arkan homes in Riyadh
Updated 14 April 2021

Versace to design interiors for Dar Al-Arkan homes in Riyadh

Versace to design interiors for Dar Al-Arkan homes in Riyadh

Dar Al-Arkan, a real estate company in Saudi Arabia, has announced a collaboration that will bring the world’s first-ever villas with interiors by Versace Home to the Kingdom’s Shams Ar-Riyadh project. 

Versace Home’s outstanding design and craftsmanship will augment the “Upside Living” design of the limited-edition luxury villas, which will be built overlooking the historic and natural setting of Wadi Hanifa. The entrance and living areas will dominate the first floor, together with floor to ceiling windows, which will flood the living space with light and make a feature of the spectacular views over Wadi Hanifa. Meanwhile, the bedrooms and family rooms will be repositioned on the ground level, creating an overall space that combines elegance and practicality.

The villas have also been designed for a smarter life incorporating the latest hi-tech solutions throughout and setting a new benchmark for residential technology. Lighting, heating and air conditioning will be engineered to provide a more enhanced, ambient lifestyle controlled by motion sensors. A sophisticated security and surveillance system will be fully integrated, together with a smart home entertainment system including a home theater, in addition to standard smart kitchen appliances. The emphasis will be on creating luxury and sophistication in every detail.

Situated overlooking Wadi Hanifa with easy access to the city’s prime lifestyle destinations and top attractions, the villas have been designed to make the most of their natural setting and offer a new way of living in comfort, luxury and privacy. 

Yousef bin Abdullah Al-Shalash, chairman of Dar Al-Arkan, said: “We could not be prouder to partner with such a world-famous brand as Versace on this unique project. To have a design house of such a high caliber create the interiors of these very special homes encapsulates the high level of luxury living we are striving for with Shams Ar-Riyadh.”

He added: “At Dar Al-Arkan, our ambition is to elevate the real estate market in Saudi Arabia. Our close relationship with leading international designers will help achieve this and cement the Kingdom’s growing reputation for outstanding architecture and design on a global scale.”

The Shams Ar-Riyadh project is located in a strategic area north of Riyadh, on the King Khalid Road. Extending over an area of more than 5 million square meters, the location offers easy access to the city’s most important landmarks. The stunning landscapes of Wadi Hanifa, parks and open spaces all provide a wonderful, comfortable ambiance for families.  

Founded in 1994 by six prominent business families, Dar Al-Arkan has executed a number of successful real estate projects and contributed to the development of efficient real estate solutions for the regional market, through more than 30 commercial, residential, and real estate projects.


Hyundai unveils Staria MPV, a new futuristic minivan

Hyundai unveils Staria MPV, a new futuristic minivan
Updated 14 April 2021

Hyundai unveils Staria MPV, a new futuristic minivan

Hyundai unveils Staria MPV, a new futuristic minivan

Hyundai Motor Company has officially launched its new Staria multipurpose vehicle (MPV) lineup via a digital world premiere, establishing a model for its future purpose-built vehicles (PBVs).

Staria’s debut furthers Hyundai Motor’s transformation as a smart mobility solution provider and embodies the company’s “inside-out” design methodology that emphasizes interior spaciousness and usability.

The minivan is available in two- to 11-seat configurations and in two variants: Staria and Staria Premium, the latter elevating mobility to the next level with upgraded features and variant-exclusive finishes for a more luxurious look and feel.

“We are thrilled to introduce Staria, which represents our latest effort to spearhead the evolution of mobility, and to address emerging lifestyle needs as we adapt to new ways of living,” said Thomas Schemera, executive vice president and global chief marketing officer. “Staria is a step forward in connecting us more closely with our environments so that we can get more out of our everyday lives and do more for ourselves in transit.”

Staria will go on sale in select markets starting from the second half of 2021.

Evoking the streamlined form of a spaceship, Staria’s sleek exterior is defined by a single stroke running from front to rear — inspired by the curve of light that illuminates the Earth’s horizon at sunrise when viewed from space.

Staria models are available in eight exterior colors: Abyss Black Pearl, Creamy White, Graphite Gray Metallic, Moonlight Blue Pearl, Shimmering Silver Metallic, Dynamic Yellow, Olivine Gray Metallic and Gaia Brown Pearl.

The cruise ship-inspired interior delivers an open and unique atmosphere through its innovative design architecture. The vehicle’s lower beltlines and panoramic windows create a spacious, stimulating environment for all passengers.

The driver’s seat has a futuristic high-tech look with an advanced 10.25-inch front display screen, touch-based center fascia and a button-type electronic shift lever. The digital cluster is located on top of the dashboard, providing an unobstructed view for the driver.

“Staria is not just reinterpreting spatiality, but also reimagining time spent in transit for the future. Designing for mobility isn’t about vehicle design. It’s about designing to accommodate a variety of lifestyles,” said SangYup Lee, senior vice president and head of Global Hyundai Design. “Staria’s interior space and functionalities aim to transform how people experience in-car travel, optimizing journeys by making the most of time in transit.”

Staria’s interior is available in these colors: Black, Black and Beige two-tone, and Black and Blue two-tone. The Premium variant offers additional options of Gray and Brown two-tone as well as Gray and Light Gray two-tone.

Staria offers powertrain options of a diesel-powered 2.2-liter VGT engine and a gasoline-powered Smartstream G6DIII 3.5-liter MPI engine.

Staria has secured the highest level of vehicle safety. It offers an option to add as many as six airbags, and all seats come with three-point seat belts and headrests. Safety is further bolstered by smart features such as forward collision avoidance assist and blind-spot collision-avoidance assist.


General Mills UAE ranked 15th by Great Place to Work 2021

General Mills UAE  ranked 15th by Great Place to Work 2021
Updated 14 April 2021

General Mills UAE ranked 15th by Great Place to Work 2021

General Mills UAE  ranked 15th by Great Place to Work 2021

General Mills UAE — part of the US-based food company General Mills — has ranked 15th among 280 companies registered for the Best Workplaces 2021 across the UAE.

The Great Place to Work certification for General Mills Middle East comes in the midst of the challenges posed by 2020, including business disruption due to the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

Globally, Great Place to Work surveyed more than 12 million employees on issues including how trustworthy, caring and fair the company is in times of crises, employees’ physical, emotional and financial health, and the company’s broader community impact. 

The award recognizes General Mills’ progress in its employees experiencing a great workplace, judged on these core parameters: The consistent trust in the people they work for, which was assessed through employee perceptions of credibility, respect, and fairness; have pride in what they do; and experience camaraderie with their colleagues.

Of the 280 companies that registered this year, 230 were successfully certified, with General Mills being ranked 15th.

“2020 was a year of unprecedented challenges and the Great Place to Work award is a testimony to General Mills’ philosophy of trust and belief in the values of mutual respect, integrity, diversity and inclusion. Our ranking among the best places to work is a testament to our strong people-centric policies,” said Ali Shaikh, general manager — Middle East and Africa, General Mills. 

“General Mills’ purpose is ‘Making Food the World Loves’ and the commitment demonstrated by our colleagues to delight our consumers while building an inclusive equal opportunity workplace especially during the global pandemic is something that we are all collectively proud of,” he added.

“We are honored and proud to be certified as a Great Place to Work. At General Mills, we strive hard to implement people-first policies and work in a high-trust and high-performance environment,” said Thiruselvi Supuriamaniam, HR head — Middle East and Africa, General Mills. 

“Our success is built on ‘Making Food the World Loves’ and we will continue to create and nurture employees who share a culture of mutual trust, transparency, inclusion, and innovation,” she added.

The Great Place to Work certification is the most definitive “employer-of-choice” recognition and is considered the “gold standard” in identifying and recognizing great workplace cultures.


Innovative heart surgery procedure launched to save more lives

Innovative heart surgery procedure launched to save more lives
Updated 13 April 2021

Innovative heart surgery procedure launched to save more lives

Innovative heart surgery procedure launched to save more lives

The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with Abdul Latif Jameel Health, launched a pioneering new medical procedure for the surgical reconstruction of the aortic heart valve that is projected to save more lives. The procedure makes Saudi Arabia the first country in the Gulf region to use the AVNeo technology for open-heart surgery. The US and Japan are among the first countries to use this technology, followed by Germany, Russia, Italy and Britain.

AVNeo (Aortic Valve Neocuspidization), which was provided by the Japanese Organization for Medical Device Development (JOMDD), is a standardized revolutionary procedural technique suitable for all age groups. According to medical studies, patients receiving the procedure will not be required to continue taking medication six months post-surgery. 

According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases account for 37 percent of deaths and are among the main causes of premature death in Saudi Arabia. These diseases are also increasingly becoming the leading cause of death globally, taking an estimated 18.6 million lives in 2019, which represents 16 percent of the world’s total deaths.

Developed by Professor Shigeyuki Ozaki, the procedure, which uses the patient’s autologous pericardium, is an innovative surgery for any aortic valve disease. Over the past 10 years, Prof. Ozaki has performed more than 1,100 cases and, to date, more than 5,000 cases have been performed globally. According to the latest data available (2018), as seen in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, “the 10-year survival rate was 85.9 percent for AVNeo” compared to less than 80 percent for alternative procedures.

The agreement was signed at the Ministry of Health headquarters in Riyadh in the presence of Najlaa Kateb, director general of the Innovation Center at the Ministry of Health; Dr. Adel Tash, adult consultant cardiac surgeon; and Dr. Samira Al-Ghamdi, director general of the General Department of Specialized Centers. Abdul Latif Jameel Health was represented by Faisal Alsamannoudi, vice chairman and CEO of Abdul Latif Jameel Enterprises; Rowaid Al-Sawaf, chief corporate affairs officer, and Ahmed Al-Kathiri, general manager, projects department.

Kateb said: “We seek to facilitate and explore the possibility of applying such innovative medical technological solutions in the Kingdom’s hospitals in order to provide high-quality integrated services in the field of healthcare. The Ministry of Health continues its efforts through the ‘Future Foresight’ program at the Innovation Center, which aims to leverage the latest medical technological solutions and make them available to patients.”

Alsamannoudi said: “We are proud of this collaboration with the Ministry of Health, a pioneer in the health sector, implementing innovative projects to improve patient services. Over the past 75 years, Abdul Latif Jameel has transformed from a local company into a globally diversified business, with the creation of Abdul Latif Jameel Health marking an important milestone in this journey. Collaborating on projects like AVNeo will undoubtedly pave the way for further groundbreaking innovation in our work moving forward.

The Ministry of Health and Abdul Latif Jameel Health are currently seeking to have the new medical technique formally approved by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority, including setting up a program to train medical staff of the Ministry of Health inside and outside the Kingdom to perform AVNeo operations under the supervision of Dr. Tash.


Mastercard signs MENA region’s first tap-on-phone agreement with Geidea

Mastercard signs MENA region’s first tap-on-phone agreement with Geidea
Updated 13 April 2021

Mastercard signs MENA region’s first tap-on-phone agreement with Geidea

Mastercard signs MENA region’s first tap-on-phone agreement with Geidea

Global technology company Mastercard, and Geidea, the largest fintech company in Saudi Arabia by market share, have announced a strategic partnership agreement to accept Mastercard payments on Geidea’s tap-on-phone solution in Saudi Arabia — the first such agreement to be signed in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Geidea is the first fintech company to roll out this contactless payment acceptance technology across the Kingdom, which will enable businesses to use smartphones as payment acceptance devices.

Tap-on-phone is an innovative, intuitive, and cost-effective app-based solution that allows small businesses to quickly embrace electronic acceptance through their smart mobile or tablet device. With smartphone penetration of more than 70 percent in the Kingdom, tap-on-phone has the potential to reach more than 300,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and merchants in the first year alone. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a shift in consumer behavior toward digital and contactless payment channels, making it imperative for businesses to adapt and shift to a more online based model. We are therefore proud to partner with Mastercard and provide businesses with a relevant solution that offers the ability to accept safe, secure and seamless contactless payments through the tap-on-phone technology,” said Abdullah Al-Othman, founder and chairman of Geidea. 

At present, the Geidea network provides payment and e-commerce solutions to more than 100,000 merchants — covering 600,000 payment terminals and ATMs within the Kingdom.

As one of the many use cases, tap-on-phone enables more SMEs to accept secure card payments on delivery, in lieu of cash-on-delivery (COD) which is often the only on-delivery payment option. According to Bain.com, around 62 percent of MENA online shoppers choose COD as a payment method when buying online, compared with less than 5 percent in the UK and France. Cash conversion is key to developing the payment landscape and improving consumer experience.

“Enabling small businesses to sustain themselves and realize opportunities during and post the pandemic is of paramount importance to us. Through our partnership with Geidea, we can help small businesses expand their ability to accept digital payments and grow their earning potential. The solution will also help Saudi Arabia to transition safely into a secure digital payment ecosystem, without the risks associated with a large cash pool. In this respect we are proud to jointly make a significant stride to Saudi Vision 2030’s objective to increase digital transactions in the country. We will continue to leverage our network, insights, and technology to help inform and adapt their operations as we begin to enter a normalization phase,” said J.K. Khalil, country manager, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Levant, Mastercard.

Geidea also recently became the only non-bank institution in Saudi Arabia to be granted an acquiring license from Saudi Central Bank (SAMA). The license enables Geidea to process secure, fast, and seamless end-to-end payment solutions directly to merchants.