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Posts Tagged ‘Android Auto’

Feds Want to Silence Smartphones – but Amp Up Electric Vehicle Sounds

Move to lock out smartphone apps triggering a backlash.

by on Nov.28, 2016

One new NHTSA proposal would effectively lock drivers out from smartphone apps like texting.

Federal regulators are taking two seemingly opposite steps in the name of safety: they want mew battery-electric vehicles to make more noise, but they also want to silence some of those smartphone apps catching blame for distracted driving.

Both issues are expected to become more serious in the years to come, as in-car electronics become increasingly common and as normally quiet battery-powered vehicles gain more traction — but pose risks for pedestrians, especially the visually handicapped, who might not see them coming.

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There’s been growing demand to lock out texting and other apps while a vehicle is moving, but the rules the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to work on during the final months of the Obama Administration are also generating significant pushback.

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Honda Goes High(er) Tech with 2016 Accord

CarPlay and Android Auto, lower-price safety package added.

by on Jul.24, 2015

The 2016 Honda Accord gets minor styling tweaks and lots of new technology.

Honda will be loading up the 2016 Accord with an assortment of new high-tech features, the maker revealed during a preview staged, appropriately enough, in Silicon Valley.

Sure, Dodge has gotten plenty of attention by offering a 707-horsepower Hellcat package, but these days, automakers have learned that digital technology is really what sells – as was made abundantly clear in the results of the latest J.D. Power APEAL study which showed that owner satisfaction has been surging on products loaded up with the latest digital features.

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Honda isn’t breaking ground with the 2016 Accord, but it’s not letting competitors like Chevrolet, Ford or Hyundai steal much of a march, either. And, considering Accord’s traditionally loyal following, that may be more than good enough.

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Chevy Goes Cruze-ing with New 2016 Sedan

Redesigned Cruze is roomier but lighter, more fuel-efficient; hatchback to follow.

by on Jun.25, 2015

GM CEO Mary Barra shows off the larger but lighter and more fuel-efficient 2016 Chevrolet Cruze.

Chevy hopes to Cruze to the top of the compact sales charts with the all-new sedan it’s launching later this year. The 2016 Chevrolet Cruze will be larger than the outgoing model, yet lighter and more fuel-efficient.

The Detroit automaker also plans to add a new hatchback version of the 2016 Chevy Cruz, reflecting a growing shift in the American market as compact buyers in the U.S. start to fall in line with more global trends.

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While it might share its name with Chevrolet’s outgoing compact sedan, not much else remains the same, said styling chief John Cafaro during a Detroit preview. “The Cruze’s approach to proportion and premium details adds to Chevrolet’s elevation of craftsmanship, content, quality and a fresh interpretation on an identity that is unmistakably Chevrolet,” he proclaimed.

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Apple CarPlay to Get Expanded Features with Upcoming Update

System will allow motorists to track vehicle, check mileage and other functions.

by on Jun.08, 2015

At least 40 upcoming models are expected to integrate the new Apple CarPlay technology.

The big news out of Apple’s annual developer’s conference is the impending release of the next-generation operating system for devices like the iPhone and iPad. But along with the launch of iOS 9, Apple also plans to upgrade its new CarPlay system.

That’s a major step considering the first cars equipped with CarPlay – including 14 models from Chevrolet – won’t even hit the road until summer. But the revised system will soon be able to do more than play Spotify through your car’s audio system.

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Automakers like Chevy will be able to develop proprietary apps of their own that could be used to operate all manner of vehicle functions, such as tracking fuel economy, unlocking a door or finding a vehicle in a crowded stadium parking lot. The update will permit CarPlay to operate on a wider range of screen sizes, as well.

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Toyota Teaming up With Ford on Smartphone AppLink Technology

Partners looking to develop open-source version of Ford AppLink.

by on Jun.03, 2015

Ford integrates AppLink into most new models, and an updated version will power Sync 3.

In another sign of the strange bedfellow relationships reshaping the auto industry, Toyota is teaming up with Ford to develop an open-source version of Ford’s AppLink connected-car infotainment system.

The concept, which will be central to the completely updated Sync 3 infotainment system Ford will launch over the summer, is similar to the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto systems many automakers are planning to adapt. Toyota would apparently use it to update or replace its own Entune infotainment technology.

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Where automakers long took price in doing their own R&D, they are increasingly turning either to outside suppliers or, in a growing number of instances, partnering with each other.

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Ford to Launch Updated Sync 3 This Summer

System said to be faster, more intuitive, offer online updates.

by on Jun.02, 2015

The new Sync 3 home screen is broken into three distinct zones for Audio, Phone and Navi.

Hoping to hold its lead against increasingly aggressive rivals, Ford Motor Co. will launch its completely redesigned Sync 3 infotainment system this summer on the 2016 Ford Escape and Fiesta models.

Launched in 2007, and among the first to offer such features as voice and touch control, smartphone app integration and other communications and navigation services, the original Sync helped draw a generation of tech-savvy buyers to Ford. But it also earned the maker plenty of criticism for the system’s failures and weaknesses.

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One surprise: Ford’s latest version of Sync will not – at least for now – include the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto systems. But Sync 3 does improve on the earlier AppLink technology that can integrate a variety of smartphone apps, as well as Sire Eyes-Free which can tap into an iPhone’s voice-operated personal assistant.

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Consumer Reports Calls for Feds to Regulate Computers in Cars

Letter warns members about easy of access by hackers.

by on May.28, 2015

The $10,000 challenge to computer hackers to break into Tesla's Model S controls proved how easily someone can gain access to in-car computer systems.

The recent news that anyone can shut down an iPhone with a simple text is a reminder of how easy it is to get hacked. The fact that new vehicles are often described as rolling computers only stokes fears that your car may not be safe from someone sitting behind a computer screen thousands of miles away.

In a week where Hyundai and General Motors joyously announced they would be adding Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay as options on some of their models, concerns about how those systems might enable hackers to gain access to vehicles have been raised.

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Consumer Reports sent letters to its 6 million members sounding the alarm on about what it views as lax security measures on the part of automakers. (more…)

Chevy Adding Apple CarPlay, Android Auto to 14 Models

“Smartphones are essential,” says GM CEO Barra.

by on May.27, 2015

A total of 14 Chevrolet models, including the next-gen Volt, Malibu and Camaro, will add Apple CarPlay.

It’s becoming ever harder to walk – or drive — away from your smartphone. A day after Hyundai became the first automaker to formally confirm plans to add the new Android Auto system to its Sonata sedan, Chevrolet says it will go one better, rolling out both the Google-based system and Apple’s new CarPlay on 14 of its models next year.

Both technologies allow a motorist to go beyond basic pairing. It lets them actually operate a variety of different smartphone apps directly through the vehicle’s infotainment system, whether by using a touchscreen or voice commands. Chevy owners will be able to access 10 different audio services, for example, from Spotify to NPR to Major League Baseball – with more apps to follow, the maker hinted.

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They’ll also be able to have text messages read out by artificial speech and dictate a reply. And whether using an Apple iOS or Google Android-based phone, motorists will be able to access the smartphone’s built-in navigation, potentially saving $1,000 or more on a factory-installed navi system.

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Safety Features Resonate with American Motorists in New Tech Choice Study

US car shoppers uninterested in fuel-saving features.

by on Apr.22, 2015

Consumers are demanding new collision avoidance technologies, according to new Power study.

Today’s new cars are likely to feature more digital technology than you’ll find in the typical home or office – including infotainment systems that can tap into the apps on an Apple or Google smartphone.

But forget about Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. What consumers want most are safety-related technologies such as blind spot detection and forward-collision mitigation – which account for seven of the Top 10 technologies car buyers say they want most, according to the first J.D. Power U.S. Tech Choice Study. Among the Top Five picks, self-healing paint was the only non-safety-related technology.

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“Collision protection ranked above average,” said study director Kristin Kolodge, with “the vast majority” of the more than 5,000 U.S. motorists who participated in the Tech Choice Study. Significantly, she said this was not limited to any narrow segment of buyer. “There is a tremendous interest in collision protection technologies across all generations.”

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Google Unveils Android Auto Infotainment System

New entry aimed at combatting Apple’s CarPlay.

by on Jun.27, 2014

Google demonstrated its new Android Auto system during its annual I/O conference yesterday.

The battle between Apple and Google has moved to a new arena: the car. Google introduced Android Auto yesterday with features aimed at bringing the functionality of an Android-based phone to 25 automakers by the end of the year.

“We looked at what people do with their phones in the car today, and these things stood out to us: navigation, communication, music and other forms of streaming music,” said Patrick Brady, director of Engineering, Android, during the Google I/O conference yesterday.

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“Android Auto puts these front and center so you don’t have to go hunting through a grid of icons to find the apps that are most important to you when you’re in the car.” (more…)