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Posts Tagged ‘connected car’

Samsung Spends $8 Bil to Buy Mobile Tech Giant Harman

Move could position Korean company as major player in auto electronics.

by on Nov.14, 2016

Samsung is already the world's biggest maker of computer chips, but lags in auto business.

Samsung Electronics will purchase Harman International, one of the world’s largest producers of in-vehicle electronics, for $8 billion.

The move could position the Korean technology giant as a leader in the emerging field of connected cars. It also will let it play a critical role in automotive cybersecurity, a subject of increasing concern as hackers begin to target ever more high-tech automobiles.

“We see substantial long-term growth opportunities in the auto technology market as demand for Samsung’s specialized electronic components and solutions continues to grow,” said Samsung Electronics President and Chief Strategy Officer Young Sohn.

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With annual sales of around $7 billion, Harman is perhaps best known as a producer of mid and high-end in-car audio equipment, including the automotive lines of Bang & Olufsen. An estimated 30 million vehicles now are equipped with one of those systems.


Chinese Test Project Could Allow Tracking of All Cars

Could permit pay-as-you-drive system; privacy issues raised.

by on Mar.09, 2016

In the near future, all Chinese cars could be required to carry tracking equipment.

A pilot project in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen will allow the government to track 200,000 vehicles in real time.

The project could be used as part of an effort to tax vehicles depending on where and how much they drive. It also could serve as the first step in developing so-called vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure, or V2V and V2I, technologies for tomorrow’s autonomous cars.

We Track Tech!

But the system, which could eventually be rolled out across China, also raises some significant privacy issues, especially in a country that is now proposing new restrictions on use of the Internet that would make it harder for government critics to remain anonymous.


From Yards to Inches: Improving GPS for Autonomous Vehicles

Technology will also improve smartphones and wearable tech.

by on Feb.16, 2016

At least 24 of the GPS satellites are needed in orbit to ensure all parts of the planet are covered.

Originally developed for military use, the Global Positioning System has transformed civilian life, as well. It allows us to find friends, restaurants and stores using a myriad of consumer devices, from iPhones to built-in automotive navigation systems.

But the real test of the GPS system is fast approaching. The technology is likely to become essential to the operation of the autonomous vehicles set to start rolling across our highways early in the coming decade. The satellite-based guidance system will be paired up with laser, radar, camera and other sensors that will demand levels of accuracy measured in inches, rather than yards, which is the best the current GPS system can deliver.

Global news!

A new development by the University of California, Riverside could hold the key to getting there. And their research could payoff in improvements in other consumer products, as well, from mobile phones to wearable technologies.


Obama Administration Wants $4 Billion for Connected Cars, Autonomous Vehicles

DoT chief announces plans to accelerate vehicle safety innovations.

by on Jan.14, 2016

DOT Sec. Anthony Foxx, at podium, with auto industry leaders at the Detroit Auto Show.

As he wraps up his final year in office, President Barack Obama is calling for significant improvements in vehicle safety and will, among other things, seek $3.9 billion in funding for the development of connected car technology and automated vehicles, a senior administration official announced in Detroit today.

During a visit today to the North American International Auto Show on Thursday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx outlined the new budget proposal as well as a number of broader steps the Department of Transportation plans to take to accelerate vehicle safety innovations.

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“We are on the cusp of a new era in automotive technology with enormous potential to save lives, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and transform mobility for the American people,” said Sec. Foxx, calling the new actions a “path forward for manufacturers, state officials and consumers to use new technologies and achieve their full safety potential.”


Toyota Partnership Could Give Connected Drivers All the Bandwidth They Can Use

New car-satellite antenna could be the answer to data-hungry connected cars.

by on Jan.12, 2016

Toyota is using a Mirai fuel-cell vehicle to test out the Kymeta satellite antennas.

Bandwidth. In an era of connected cars, you can never get enough. And the number of 1s and 0s tomorrow’s autonomous vehicles will consume could grow exponentially, according to technology specialists.

Even with 5G, the next generation of cellphone technology, looming on the horizon, that may not be enough. But Toyota thinks it may have found an answer in the form of Kymeta Corp., a Washington State-based technology company that is developing a new type of satellite antenna that could deliver massive amounts to data to moving vehicles.

Your Data Source!

The challenge is to come up with a “secure, high-bandwidth communications system” that will work in a car, said Toyota Senior Managing Director Shigeki Tomoyama, during a news conference at the North American International Auto Show.


Toyota Plugs into Ford’s New SmartDeviceLink

New open-source software will increase access to smartphone apps.

by on Jan.04, 2016

Ford will soon have Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and its own AppLink in its vehicles,

The push for connected cars is making for some strange bedfellows. In its push to let users access more of their smartphone apps directly through their car’s infotainment system, Toyota is turning to Ford Motor Co. for help.

Toyota will become the first maker to use open source software dubbed SmartDeviceLink. It’s essentially the same technology developed by Ford for use in its vehicles under the proprietary name AppLink. Ford wants to bring even more partners onboard, betting that it can set an industry standard that will make it easier for both carmakers and car buyers alike to access smartphone apps like Pandora, Spotify and iHeartRadio.

Tech Talk!

Ford is planning to offer an updated version of AppLink on its own cars later this year, making it possible to use smartphone navigation software in cars not equipped with a built-in navi system. But Ford is also rolling out Apple CarPlay and the similar Android Auto systems as part of its updated Sync3 infotainment technology.


Your Next BMW Could Spot the Red Light Before You Do

EnLighten feature could save time, fuel, and reduce crashes.

by on Aug.10, 2015

BMW's version of EnLighten will show you what the next light is, and how fast to drive to get there before it changes.

If you’ve ever gotten stuck behind one red light after another during your daily commute, you’ll likely appreciate a new feature BMW has developed that could save you time, gas and a fair bit of frustration.

The maker is working with an Oregon tech start-up to give its drivers an advanced alert letting them know when the next stoplight is about to go green or red, and suggest the best speed to avoid a wait.

Give Us the Green Light!

In a growing number of cities, stoplights are being linked up in a regional network. They operate in sequence and may even adjust their timing to improve traffic flow. The EnLighten app, developed by Connected Signals, of Eugene, Oregon, can tap into those urban networks and determine when you’re approaching a light using a smartphone’s GPS feature. The system can then figure out whether the light is going to be red or green.


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.

High-Tech News!

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.


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.

Tech Savvy!

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.


GM Goes Wireless – With a Little Help from Outside

Former Dell exec leads effort to add WiFi to new GM vehicles.

by on Jun.11, 2013

GM expects to significantly expand the services available to motorists, such as the new OnStar Family Link, when it builds 4G service into all its new vehicles.

It’s a connected world and for those who can’t stomach the idea of being out of touch even behind the wheel, General Motors has laid out an ambitious plan to integrate 4G WiFi service into every vehicle it builds by 2015.

To spearhead the plan, GM is reaching beyond its traditional comfort zone, turning to a tech veteran, rather than an automotive insider.  Mary Chan will not only oversee the 4G project but take over GM’s more than decade-old OnStar telematics service, as well.

Stay Wired!

Chan joins GM in the newly created role of President, Global Connected Consumer. In this capacity she reports to Vice Chairman Stephen Girsky and has responsibility over the recently formed global Infotainment Business Unit as well as OnStar and the 4G initiative.