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Posts Tagged ‘connected car’

GM Marketplace Will Let You Order Coffee, Donuts, Even Make Reservations While Driving

Automakers look for new revenue sources; see big opportunities when driverless vehicles come to market.

by on Dec.05, 2017

A customer places an order for coffee to go using the new GM Marketplace service.

Every morning, millions of American commuters stop for fuel or coffee on the way to work, and the new GM Marketplace is designed to make that process even quicker and easier.

Now, with the tap of a button on their vehicle’s touchscreen, motorists driving late-model General Motors vehicles will be able to order coffee or food from several popular fast food chains, such as Starbucks, locate a nearby gas station, even make dinner or hotel reservations using the Priceline service. It’s part of a push by GM and other automakers to provide new, in-vehicle features that could become major sources of revenues as autonomous and fully driverless vehicles come to market in the near future.

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“The average American spends 46 minutes per day on the road driving,” said Santiago Chamorro, vice president for global connected customer experience at GM. “We have an opportunity to make every trip more productive and give our customers time back.”


Toyota, Intel, Others Form “Big Data” Consortium

Move aimed to support era of smart, autonomous vehicles.

by on Aug.11, 2017

The Toyota FCV Plus cconcept is the sort of futuristic vehicle that will consumer lots of data.

More and more American homes are being wired up for super-high-speed Internet service to handle the demands for gaming, streaming video and home automation devices. But with the age of connected and autonomous vehicles soon expected to become a reality, one of the big challenges will be to create a mobile “big data” ecosystem.

Tomorrow’s cars will need to not only talk to one another but access incredibly detailed, real-time 3D maps constantly updated to show both traffic and disruptions like road work. That could require a flow of information rivaling what goes in and out of a high-tech home, but without the wired data pipeline.

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To address the challenges this will create, Toyota is setting up a new consortium with tech giants Intel and Ericsson, Japanese telecomm firm NTT DoCoMo, and auto parts firm Denso. Toyota also says it will leave the new Automotive Edge Computing Consortium open for other “relevant” tech and automotive companies to join.


Samsung Joins Apple in Increasingly Crowded Autonomous Vehicle Race

Korean giant likely to try licensing its technology to new and established automakers.

by on May.03, 2017

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

The world’s largest manufacturer of smartphones has publicly joined the push to put driverless vehicles on the road, Samsung joining a field increasingly crowded with high-tech players like Apple, Amazon and Google spin-off Waymo – as well as traditional automakers including General Motors, Ford, Daimler, Nissan and Toyota.

Samsung has long been interested in the auto industry, starting a more traditional car manufacturing operation in 1994 before selling off a controlling stake to Nissan a few years later. It has lately been investing heavily in connected car technologies, including U.S.-based Harman International, and several Israeli tech firms.

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This week, Samsung pushed into the autonomous space, getting approval from the government in South Korea to begin testing driverless vehicles. It becomes one of the 20 companies to win a permit from its home market.


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.