Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘in-car entertainment’

Forget MP3s and Satellite Radio. Most Motorists Still Tuning into AM & FM

Drivers still think that “free is for me.”

by on Apr.17, 2015

Drivers have more choices than ever to be entertained when behind the wheel, yet most still listen good ol' AM & FM radio.

Unless you like to hear the thrum of tires on pavement or the roar of your engine, odds are you’re listening to something else while driving, whether music, a prerecorded book, a game or perhaps news or talk.

These days, motorists have any number of options on what to listen to – and how. Most cars still have CD players while a growing number are adding satellite radio, MP3 players, Bluetooth audio and other options. But according to a new study, those old-school media, AM and FM radio, still reign supreme.

We Keep You Plugged In!

Even in cars equipped with all those new media sources, the vast majority of motorists told Ipsos Research that they’re most likely to listen to standard, terrestrial radio. (more…)

Autonomous Cars, In-Vehicle Infotainment Steer New Direction at CES

Automakers hope to turn the car into a digital showpiece.

by on Jan.08, 2013

Ford Chief Technology Officer Paul Masarenas at this year's Consumer Electronics Show.

Want your friends to get a Glympse of what you’re up to? That’s easy if you’re using the Glympse smartphone app and driving a Ford product equipped with the maker’s latest-generation Sync infotainment system.  With the touch of a button and a simple voice command, the technology will allow a driver to send out a bulletin alerting friends where you are – and where you’re heading.

“We’re providing drivers with a rich, real-time and hands-free way to share where they are,” explains Brian Bryan Trussel, the CEO of Glympse, which is showing off its new software – and its partnership with Ford at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

CES is the largest trade show in the country and this year organizers are reporting record turnout at an even featuring 3,250 exhibitors spread out across 1.9 million square feet of exhibition space at the Las Vegas Convention Center. And that doesn’t include spin-off gatherings scattered all across Sin City.


Traditionally, the show has focused on televisions, audio systems, computers and smartphones, but in recent years automotive technology has come to play a more important role. More than a dozen different automakers have staked out a presence at the 2013 CES, along with scores of hardware suppliers, app makers and other vendors looking to make inroads into the transportation industry.


Digital Windows on the World?

GM concept would make those glass panels interactive.

by on Jan.18, 2012

Animated character Otto helps a child connect with the outside world using a "smart" rear window.

Game Boys and backseat monitors are “so five years ago,” suggests Tom Seder, a manager at the General Motors R&D labs.

Working with the Future Lab, at Israel’s Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, GM researchers are exploring ways to turn a car’s rear windows into interactive devices that could permit backseat passengers – children in particular – to have a more interesting experience while traveling.

According to GM, the Windows of Opportunity, or WOO, Project was inspired by studies showing that travelers often feel disconnected from the world outside.  The goal of the project isn’t to replace those Game Boys, iPads and seatback monitors as a way to play Mario Brothers, but to actually nurture curiosity about what’s beyond the passenger compartment.

In the Know!

“Traditionally, the use of interactive displays in cars has been limited to the driver and front passenger, but we see an opportunity to provide a technology interface designed specifically for rear seat passengers,” said Seder. “Advanced windows that are capable of responding to vehicle speed and location could augment real world views with interactive enhancements to provide entertainment and educational value.”


“A Car is Not a Mobile Device,” Warns NHTSA Chief

Top U.S. safety regulator urges caution at annual telematics conference.

by on Jun.09, 2011

David L. Strickland was sworn in January 4, 2010. Prior to his appointment, he served for eight years on the staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. As the Senior Counsel for the Consumer Protection Subcommittee, he was the lead staff person for the oversight of NHTSA, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. He also served as the lead Senate staff person in the formulation of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) reforms and standards included in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. He held a staff leadership role in the 2005 reauthorization of NHTSA in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act -- a Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU).

NHTSA chief David Strickland insists drivers don't need to be "connected" at all times.

The technology is now available to offer pretty much any high-tech service a motorist might want, from in-car Internet access to live video on the go, but the nation’s top safety regulator threw some cold water in the face of those who’d like to capitalize on these lucrative technologies at the potential risk of those on the road.

“I’m just putting everyone on notice,” proclaimed David Strickland, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  “A car is not a mobile device,” he said, without irony, during an appearance at the Telematics Detroit 2011 conference.  “I’m not in the business of helping people Tweet better.  I’m not in the business of helping people post on Facebook better.”

The high-tech and automotive industries have found common ground in recent years.  Automakers, as well as aftermarket vendors, are offering an array of new features that can be stuffed into the passenger compartment.  There’s onboard mapping, of course, as well as real-time traffic and weather.  Motorists can find the cheapest local gas station, listen to Internet radio and have their text messages and e-mail read out in a synthesized voice.

All manner of new apps and systems are being unveiled at the telematics conference.  And for good reason.  The rise of the smartphone has clearly underscored the public’s appetite for technology they previously could only get at home or in the office – if at all.

Subscribe for Free!

Advanced systems, such as Ford’s popular Sync, have been shown to improve brand recognition and owner loyalty – and can generate substantial revenue streams, as well.

But there’s a down side to the telematics revolution, underscored by government estimates that thousands of motorists and pedestrians are being killed each year due to driver distraction.


Wireless ‘Hotspots’ – From Cafes to Cars

Internet access inside cars opens up more than a browser.

by on Aug.04, 2009

From cafes to cars, Internet access is becoming ubiquitous, and with it, your kids may soon start asking, "Already?" rather than, "Are we there yet."

From cafes to cars, Internet access is becoming ubiquitous, and with it, your kids may soon start asking, "Already?" rather than, "Are we there yet."

We like to think of ourselves as a “mobile” society.  A new generation of wireless technology will make that term more appropriate than ever.

Autonet Mobile markets an electronic device that resembles the wireless router you may have in your home, and it does pretty much the same thing, providing access to the Internet for nearby computers, game controllers, smart phones, and other connectable devices. The difference is that the Autonet device provides Internet access via cellular data networks for devices in a moving vehicle. That is a deceptively difficult feat, according to Autonet CEO Sterling Pratz, but an important one for automakers, dealers, suppliers, service providers, and car buyers, as well as for kids playing games or watching YouTube videos in the back seat, and for front seat passengers checking email or browsing Facebook.

Stay connected!

Stay connected!

“The car is moving between cell towers while it’s uploading and downloading files, we’re accommodating all kinds of devices, and we’re doing it without requiring users to install any software,” Pratz explains. “It wasn’t enough just to build a router; we had to design an intelligent network specifically for moving vehicles – one capable of managing content as well as the connection and the devices, that didn’t interfere with the car’s electrical system, and didn’t require the driver to pull over to the side of the road and ‘reboot’ the connection.”