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Posts Tagged ‘in-car internet’

Car Buyers Crave Connectivity

New study finds motorists want connected cars – and also want to shop more online.

by on Mar.26, 2013

Motorists want their cars to deliver the sort of connected technologies they already have in homes, offices and on smartphones.

Automakers who want to connect with their customers have to make sure they offer the latest in connected car technology, according to a new study.

Buyers don’t want to differentiate between what technology they can access behind the wheel from what they already have in their homes, offices – or on their smartphones, according to a report by consulting firm Capgemini.

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That extends to the buying process, the study of 8,000 consumers from eight countries revealed. Buyers are more and more focused on the web when it comes to gathering information on the vehicles they’re likely to buy. And dealers and manufacturers who don’t embrace that – and respond quickly to online shoppers – will likely lose sales.

“Especially for young buyers, this is what pulls them in,” Michael Boruszok, vice president of Capgemini’s automotive practice, tells


BMW’s Newest Diesel, 2014 328d, Debuting in NY

Latest in a wave of “oil-burners” hitting U.S. market.

by on Mar.14, 2013

BMW will add the new diesel 328d model.

With the apparent embrace of America’s increasingly mileage-minded buyers, German makers are flooding the U.S. market with an assortment of new diesel offerings, BMW to join the fray when it reveals the 328d sedan at the upcoming New York Auto Show.

The compact sedan will catch the spotlight alongside several other new models making their first appearances in North America, including the BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo first unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month, along with the Concept Active Tourer that anchored the BMW display at the Paris Motor Show last autumn.

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The German maker also plans some significant news on the technology front, including the ability to add mobile WiFi service in some of its products, along with a new eCall emergency call service that can even advise first responders if a crash might result in serious injuries.


Students Design In-Car Apps for Ford Fiesta

Making mobile Internet access easier – and safer, Ford claims.

by on May.14, 2010

University of Michigan student Collin Hockey describes the app developed by his team for Ford's Sync system. Photo (c) Bryan Laviolette

For a growing number of people, the Internet is an ever-present companion, whether they’re using a laptop to pay bills or posting a status update on facebook from their smartphone. In fact, there’s really just one place, doing one activity, where connecting to the Net is a problem: behind the wheel of a car while driving.

Ford is looking for a way to make that possible – safely — and the company has turned to those drivers most connected to the Web to find a solution.  They have formed a partnership with a class at the University of Michigan (U-M) where students are designing apps for use in the car – specifically through Ford’s Sync technology.

The research project has so far resulted in six programs for the company’s new Fiesta, a subcompact due to launch as a 2011 model. Ford uses Sync’s voice recognition technology to make these applications accessible while driving.

“We’re talking about bringing the Internet up to speed,” Alan Hall, technology communications manager for Ford, said. “Voice is what we really see as the primary interface moving forward.”

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Marrying the Internet to the automobile will also aid productivity, said Venkatesh Prasad, group and technical leader of Ford’s infotronics research and advanced engineering team. He said that commuting to and from work is lost time while the driver has to concentrate only on driving.


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.

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“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.”