Google makes Android Auto APIs available to developers

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Prospective car app developers can now get their hands on the first two Android Auto APIs after Google announced their availability.

Android’s car-focused sibling lets drivers extend smartphone apps onto their car dashboard in a way that is optimised for the driving experience, with support for head-unit display, steering wheel buttons and more.

The APIs support Android 5 or higher in a bid to reach across manufacturers, models, and regions, meaning developers only need to tailor...

By Simon Holland, 24 November 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Devices, Ecosystems, Infotainment, Video and audio.

Jaguar Land Rover goes it alone with justDrive platform launch

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Manufacturer of 4x4 vehicles and luxury saloons Jaguar Land Rover has unleashed justDrive, a new infotainment and connectivity platform.

Instead of opting for one of the more renowned operating systems, Jaguar has chosen Silicon Valley-based CloudCar to base its platform on. Jaguar has optimised justDrive for CloudCar’s InControl platform, which will support Apple iOS 8 and Android mobile phones.

When asked by Connected Car Tech about the reasoning behind Jaguar’s...

By Simon Holland, 20 November 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Apps, Devices, Infotainment, iOS, Navigation, Voice activation.

LG joins AT&T’s Drive Studio programme

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AT&T’s innovation and research centre Drive Studio already has 12 companies signed up and now LG Electronics has joined the party.

LG is hoping to work with Studio to develop new services for future connected cars, with it focusing mostly on hardware and equipment rather than the software side that many are investing in.

Drive Studio has been built to help with the research and development of the connected car industry and includes working garage bays, a speech lab, a full...

By Simon Holland, 19 November 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Connectivity, Contextual data, Data & Analytics, Predicitive analytics.

Car manufacturers in US calm consumer data collection concerns

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Smarter cars equate to more data being available on an owner’s driving habits, a notion not lost on US trade organisation the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers that has announced new guidelines to manage consumer anxiety.

In a statement released on the Alliance’s website, Mitch Bainwol, the body’s president and CEO, immediately set out to allay consumer concerns by explaining how important it was to be transparent about the features of connected...

Volkswagen hints at the driving data of the future

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German car manufacturer Volkswagen (VW) has announced a new partnership with Inrix, a move that offers a glimpse at the type of data drivers will have at their fingertips over the coming years.

Inrix, a big data company that specialises in traffic information, analytics and driver services for connected cars and smart cities worldwide, will be offering VW access to its Inrix Park and Inrix Fuel services.

VW intends to use the Inrix products in its new European Passat models...

EFF proposals could hinder telematics insurance companies in US

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Digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation has moved to dismantle copyright legislation that prevents car owners from tinkering with their own vehicle's software programming.

The USA’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a series of copyright laws that aims to protect the rights of both copyright owners and consumers, restricts access to a car’s electronic control unit (ECU) on the grounds of vehicle safety.

A host of requests have been filed with the...

Microsoft and Nissan outsource “the car of the future”

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Nissan has partnered with Microsoft to launch a competition that the two companies hope will find in-car technology’s next big thing.

Aimed at product designers and engineers from various backgrounds, it is hoped that everybody from students to IT professionals will want to submit a technology idea for the the two company’s connected car competition.

Microsoft and Nissan hope to entice entrants with the...

By Simon Holland, 07 November 2014, 1 comment. Categories: Microsoft, Security.

Atmel offers glimpse at its connected car roadmap

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Manufacturer of microcontrollers and touch solutions, Atmel, has unveiled a raft of technology concepts that it hopes will disrupt the connected car ecosystem.

Atmel has been working on a product it is calling AvantCar, an automotive centre console with curved touch screens. The concept makes use of the company’s sensor and processing solutions, Sense, maXTouch and QTouch along with its 8-bit AVR MCU technologies.

Focusing on car access, Atmel has shone some light on passive entry...

By Simon Holland, 07 November 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Apps, Connectivity.

Mojio gives older vehicles in North America a connected car lifeline

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As car manufacturers invest large sums of cash in technology that will connect drivers of new models to the internet, Canadian company Mojio has set out to fill the used car void.

Boasting an open platform, Mojio says its hardware will connect any car to the internet of things through premium mobile phone networks. The company has signed agreements with AT&T in the US and TELUS in Canada.

The open platform that Mojio offers already has a number of apps in its store, with support from...

GM Android infotainment deal is a win for Google

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Google is set to be the major beneficiary of a deal involving the installation of its Android mobile operating system in General Motors vehicles.

In its latest earnings call, Harman International Industries CEO Dinesh Paliwal revealed that the company, which won a won a $900 million contract from General Motors in 2012 to supply a next-generation infotainment system, will be based on Android.

The deal is a serious coup for Google as the connected car industry becomes another area where...

By Simon Holland, 06 November 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Apps, Infotainment, iOS.

Visteon unveils raft of new connected car features

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Global automotive supplier Visteon has lifted the lid on its own interpretation of where the connected car industry is headed over the next few years.

With eyes as far ahead as 2018, Visteon has announced details of its Fusion connected platform that it says will launch in four years time. The infotainment platform bundles together driver information, infotainment and Cloud connectivity into a human machine interaction (HMI) experience.

Visteon’s Tim Yerdon, global leader,...

UK government paves way for uninterrupted car connectivity

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Mobile coverage in the UK is far from seamless, especially when users travel across the country, but Westminster has announced plans to combat these so-called ‘not-spots’.

The UK government revealed that poor mobile coverage causes regular frustration to approximately one fifth of the UK. You can forget data connectivity, this inadequate reception leaves users without the ability to perform basic tasks such as sending texts and making calls.

One of the suggested remedies is...

By Simon Holland, 05 November 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Connectivity, Contextual data, Data & Analytics, Predicitive analytics.

NXP reveals intention to bring NFC to cars

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Co-inventor of near field communications (NFC) NXP has announced plans for the automotive industry with a whole batch of new products for the space.

NFC has barely reached critical mass in the consumer mobile market, yet NXP has decided that now is the perfect time to unleash new NFC tags, transceivers and a high-end NFC controller on the car industry.

However, Kurt Sievers, executive vice president and general manager of automotive business at NXP Semiconductors argues that there is...

By Simon Holland, 05 November 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Bluetooth, Connectivity, NFC.

Speech to text rates high on list of in-car distractions

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Voice-activated technology is at the core of many of today’s connected car implementations, but new research finds it to be one of the top distractions for drivers.

Speech-to-text performanceThe recent study from the Automotive Association of America Foundation for Traffic Safety uses several ranking factors to compare speech-to-text technology with other tasks that might...

By Simon Holland, 04 November 2014, 0 comments. Categories: CarPlay, iOS, Voice activation.