BMW and Hyundai top J.D. Power car technology rankings


BMW and Hyundai are the highest ranked car brands with regard to experience with vehicle technology, according to an inaugural report from J.D. Power.

The Tech Experience Index (TXI) measured car models and manufacturers on collision protection, comfort and convenience, driving assistance, entertainment and connectivity, navigation, and smartphone mirroring. The study found that two BMW cars – the 2 Series for small premium and 4 Series for compact premium – and two Hyundai...

By James Bourne, 12 October 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Insurance, Regulation, Standards.

Gartner predicts connected car production to break 60 million by 2020


Connected car production will grow from 12.4 million shipments at the end of this year to almost 61 million by 2020, according to the latest research note from analyst house Gartner.

The end of 2015 saw 6.8 million units globally, with 4.68m of those tethered – to a mobile device – and 2.17m embedded. 2017 will however see the turning point where embedded systems will dominate, with 11.1m compared to 9.97m tethered. By 2020, the numbers for embedded and tethered are predicted...

By James Bourne, 30 September 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Contextual data, Devices, Ecosystems.

US government releases driverless cars policy


The US government has released its official verdict on autonomous cars, claimed to be rooted in the US Department of Transportation’s view that such ventures bring “enormous potential benefits” for safety and mobility.

Key to the policy is a 15-point safety assessment for manufacturers on how to achieve a ‘robust’ design for highly automated vehicles (HAVs). Different approaches are allowed so long as the main criteria are met.

Among the more interesting...

By James Bourne, 20 September 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Driverless, Regulation.

Google’s latest patent offering helps driverless cars better detect emergency vehicles


In a famous episode of UK sitcom Only Fools and Horses, the protagonists chase an ambulance through London after a deal goes awry – and then lose it as it goes straight through a red traffic light. “How could you possibly lose an ambulance?” exhorts Del Boy. “It’s a ruddy great big white thing with a flashing blue light on the top! And in case your peepers ain’t too clever, it makes a sound like an air...

By James Bourne, 07 September 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Connectivity, Driverless, Predicitive analytics, Swarm.

Vodafone working with Skoda to connect new Kodiaq model


Vodafone has announced it is providing connectivity for the new Skoda Kodiaq, launched last week.

In a short news alert, the telco confirmed the Kodiaq will be equipped with a specialised SIM card, which keeps the vehicle connected to the Vodafone network and enables the vehicle’s driver to keep on top of various information, including whether the car is locked, its location, as well as automatically contacting the Skoda emergency call centre in the event of an accident.


By James Bourne, 06 September 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Big Data, Connectivity, Data & Analytics.

Lux Research connected car report gives damning verdict on automotive firms


If you take out electric vehicle-specific manufacturers such as Tesla, the race for connected car superiority has two horses running; technology firms, such as Apple and Google, and traditional automotive manufacturers. Yet a new report from Lux Research gives only five automotive firms a pass – Daimler, Honda, Hyundai, Toyota, and Volvo.

The report argues only a few manufacturers have demonstrated “significant technical advancements” over their direct...

By James Bourne, 29 June 2016, 1 comment. Categories: Driverless, Ecosystems.

Mitsubishi hack shows why current connected car security just isn’t up to it


Another day, another story of car hacking and general skulduggery. First we had Jeep, then it was Corvette, and now, after several others, it is the turn of Mitsubishi.

Research from Pen Test Partners found a high number of security vulnerabilities in the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV; in the words of Ken Munro, of Pen Test Partners, some of which were funny, others were...

By James Bourne, 09 June 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Driverless, Privacy, Security.

Warning shot fired to vehicle manufacturers: Get up to speed on connected cars


A new piece of research from TNS and the BearingPoint Institute has sounded a warning to traditional vehicle manufacturers: if you don’t get your act together on connected car technology, then tech companies such as Google, Apple, and Uber will surge ahead.

The research, which polled 3,700 connected car owners in Europe, recommended that OEMs need to increase awareness and understanding of connected car features, which are ‘easy to use’ and ‘drive...

By James Bourne, 24 May 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Driverless, Infotainment.

US drivers still not confident about prospect of self-driving cars


A new report from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) has found that among US drivers their preference is for vehicles with no self-driving capability.

The research follows a similar UMTRI study from July last year which argued only 15% of 505 respondents would be happy with completely self-driving cars. This time around, with responses from 618 US drivers, the numbers are similar; again, 15% say they would be happy with self-driving cars, compared to 38%...

By James Bourne, 23 May 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Driverless.

Google’s latest patent aims to help driverless cars better understand humans


We have all seen humorous videos of what a world fully consisting of driverless cars will look like. It’s fascinating as well as somewhat hair-raising seeing cars manoeuvring through swarm intelligence systems and missing each other by inches at high speed.

The latest patent from Google aims to take this a step further, by aiming to help its fleet of driverless cars better understand other cars’ turning signals.

The patent, which can be seen in full

By James Bourne, 13 April 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Driverless.

England tentatively pushes further towards testing driverless cars


Highways England, the arbiter for road network infrastructure in England, has unveiled a wide-ranging plan including opportunities for driverless cars and Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

Among the initial projects to be funded, according to the report, includes motorway to motorway traffic management schemes, as well as a ‘collaborative traffic management’ programme on the M25, as part of wider plans to make the road network and vehicles safer.

“We will pursue a...

By James Bourne, 07 April 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Driverless, Swarm.

Google’s self-driving cars potentially given green light by NHTSA


A letter from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to Google has opened the door for the tech giant’s self-driving car system to be legally viable on US roads.

The letter, from NHTSA chief counsel Paul Hemmersbaugh to Google self-driving car chief Chris Urmson, grants “several” of Google’s requests for...

By James Bourne, 10 February 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Driverless, Regulation.

Google reports 13 accidents and 272 failures in its self-driving cars


The figures are in: Google’s self-driving cars have been involved in 13 accidents and 272 failures in the 14 months ending December 2015, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (CDMV) – but the search giant is again swerving responsibility for the prangs.

The most failures, or ‘disengages’ as the report describes them, per month arrived in January 2015, with 48 over 18,000 miles. April saw 47 disengages, while December 2014 had 40 errors. The...

By James Bourne, 14 January 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Data & Analytics, Driverless.

Google leads the way in software and self-driving car implementation, report finds


If the key to self-driving cars is software that can interpret all vehicle sensors and mimic driving experiences, then Google is the current technological leader, according to a research note from IHS Automotive.

The firm estimates Google has invested almost $60m in autonomous vehicle research and development, as well as arguing the tech giant will have a “major impact” in the coming years.

The argument over who will take the crown in the connected car space, be it...

By James Bourne, 12 November 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Driverless, Ecosystems.

Research report assesses severity of crashes involving self-driving cars

(c) Kujansuu

A report from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) argues that self-driving vehicles currently have a higher crash rate per million miles travelled than conventional vehicles, as well as for injuries per crash.

The report, entitled “A Preliminary Analysis of Real-World Crashes Involving Self-Driving Vehicles”, notes that hard data, naturally, is on the low side, but the ‘current best estimate’ favours conventional vehicles....

By James Bourne, 09 November 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Driverless, Security.

Industry panel analyses connected car security and app ecosystem


Consumer adoption of connected cars will not be achieved by a ‘killer app’, but leveraging platforms to create a ‘frictionless’ driving experience, according to an industry panel including AT&T and General Motors.

The discussion, which was hosted by Internet of Things (IoT) solutions provider Jasper in San Francisco and also included representatives from ChargePoint and LoJack, examined how the IoT is enabling the connected car ecosystem.

Win Williams, VP IoT...

By James Bourne, 28 September 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Apps, Security.

Verizon launches into connected car space with Hum


Verizon Telematics has announced the commercial availability of Hum, which promises to be a “smart, connected driving experience for more than 150 million vehicles.”

Hum’s staying power, like a lot of software this publication has assessed in recent weeks, is that it can be connected to practically any car. It can be installed through an onboard diagnostic reader (OBD), with a Bluetooth-enabled device on the visor, which updates drivers with real-time data...

By James Bourne, 28 August 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Connectivity, Devices, Ecosystems.

Drivers not keen on autonomous yet – but something that helps us park? Now you’re talking

(c) Shaw

Regular readers of this publication will note the prevailing wind in terms of driver preference for driverless cars; for both US and UK motorists, it’s a pretty firm no right now. But semi-autonomous features, such as improved parking capability and being able to avoid collisions is proving particularly popular, according to figures released by Ford.

According to the carmaker, one in three Ford cars sold in the past year were equipped with parking systems that help drivers find...

By James Bourne, 26 August 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Driverless.

Driving forward vehicle data transmission: It’s all about standards

Picture credit: HERE

Location and navigation technology provider HERE has convened a forum aimed to foster greater industry collaboration in vehicle sensor data transmission, with the contingent arguing a universal standard needs to be agreed upon.

The forum, involving 16 companies ranging from automotive manufacturers to system vendors, examined a variety of issues from security to data content.

HERE, a Nokia subsidiary, argues the need for an industry standard where vehicle sensor data is ‘ingested by a location...

By James Bourne, 24 August 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Connectivity, Data & Analytics, Regulation, Swarm.

Corvette hack: More evidence that in the race for the IoT, security is not in mind?

(c) Stizzoli

In July, this publication reported on the recall of 1.4 million Chrysler cars following an article in Wired whereby a Jeep was remotely exploited by hackers in a controlled experiment, ranging from turning the radio volume to full to cutting the transmission.

At the time, security analysts argued “this won’t be the last patch we see for a car near...

By James Bourne, 17 August 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Cloud, Privacy, Security.