Pizza Hut, Visa and Accenture in cohorts on car commerce concept

Visa, Pizza Hut and Accenture are to collaborate on a proof-of-concept connected car that will be used to test commerce possibilities when drivers are out and about.

The concept will bring together several technologies, including Visa Checkout, mobile connectivity, Bluetooth and iBeacon, so that staff will be alerted when a customer has arrived to collect their pizza.

Takeaway food might be the initial focus of the tests, but the trio of companies have visions of their technology being adopted for everyday...

BMW investigates femtocell technology for cars

Smartphones, tablets and wireless-enabled wearable technology will all become more reliable if BMW succeeds in bringing its Vehicular Small Cell research project to road cars.

Originally conceived to provide mobile phone signal in areas that normally struggle with poor coverage, femtocell technology was designed with thick-walled country cottages and large, insulated structures in mind.

BMW, however, is working with Nash Technologies and peiker acustic to circumvent the signal shielding that can cause...

By Simon Holland, 03 March 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Connectivity.

Bluetooth and voice top car communications issues

Aspects of in-car communication are still causing headaches for drivers, with a study from market research firm J.D. Power placing Bluetooth connectivity and voice interpretation at the top of a list of woes.

Of those that experience Bluetooth pairing or connectivity issues, 55% complained that the vehicle did not recognise their phone and 31% admitted their device would not automatically connect when entering the car.

Failing communications are playing a part with drivers’ decisions to repurchase with...

By Simon Holland, 27 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Bluetooth, Connectivity, Devices, Voice activation.

Hella plans to alert drivers when bodywork is damaged


The Hella group has released details of a new system called the Intelligent Damage Detection System that is capable of detecting scratches and dents as they happen.

Depending on the specification, anything from two to 12 sensors are positioned through a car’s body panels. A central control panel is able to detect a pressure being applied to the panel and then decide whether it is rain or something far less innocuous like a scratch.

By Simon Holland, 26 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Apps, Connectivity, Contextual data, Data & Analytics, Devices, Insurance, Security.

Connected car market worth trillions of dollars by 2020?


Connected cars are on the rise, this much is certain, but how fast the market will grow in the future is an area that is still up for discussion and one company has its own take on where the industry is headed.

By the year 2020, Business Insider Intelligence estimates that the market’s value will be $2.2 trillion thanks to the 220 million connected cars due to be be on the road by then, although connected services will only be used by consumers in 88 million of...

By Simon Holland, 24 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Artificial Intelligence, Connectivity, Driverless.

Volvo to move its driverless project on to Gothenburg’s streets

After less than two years of development Volvo has already announced plans to bring its self-driving project to the roads of Sweden’s second-largest city, Gothenburg.

Volvo’s autonomous vehicle project DriveMe aims to put 100 self-driving cars in the hands of customers by 2017, a step that is being heralded as a landmark by Dr Peter Mertens, the company’s senior vice president of research and development.

“We are entering uncharted territory in the field of autonomous driving,”...

By Simon Holland, 20 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Artificial Intelligence, Driverless.

Redbend aims to simplify over-the-air software updates for manufacturers


Mobile software management company Redbend continues its advance on the connected car industry with the launch of over-the-air software management platform Redbend 10.

Fresh from being acquired by Connecticut-headquartered Harman, Redbend has announced its latest package that lets manufacturers apply software and firmware updates using

By Simon Holland, 19 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Connectivity, Devices, Infotainment.

Huawei and Orange join forces on Car Wi-Fi


Internet access in the connected car will become a great deal more usable after Chinese telecommunications company Huawei and Orange, a French mobile network, announced a wi-fi product for cars in Spain.

Huawei’s Car Wi-Fi system can manage up to 10 different devices, including laptops, mobile phones and tablets. For the average car that seats a maximum of five people, each person would be able to use two different internet-connected devices which is more than...

By Simon Holland, 17 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Connectivity, Devices.

Sony’s image sensors branch out into driverless technology

Electronics company Sony has its eyes on the connected car industry after investing in ZMP, a Japanese startup that manufactures robot cars.

Purchasing a 2% stake for 100 million yen ($842,000), Sony is said to be interested in offering its expertise in image sensors to further ZMP’s development of driverless cars.

Sony’s diversification comes at a time when the firm expected to report its financials in early February, but was instead forced to delay the announcement by a month because of the...

By Simon Holland, 16 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Driverless, Video and audio.

US legislation for connected car cybersecurity edges closer

Federal standards that secure cars and protect drivers’ privacy have taken a step closer to reality, after new legislation was announced at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing.

Senators Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut want the legislation to direct National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to create these new federal standards.

The concerted push for legislation comes after Markey’s own office

By Simon Holland, 12 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Bluetooth, Connectivity, NFC, Privacy, Regulation, Security, Standards.

Driverless tests on UK public roads given go ahead

Automated vehicles in the UK are clear to begin testing on public roads after the Department for Transport released a report stating that the country was in a “unique position” to make these trials a success.

Most European countries have signed the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, requiring every moving vehicle to include a driver. However the UK has signed, but not ratified the convention meaning it can give the green light to

By Simon Holland, 11 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Artificial Intelligence, Driverless.

Connected car security ripped apart by US senator


United States Senator for Massachusetts, Ed Markey, has released a new report criticising the current connected car security measures that many top manufacturers currently employ.

Almost all modern vehicles have a wireless entry point, while some even have multiple WEPs, including Bluetooth, keyless entry, remote start, wi-fi and telematics. All of these are susceptible to vulnerabilities or hacking, according to Markey.

“Drivers have come to rely on these new...

By Simon Holland, 10 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Privacy, Security, Standards.

UK driverless trials to benefit from two Ford prototypes

Ford has put the finishing touches on an agreement that will see it supply driverless vehicles to the UK government-backed Autodrive initiative.

During 2015 Ford will hand over two prototype cars with vehicle-to-vehicle communication features to Autodrive that will help the organisations study the contribution driverless and connected cars can make to society.

Since the turn of the year Ford has come out all guns’ blazing with its investment in upcoming technologies. Just last month it unveiled a new...

By Simon Holland, 05 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Artificial Intelligence, Contextual data, Data & Analytics, Driverless.

Outbreak of car thieves exploiting keyless entry spreads across London


London has fallen victim to a new wave of tech-savvy criminals that have been breaking into cars through their keyless entry features.

To paint a picture of how commonplace this is, the Metropolitan Police Office reports that more than 6,000 cars and vans across the UK’s capital were stolen without the owners’ keys, which is an average of 17 vehicles each day. These figures represent 42% of all car and van thefts.

Thieves are said to be using a device that can...

By Simon Holland, 04 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Connectivity, Data & Analytics, Devices, Privacy, Security.

Uber sees a future in driverless taxis

Taxi app Uber has revealed its intention to build the Uber Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburg, after announcing a strategic partnership with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).

In a blog post on Uber’s site, the firm revealed that its primary focus would be in “mapping and vehicle safety and autonomy technology”. The company clearly sees driverless as the next big evolution of its product.

Uber’s plans appear to be in direct competition with Google’s own autonomous vehicle...

By Simon Holland, 03 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Apps, Artificial Intelligence, Driverless, Ecosystems.

SanDisk launches connected car-focused flash storage

Flash storage manufacturer SanDisk has announced a number of new solutions designed specifically for connected cars and automotive infotainment systems.

The automotive-grade NAND flash memory has been optimised to help bring about more reliable in-car applications, such as 3D mapping, navigation-based augmented reality, driver-assist technology and data event recorders.

SanDisk is offering an SD card and iNAND embedded flash drive product in a range of capacities rising to 64GB. Both are said to enable faster...

By Simon Holland, 03 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Head-up Display, Infotainment, Navigation.

BMW moves quickly to solve security hole

A flaw discovered by Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club e.V. (ADAC) in BMW’s ConnectedDrive system has now been solved by the manufacturer.

More than 2.2 million vehicles were said to be affected by the vulnerability to ConnectedDrive, BMW’s in-car operating system. ADAC reported that a mobile was all that was required to access the platform.

By spoofing a phone network ADAC was able to break into ConnectedDrive. From here it was possible to control heating, ventilating, and air conditioning,...

By Simon Holland, 02 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Connectivity, Privacy, Security, Standards.

Google wins gesture control patent for autonomous vehicles


Automated vehicles are just one aspect of the driving experience Google is investigating, with news emerging that the company has won a patent where gestures can manipulate in-car controls.

The idea is to help drivers remain focused on the road because as in-car technology increases, so does the amount of controls required to use it. Even speech-to-text solutions can cause their fair share of...

By Simon Holland, 30 January 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Artificial Intelligence, Devices, Driverless, Infotainment.

Hyundai adopts Baidu CarLife for its connected cars in China

Asian web services company Baidu has revealed plans to compete with Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto in China with CarLife.

Hyundai has announced that it will be one of the first manufacturers to use the service after the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding and it is planning to embed the software in a Sonata sedan.

The ongoing wrangling between the Chinese government, Google and Apple over their systems is what led Hyundai to investigate Baidu’s carlife, according to...

By Simon Holland, 28 January 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Android, CarPlay, Devices, Ecosystems, Navigation.

German automakers to shun Google’s driverless project?


Google may have to skip the likes of Volkswagen, Daimler and Audi when looking for driverless partners if the German government has its way.

During a recent interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany’s transportation minister Alexander Dobrindt, spoke of a government initiative it was calling Digitales Testfeld Autobahn that would involve a stretch of smart highway in Bavaria.

Dobrindt, who may have concerns about the NSA tracking German citizens, revealed that...

By Simon Holland, 27 January 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Connectivity, Devices, Driverless, Navigation.