While driverless cars are drawing attention at this year’s CES, with Toyota, Audi showing off self-driving cars, the “smart car” is more likely to consist of a “platform + apps + service.” The Connected Car will link cars to entertainment and news as well as provide automatic parking, collision avoidance and even more informative center console gauges.
The QNX CAR application platform is a unique set of pre-integrated and optimized technologies from QNX and dozens of ecosystem partners. Its reference implementations and reskinable HMI allow development teams to rapidly create world-class infotainment systems. Delphi Automotive, a global supplier of automotive electronics, for example, has chosen the QNX CAR application platform 2.0 for use in next-generation infotainment systems.
QNX is working with AT&T to put its natural language program, Watson, into cars, making it easier for drivers to navigate messaging systems. It’s what QNX and others in the industry call “single utterance”: the difference between saying, “Where’s a good Italian restaurant around here?” and having to parse through several levels of a menu to uncover dinner recommendations and directions.
Ford’s Sync is now offered in four editions based on levels of features, bundled services and optional subscription plans as summarized below:
Ford announced a new app developer program for Sync AppLink, along with a host of newly compatible apps. Ford divides compatible apps into three categories: News and Information, Music and Entertainment, and Navigation and Location.
Other Connected Car news at CES:
- GM showed off a next generation of its MyLink infotainment system for Chevrolet. Based on GM’s new app framework, the system will support apps built by third-party developers, along with standard cabin tech functions such as navigation, digital audio, and hands-free phone calls.
- Chevrolet showed off a 2014 Impala equipped with MyLink. Drivers of the new Impala will be able to put the interface into edit mode, and move icons around on the touch screen. The icons cover everything from navigation to phone to apps such as Pandora. Chevy initially rolled out with MyLink such as Bluetooth hands-free calling and digital audio. However, the system comes with updated navigation maps, stored on the system’s flash drive.
- Chrysler’s UConnect infotainment system added a feature called UConnect Access Via Mobile. Part app integration system and part telematics system, the UConnect Access app can communicate with the vehicle via a wireless 3G connection built into the car for functions such as remote engine start and door lock control. Chrysler announced Monday that it’s allowing customers with certain versions of its Uconnect system to add navigation options to older cars by visiting their dealers.
- Delphi and Verizon are partnering on car tracking, and emote unlocking. Announced at CES 2013, the Delphi Connected Car will let car owners track their vehicle, get vehicle diagnostics, and remotely lock and unlock the doors.
- Aha Mobile announced new integration with Porsche, Ford, and Chrysler vehicles. Harman, Aha’s parent company, boasts the service will be available in cars from more than 10 automakers. Aha offers 30,000 Internet-based stations in its lineup, from music to podcasts to news. It includes audio-based location search services for restaurants and coffee shops. Users can listen to Facebook and Twitter updates from their personal accounts.
- Subaru is introducing systems called “Starlink” and “EyeSight” which include access to Internet radio systems, social network connections and smart-braking systems. It’s launching on the 2013 Outback and Legacy and the 2014 Forester, combines Aha connected infotainment services integrated into the dashboard with EyeSight driver-assistance features.
- Audi announced that it has been granted the second-ever license for testing self-driving cars in Nevada. The automake is about to begin autonomous car testing on public roads in Nevada. Audi may be the first automaker granted this license, but it’s still second behind Google — the recipient of the very first autonomous driving license in the state, last year.
- Nvidia demonstrated Tegra 3 for automotive applications. Their Linux-based interface shows what automakers could be building into cars, with an elliptical menu, which the driver could merely swipe to choose different car functions.
- Hyundai is working with Apple to integrate the Siri system into some models for basic phone functions. The announcement makes Hyundai the tenth major auto maker to announce support for Siri Eyes Free control. The other partners are BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler, Honda, and GM.
- Pioneer adds iPhone 5 support to AppRadio. Pioneer has just found a way around the connectivity issue with a solution for adding iPhone 5 app connectivity and video output to its AppRadio receivers.
- Toyota’s Lexus group showed off Lexus’ active safety research vehicle. They believes that “autopilot” is not the solution to the 32,000 road deaths (one in six caused by distracted driving) that occurred last year in the U.S. Instead, at the current stage of development, cars can do only three things by themselves — park, stay in a lane and follow traffic.
- Volvo Car Group and Ericsson now have announced that they plan to jointly advance the technical development of innovations for automotive internet services Drivers will be able to download applications, create an on-line service booking and interact with partners through the Connected Vehicle Cloud built on Ericsson’s Service Enablement Platform.