You only need to look at a smartphone to realize the usefulness of an Internet connection in a car. And the advent of smartphones is playing a big part in getting automakers to integrate connected features. People used to looking up an address on a smartphone can now do it right in their car's dashboard, and save that address to the navigation system. Other apps that can come in handy on the road, as deemed by these automakers, bring up Internet radio, social networking, and dinner reservations.… Read more
So Lit Motors is developing what looks a lot like a motorcycle, but with several traits from a car: You don't have to balance and you don't get wet. They call this model the C-1 and the full-size running prototype is, admittedly, in a very basic state. But here we see the sort of thinking that is perhaps just this side of too radical, while performing drastic surgery on one of the last great areas of waste in our daily lives: the amount of car we lug around for no particular reason.
I like Daniel Kim, he wants to change things but isn't up "there" in a world of intangibles. He began his career as a Land Rover mechanic and, like Steve Jobs, did a little coursework at Reed College in Oregon before moving on (probably bored with the routine progression of college.) He's assembled a team of about a dozen people in a old warehouse in San Francisco that looks like a poster child for urban renewal. … Read more
As manufacturers figure out how to integrate mobile phone applications with vehicle infotainment systems, Mercedes-Benz decided to cut the middle man out of the picture by opening its own app shop, and let customers download applications directly to their car.
The Mercedes-Benz App Store opened last week, a company spokesperson confirmed in an e-mail. The new online app store will let customers browse for new applications to add to their vehicle's Comand infotainment system. Google Search, Weather, Facebook are standard apps on this system, and Yahoo should be added later this year. Using their phone's Internet connection, they … Read more
Microsoft placed a want ad for a software engineer with its Connected Car QA team to aid in the development and testing of the next-generation connected car platform. Based on the job description on Microsoft's Web site, it looks like the technology giant has embedded every product it offers in the dash:
For the next generation of the Connected Car Platform, we plan to leverage the full power of the Microsoft ecosystem including Kinect, Windows 8, Windows Phone, Windows Live, Bing, Azure, and Tellme. The combination of rich local sensing, user identification, cloud access, and data mining will transform … Read more
Even if you don't plan on buying a new car any time soon to take advantage of Apple's upcoming Eyes Free feature, you may still be able to get Siri in your car. Aftermarket electronics supplier Dice Electronics says that its MediaBridge component already has the capability to integrate Siri with some vehicles' electronics systems.
MediaBridge is a plug-and-play Bluetooth-enabled hardware "black box" that integrates Apple products with the vehicle's existing head unit. The device adds Bluetooth and streaming to the audio system, and in some cars, lets you access Siri with steering wheel controls. … Read more
Ahead of the first customer deliveries of the Tesla Model S electric car on Friday, Nvidia issued a press release detailing the use of its Tegra Visual Computing Module (VCM) in the car's dashboard. The use of the Tegra processor to not only run the graphics on the car's 17-inch LCD, but also power the 3D digital instrument cluster accentuates the cutting-edge technology embodied in the Model S.
The Model S will use two of the Nvidia VCMs, one for the infotainment system and one for the instrument cluster. The former includes all the processing needed to generate … Read more
Today marks the summer solstice; it's the longest day of the year and the midpoint of the summer. No doubt many of you are planning to enjoy those extra hours of sunshine by dropping the top on a convertible (or maybe just opening the windows or a sunroof). However, with open air motoring comes increased wind and road noise, which can all but drown out the sound from some low-powered OEM audio systems.
That's why this week I'm helping a CNET reader to boost the audio quality and quantity of his drop top's stereo system with … Read more
My perception of Ford Motor is probably similar to most people's. The Mustang was the hallmark car in the '70s. The company suffered the same malaise as other automakers in the '80s, while the '90s saw bigger and bigger SUVs. And, of course, there was the ever-present F-150, either seen as beat-up work truck or shiny suburban boat hauler.
Somewhere along the way Ford's trajectory changed, though, to the point where it is now leading the technology charge in vehicles.
I found out how it all changed from the horse's mouth, as it were, at a speaking … Read more
Apple announced last week at the 2012 WWDC that many automakers have signed on to integrate Apple's Siri in their vehicles, but few have said which cars or when. However, two compacts from General Motors may be among the first to include the new "Eyes Free" feature in its vehicles, reports blog GM Authority.
The Chevrolet Spark and Chevrolet Sonic will be the first GM vehicles to get this latest infotainment feature. The two vehicles are already available with MyLink, an infotainment system that integrates with the driver's smartphone. MyLink leverages the handset's Internet connection … Read more
Hot on the heels of the Siri announcements coming out of 2012 WWDC, Android users get a little good news of their own. Software startup Magnifis released Robin, a voice-activated natural language mobile assistant for Android devices.
Robin is like a mashup of Siri and Waze. It's a voice-controlled mobile app designed for drivers to use in their cars. Like Waze, it's motion-activated rather than button-activated, which is easier for complying with distracted driving laws and using on the road, and it can proactively warn you about upcoming traffic or speed traps. It also remembers questions you ask, … Read more