The CES exhibit halls are not open, however the PR machines for connected car companies are blasting out news stories faster than reporters can write them. Some of the stories can be condensed down to news that is too short to report. Many of today’s top news stories are from Tech CARS Awards nominees such as AT&T, Airbiquity, Volvo, HERE and Ford. Other connected car companies that made news are Qualcomm, Arynga, Audi and BMW.
AT&T Wi-Fi Hotspots 4 BMW, Ford SYNC Connect, Ericsson Landing & DroneMobile
Beginning with the all-new BMW 7 Series, BMW customers now have the option of a Wi-Fi hotspot powered by AT&T’s 4G LTE network using AT&T’s new online Wi-Fi portal, powered by Ericsson. In the portal, users can activate a free Wi-Fi hot spot trial, buy a data session for their vehicle and manage their Wi-Fi account. After the trial, the data can be added to a Mobile Share Value Plan for $10 a month buy a stand alone plan.
AT&T will power Ford SYNC Connect, a remote vehicle access capability, starting this spring in the U.S. and Canada. This lets drivers interact with their cars from anywhere using their smartphones so they can unlock doors, check fuel level, locate a parked vehicle and more. They are planning to bring this experience to over 10 million Ford customers by 2020.
AT&T is connecting DR-3400, DroneMobile’s solution that lets drivers remote-start, secure, and GPS-track their vehicles from a smart phone app or computer. It’s compatible with all vehicles using “KLON” technology. The system can be purchased at Best Buy around the country with a required service plan starting at $49.99 a year.
Ericsson and AT&T Drive launched an automotive Wi-Fi Landing Page solution for tier-1 automotive manufacturers. Wi-Fi hotspot ranked the number one feature U.S. consumers want. This solution will let customers activate a free trial Wi-Fi hotspot, buy an in-car data session, and manage their Wi-Fi account in the vehicles.
Qualcomm and Audi announced that Qualcomm Snapdragon 602A processors have been selected for Audi’s 2017 vehicles infotainment and to work with 4G LTE. The Snapdragon 602A is Qualcomm Technologies’ first automotive grade infotainment chipset and is designed to meet stringent automotive industry standards while delivering advanced smartphone-quality connectivity, infotainment, navigation, voice quality and control features in cars.
The 602A contains a quad-core Qualcomm Krait CPU, Qualcomm Adreno 320 GPU, Qualcomm Hexagon™ DSP, integrated GNSS baseband processing and additional high-performance audio, video and communication cores. The processor pairs with Qualcomm Technologies’ leading edge Snapdragon MDM modem roadmap to offer a comprehensive connected experience.
Qualcomm Driving for More Automotive Chips and Connections
Qualcomm expanded its offerings for infotainment systems, machine intelligence and sensor fusion for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), GNSS location technologies, V2X (Vehicle to Vehicle/Infrastructure/Pedestrian) communications for improved safety and driver convenience, and wireless charging for electric vehicles. The recent acquisition of Cambridge Silicon Radio Limited (CSR) has brought additional technology assets to Qualcomm Technologies’ automotive portfolio, including leading Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, audio, and GNSS location technology solutions.
Microsoft Automotive Partners: Volvo, Nissan, HARMAN & IAV
Microsoft is working with Volvo Cars to show new concepts that integrate the new Microsoft Band 2 with a Windows 10 smartphone and the Volvo on Call Universal App, creating new ways for customers to interact with their vehicles. From the new Microsoft Band, a Volvo owner can press and hold the action button and say, “Volvo, start the heater of my car,” among many other options
Nissan Motor Company announced all Nissan LEAF as well as European Infiniti models’ Connect Telematics system will be powered by the Microsoft Azure cloud. The system allows remote connection to the vehicle in some models, so drivers can use Web-enabled mobile phones to turn on climate control and set charging functions, even when the vehicle is powered down.
Harman announced that it will integrate Microsoft Office 365 productivity suite capabilities into Harman infotainment systems. Drivers will be able to access Office 365 services and interact with them through intelligent personal assistant software to schedule meetings, hear and respond to important emails, and make Skype calls when in park, or when on the road in autonomous vehicles.
IAV announced it will use Windows 10 Continuum to stream Windows 10 via a mobile device directly to a car’s dashboard, giving drivers access to Windows 10 features and apps such as Cortana, Skype for Business, Calendar, Outlook and Groove Music while the vehicle is in autonomous driving mode or parked. Microsoft and IAV will also demo how to use Cortana Analytics and data from a vehicle’s surroundings to improve safety by anticipating and mitigating potential vehicle and pedestrian accidents.
Airbiquity and Arynga Do OTA Updates
Airbiquity, a global leader in connected car services, today announced a partnership with Arynga, Inc., a leading software update management technology and service provider, to enable remote software update campaigns for connected car systems and components from the cloud. The ability to plan and execute cloud-based software update campaigns will provide significant financial benefits to automakers in the years ahead as vehicles are increasingly engineered to receive them, in addition to vehicle enhancements for consumers purchasing connected cars.
HERE HD Live Map Goes Live
HERE, a leader in mapping and location technology, today unveiled HERE HD Live Map that creates a highly detailed and dynamic representation of the road environment, enabling a vehicle to effectively “see around corners” beyond the reach of its on-board sensors.
HD Live Map is an integrated offering, consisting of multiple layers of data delivered in a map-tile format. HD Live Map includes data which tends to have high permanency, such as lane level information; data which is temporal in nature, such as road construction, traffic and accidents; and analytics data, including speed profile information that informs the vehicle about how to drive based on actual human behavior data.
With HERE HD Live Map, automakers have the ability to enhance a vehicle’s ADAS functionality – such as adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlights and curve speed warnings – by giving it access to more accurate and more reliable near real-time content and contextual information about its environment.
HERE HD Live Map is the first ever map from HERE which is self-maintaining: through multiple modes of sensor aggregation and ingestion the vehicle’s map is updated and delivered in near real-time.
More events are scheduled for tommorrow, which we will report as soon as we come up for air…in the pouring rain in the Nevada desert.