Mobile World Congress news includes announcements from Visa/Honda, HARMAN, Volvo/Spotify, Erriccson/Geely, Rohde & Schwarz, ATS/Acer, Movimento/Arcient and BMW.
Pay for Parking and Gas without Leaving Your Honda from Visa
Through a partnership with Honda and ParkWhiz, Visa is showing gas and parking proof-of-concept apps at Mobile World Congress that allow people to pay from their cars via the VisaTokens service.
Developed by Honda Developer Studio and integrated into Honda’s head unit, the fuel and parking apps showcase Visa Token Service and feature Visa Checkout, Visa’s online payment service. Additional features include:
- Gas App Concept: Pay for gas in one click without leaving the car. The fuel app detects when the car is low on fuel and navigates the driver to nearby gas stations. Once parked next to the pump, the app knows the exact amount of gas needed to fill the tank and can calculate the cost to fill up. The driver can also purchase convenience store items with full integration of discount and loyalty/rewards programs.
- Parking App Concept: Just park your car, push the ‘park’ button on the app, and go. Designed in partnership with ParkWhiz for off-street parking spots, the parking app helps a driver pay only for the time used and helps avoid under- and over-paying. Once a parking session is ended, the elapsed time and amount paid are shown on the car’s dashboard, requiring the driver to simply press a button to complete the transaction.
HARMAN’S New Content Providers
HARMANs Open Service Delivery Platform for the connected car has ten new providers. The new services will be available to automakers for their connected car configurations. TomTom – leading provider of traffic and travel related services for the automotive industry.
- Parkopedia – parking service provider used by millions of drivers and many of the world’s most recognized car brands.
- AccuWeather – provides hourly and Minute by Minute forecasts with Superior Accuracy for any longitude/latitude on Earth.
- Yelp connects people with local businesses and reviews.
- INRIX – real-time and predictive traffic flow information for routes, travel times, and alerts to accidents and incidents.
- CustomWeather – provides drivers and passengers with current conditions and weather forecasts for their exact location.
- Deezer – access to the largest music streaming catalog in the world.
- AccuRadio– a personalizable Internet radio service designed to appeal to the 35-to-64 age group.
- Wcities – travel and entertainment content for cities around the world.
- NPR – connects to audiences on the air, online, and in person.
Spot the Spotify with Volvo
Volvo Cars claims it is the the first car maker to integrate the hugely popular Spotify music streaming service globally in its new cars, starting with the new Volvo XC90, S90 and V90 this spring. The service doesn’t need a smartphone to work. Accessing Spotify will require a Premium subscription. A 30-day free trial period will be available for those new to the service. The app will be available for Volvo owners in all countries where Spotify is available.
Volvo’s integrated Spotify application includes the much appreciated Spotify Connect functionality, which allows passengers to use their mobile devices as remote controls for the Spotify in-car app without the need to connect their devices to the car or drain their batteries.
Ericsson and Geely Connected Car Cooperation Apps
Ericsson and Geely Auto have signed an agreement to jointly develop connected car services enabled by Ericsson’s Connected Vehicle Cloud platform. Geely Auto will begin by offering its customers advanced safety and maintenance features before progressing to vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications and, ultimately, autonomous driving.
Ericsson’s Connected Vehicle Cloud is a platform that enables application developers, government organizations, businesses and automotive manufacturers to reach drivers and passengers with services and information. At first, Geely Auto customers will gain access to smartphone applications that enable them to remotely monitor and activate vehicle systems. Features include monitoring of engine systems, fuel use and expected range, as well as activation of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, and locking or unlocking of vehicles. Ericsson and Geely Auto will maintain a dynamic app store.
Advanced safety and maintenance features will be introduced first, followed by vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications and, ultimately, autonomous driving.
Bluetooth Car Kit Testing
The Rohde & Schwarz CMW500 wideband radio communication tester is the only testing solution that combines all 38 RF signaling tests defined by the Bluetooth SIG together with other cellular technologies it can test Bluetooth car kits as well as other devices.
Bring Your Own Cloud from Acer & ATS — Headset Senses Brainwaves
Together with its partner ATS (Advanced Telematic Systems), Acer announces OTA+, an open-standards based solution for over-the-air updates for connected vehicles.
The BYOC(Bring Your Own Cloud)-empowered OTA+ solution is a complete suite for data transfer, data management, secure transmission, validation, and deployment of software updates remotely to a fleet of vehicles, while optimized for speed, security, and scalability. Developed in cooperation with GENIVI, an alliance of leading automotive OEMs and suppliers, the open standards based solution can be integrated easily and efficiently with existing or new software platforms.
Also on show at MWC is a solution that enables remote monitoring of vehicles through the cloud, and a solution that can monitor the driver’s fatigue level through a brainwave sensor headset.
OTA from Moviement & Arcient
Movimento and Aricent have created the Closed Loop OTA Analytics Solution as a mechanism to continuously update and improve vehicle performance and services. The solution is comprised of an on-board gateway combined with cloud-based services that have been developed as a reference architecture by Movimento, leader in Over-the-Air (OTA) software and Aricent, a global design and product engineering services company.
ŠKODA is introducing their new Wireless MirrorLink technology. The wireless connection from the handset to the ŠKODA infotainment system has been developed by ŠKODA in cooperation with TechniSat and RealVNC. Wireless MirrorLink transfers data via Wi-Fi not a cable. The phone can either be left in a pocket or placed in the new ‘Phonebox’ dock with nductive charging that ŠKODA will soon be releasing.
Better Celluar in Cars with Vehicular Small Cell
BMW Group, peiker acustic GmbH & Co. KG and Nash Technologies GmbH are showing “Vehicular Small Cell” research project, to improve mobile reception in vehicles.
The strong signal-shielding effect of the vehicle body can often cause reception problems, particularly when driving in areas with poor cellular coverage. It was to address this problem that the BMW Group, network specialists Nash Technologies GmbH and automotive supplier peiker acustic GmbH & Co. KG launched the “Vehicular Small Cell” research project.
The “Vehicular Small Cell” automatically sets up a wireless connection between all mobile devices in the car – including passengers’ devices – and the vehicle aerial. The improved wireless connectivity greatly reduces the number of interrupted phone calls and provides more stable connection quality while driving. Improved connectivity also allows higher bit rates to be transmitted, which significantly improves the performance of functions such as web surfing, e-mail checking and music streaming.