Connected Car News: CloudCar, Jaguar Land Rover, Harman, Octo, Openbay Civil Maps, TomTom, HERE & Magna

In connected car news this week were women, CloudCar, Jaguar Land Rover, Harman, Octo, Openbay Civil Maps, TomTom, HERE and Magna.

Women & JLR

Pictures released by Jaguar Land Rover and Getty Images,show women in a variety of STEM roles from aerodynamics to cyber and audio engineering. They are intended to encourage more women to apply for these jobs by accurately portraying the modern workplace.

New data released by Getty Images shows that web traffic for imagery showing women in engineering careers is significantly increasing.  The number of people searching “women + STEM” imagery has risen by 526 per cent in the past year alone.

HARMAN Dreams Fund

I honor of International Women’s Day, HARMAN announced a partnership with the 1,000 Dreams Fund, a national scholarship program for American girls aspiring to live their dreams. Together, the partners have launched an online campaign challenge called the “#NewFaceofTech,” seeking to spotlight and financially support the new face of tech to support promising young women pursuing big dreams in the world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

Young female STEM leaders are invited to show how they are the #NewFaceofTech by snapping a photo and sharing what they hope to achieve in STEM. HARMAN and 1,000 Dreams Fund will provide two high potential women with financial grants to pursue their goals. The two winners and an additional eight finalists also will receive premium JBL headphones.


CloudCar New Releases for justDrive

CloudCar announced their next release of justDrive will include two new service providers: Deezer and Reuters. CloudCar continues to grow their partnerships with the best services around the world to bring the most desirable content into the native car environment.

In addition to Spotify, Deezer is now available for both US and UK. Deezer, headquartered in Paris, is the #1 music provider in the world offering services in 187 countries, 40 million licensed tracks, 30,000 radio channels, 16 million monthly active users, and 6 million paid subscribers.

The justDrive™ application is a voice activated, connected car experience developed exclusively for Jaguar Land Rover by CloudCar, Inc. available in iTunes. CloudCar launched their justDrive™ application in the UK in the Fall of 2016 and since has been working to include a Euro news source for their UK users. “Our US users have access to NPR, but now we are thrilled to offer Reuters for our UK users and soon, mainland Europe,” said Philip Popov, CEO of CloudCar. Reuters is a premier news source covering 200 worldwide locations and boasting 2.5 million unique new stories.

Sale of Harman to Samsung Final

Samsung Electronics announced it has completed the previously announced acquisition of Harman International Industries, Incorporated (“HARMAN”).

Octo Opted By EMC Insurance

Octo Telematics, a leading global provider of telematics and data analytics solutions for the auto insurance industry, announced today that EMC Insurance Companies has chosen Octo as a fleet telematics partner for its commercial telematics program, Peak Fleet™. Octo Telematics will provide the full platform and accompanying services for the insurer’s fleet telematics program to promote safer driving and maximize fleet performance.

The Octo Fleet platform includes a secure website and smart phone app so fleet managers can get real-time insights on fuel consumption, vehicle health, location, driver safety and more. Knowing drivers’ habits and whereabouts throughout the day can help managers to optimize routes, maximize productivity, save money and increase safety measures.

State Farm Partners with Openbay

State Farm announced a strategic relationship with Openbay, an online marketplace for auto repair. Openbay provides a new way for vehicle owners to compare quotes for mechanical* auto-repair and maintenance services and book an appointment online.

Through this collaboration, State Farm is making it easier for busy car owners to keep their vehicles in good running order. Open to State Farm customers and non-customers alike, Openbay will provide special offers and incentives for people to book vehicle service through its nationwide network of auto-repair centers.

Civil Mpas Releases Atlas DevKit

Civil Maps, a developer of cognition systems for autonomous vehicles, today announced the release of the Atlas DevKit platform, a hardware and software offering that enables the low-cost, real-time creation and conversion of sensor data into 3D semantic map data. The reference kit, a car-mounted hardware unit and its companion software suite, is designed for self-driving car developers and others seeking to affordably build as well as utilize high definition, machine readable maps that can be crowdsourced. The hardware device is comprised of third-party sensors such as LiDAR, cameras, measurement systems, and communication devices in a self-contained, plug-and-play package. An alternative version of the platform, the Atlas Lite DevKit, integrates with a vehicle’s existing sensors.

Traditionally, low-level localization and data collection can incur hardware costs alone in the $100,000-$500,000 range, while requiring significant computing power. Civil Maps is able to offer the full Atlas DevKit platform to qualified customers in packages that start at $20,000 as part of an R&D contract with the company. Highly efficient, the reference platform runs via a single board ARM processor, a remarkable advantage over other data collection and mapping solutions.

Since Fall 2016, automotive R&D teams have used the Atlas DevKit experimentally across three continents. Installation and usage is easy; developers simply mount the kit to a car’s roof rack and use it with Civil Maps’ machine learning software. Rather than utilizing expensive, custom-built solutions that can take months to deploy, R&D teams are able to start mapping immediately.

Atlas DevKit for Developers Features

  • Advanced Localization: In 6 dimensions (x, y, z, roll, pitch, yaw) within 10 cm accuracy
  • Affordable: Enables R&D at scale
  • Minimal Compute: Runs on an ARM processor with low power consumption
  • Low Data Footprint: (+/- 120 kb per km)
  • Multi-Sensor Compatible: Integrates with a variety of sensors, allowing for interchangeable configurations
  • Connected: 4G allows for remote provisioning
  • Flexible: Atlas DevKit, Atlas Lite DevKit (for integration with vehicle’s existing sensors), Atlas DevKit SDK (for integration in hardware ready vehicles)

TomTom Hits 1Milllion Mark

TomTom announced that its real-time information is now available in more than one million passenger vehicles. TomTom Traffic delivers highly accurate traffic information, in real-time, to drivers so they know where traffic has slowed down, why, and how to avoid it, enabling continuous rerouting when they need it the most.

The traffic service covers Mercedes-Benz vehicles purchased on three continents: Europe, North America and Africa. 500 million phones, cars and portable navigation devices provide GPS data points to help create the TomTom Traffic service, which is available in 54 countries in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia.

TomTom HD 4 Volvo

TomTom  announced that Volvo Cars Corporation selected TomTom’s HD Map to power the first phase of the Volvo Drive Me programme. Drive Me is Volvo’s groundbreaking research project into autonomous driving wherein real drivers will integrate autonomous driving into their daily lives on public roads. The first group of drivers will be recruited in Gothenburg, Sweden, with further pilot schemes organised in London, the UK and China.

TomTom’s HD Map, is a revolutionary, highly accurate, digital map-based product that helps automated vehicles precisely locate themselves on the road.

Ride Hailing Driver Should be Checked

A survey conducted online by Harris Poll and commissioned by the National Limousine Association in March 2017 among 2,186 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, reveals 92% of consumers believe that ride-hailing service drivers should be subject to the same level of background checks as taxi and limo drivers before being allowed to drive passengers. According to the survey, 79% of Americans believe ride hailing service companies should have to operate under the same guidelines as taxis and limo companies. A majority of Americans, 71%, believe car service drivers should be limited in the number of hours they can drive per week, and 69% of Americans believe ride hailing service drivers should be entitled to benefits from their company.

Mazda drivers around the world will continue to benefit from in-dash infotainment systems powered by maps and turn-by-turn navigation from HERE after the two companies extended their long-running partnership.

As part of the agreement, Mazda is also participating in the HERE MapCare program, enabling drivers purchasing a new vehicle to benefit from annual map updates for up to three years.

HERE MapCare, a program offered by HERE to vehicle brands since 2009, ensures drivers get access to up-to-date maps, making for a safer and more enjoyable driving experience. To date, more than 15 million vehicles have been sold equipped with the benefit of MapCare.

Manga Supplies Tech for Maserati Levante

Magna International Inc. announced it is supplying camera-based driver assistance systems and all-wheel-drive components in the new Maserati Levante, as the traditional Italian sports brand enters into the luxury SUV segment for the first time.

Magna’s EYERIS® electronic vision system includes a 360-degree surround view system. The front and side cameras are located in the radiator grill and outside mirrors, while the rear view camera is positioned above the rear registration plate. Unlike the previous analog generation, the electronic control for the surround system operates based on digital video data from the cameras.

The 8.4-inch touchscreen monitor in the front console of the vehicle offers two options for high-resolution image display: a split screen mode offering the front and rear perspective (combined with a front and rear ultrasound parking assistant), or a bird’s eye view with overlapping dynamic and static Guidance Lines and integrated ‘door open’ warning display.

Voyomotive & Terbine Curate ADAS Data

Voyomotive, announced a new joint initiative with Terbine to curate and make available the advanced vehicle data available from the VOYO connected car device from vehicles driven on US roads and highways. This data will initially be made available free of charge to third parties seeking to use it for research purposes.

Modern cars are increasingly equipped with a wide array of sensors that enable them to act as rolling data probes; however, the information collected by vehicles is largely out of reach to third parties. The need for location-based sensor data is critical to evaluating constantly changing driving conditions that affect driver safety and traffic management, but to date, retrieving, aggregating, and making available data from large quantities of vehicles has been restricted by proprietary standards used by auto manufacturers. Now that this tremendous amount of information is available through Voyomotive’s VOYO controller, it must be described, indexed, and administered in a manner that is useable for data scientists, engineers, software developers, and government administrators. This is exactly what Terbine’s commercial-grade data curation system is designed to do.

Terbine is working with Voyomotive to provide the first wide-scale collection and distribution of car-generated sensor data that will be made freely available to researchers.

Vehicle data will be collected by Voyomotive’s telematics controller, VOYO, which plugs into the OBD-II port of any vehicle built since 1996. The data reported by VOYO will be taken from cars driven across the United States and include a wide range of makes, models, and years. All data will be anonymized such that no identifying information on the vehicle, driver, or owner is included. Terbine’s cloud-based system will then add a rich metadata layer including the time and location at which it was acquired. The parameters monitored include those related to weather such as barometric pressure, ambient temperature, windshield wiper activation, and rain detection sensors. Safety related data monitored includes the activation of ABS, stability and traction control systems, use of headlights/fog lights, and changes in steering wheel angle. Terbine will make the aggregated and indexed datasets available via both its web interface ( and the Terbine API, which can be used to interface with virtually any analytics system or IoT platform. Bonafide research organizations will be granted access to the datasets at no charge for a limited period.