Connected Car News: Amazon Alexa, Kia, Cruise Automation, Cohda Wireless, Toyota, Mazda, HonkMobile, Arcade City & Volvo

In connected car news this week were Amazon Alexa, Kia, Cruise Automation, Cohda Wireless, Toyota, Mazda, HonkMobile, Arcade City and Volvo.

KIA Niro Skill for Amazon Alexa

After the Niro crossover captured a segment award in the 2017 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, Kia Motors America (KMA)  announced the Niro Skill for Amazon Alexa to deliver instant access to product information for the Niro Crossover vehicle, direct to consumers. The Niro Skill for Amazon Alexa will offer product information, including local dealer inventory and product specifications to make the car shopping process easier for consumers.

Driving Info from Amazon Alexa for Nationwide SmartRiders

To encourage safe-driving habits and help drivers save money on their auto insurance premiums, eligible Nationwide SmartRide members can now access critical personalized driving information through the Nationwide skill for Amazon Alexa.

Including SmartRide into the Nationwide skill for Amazon Alexa gives members who use the SmartRide plug-in device the ability to easily obtain SmartRide’s robust set of personalized data about their driving habits. Armed with important information, members can then adjust the way they drive to reduce their monthly premiums. Alexa rounds out the communications available to SmartRide program participants, which includes the program’s website and ongoing email communications.

Members may now ask Alexa about their status and obtain a summary with details regarding hard brakes, fast acceleration, idle time, nighttime driving, estimated discount and final discount upon program completion.

Miller & Valasek Hack for GM’s Cruise Automation

Chris Miller and Charlie Valasek have left Didi Chuxing and Uber respectively to have been hired by Cruise Automation GM’s self-driving car division.

Telstra/Cohda Test 1st V2P

Telstra, in partnership with Cohda Wireless, has successfully conducted Australia’s first test of Vehicle-to-Pedestrian (V2P) technology over a mobile network in South Australia.

The trial demonstrated vehicles interacting directly with pedestrians’ and cyclists’ mobile phones providing early-warning collision detection and alerts via an application installed on their mobiles.

The technology was tested using some common scenarios that occur every day i– a car and a cyclist approaching a blind corner, a car reversing out of a driveway, and a car approaching a pedestrian crossing.

More Heatstroke Deaths of Children in Vehicles

San Jose State University’s Jan Null reported 729 children left in vehicles have died of heatstroke since 1998. All of these deaths could have been prevented. 11 children died just this past week.

Apple Pay for Parking with HonkMobile

HonkMobile, North America’s fastest and most convenient way to find and pay for parking, y brings its customers Apple Pay, which is transforming mobile payments with an easy, secure and private way to pay that’s fast and convenient.

Apple Pay is available immediately to all Honk customers on iOS devices, allowing them to seamlessly search, pay for, and top up parking directly from their iPhone or iPad. Customers receive a 15-minute reminder before their parking session expires and the app allows them to buy additional time remotely, preventing costly tickets. Honk’s convenient online payment reservation system lets customers reserve a parking spot before they leave the front door, eliminating the frustration caused by circling the block.

Aracde City Turns Uber/Lyft Drivers in Entrepreneurs

Ridesharing company Arcade City launched its mobile app this week to the Apple and Android app stores, now available in 155 countries.

Arcade City has provided reliable city-wide transportation in Austin, TX for the past fourteen months and now expands its innovative model around the world.

Arcade City embraces a new peer-to-peer model of ridesharing. Instead of controlling drivers from a corporate headquarters, Arcade City frees drivers to build up their own transportation businesses like true entrepreneurs.

Drivers are free to set their own rates, build their own recurring customer base, and offer additional services like deliveries or roadside assistance. Riders can review driver profiles in advance and choose the driver they prefer.

The majority of Arcade City drivers previously drove for Uber or Lyft. Top Arcade City drivers report earning two to three times more money than they earned with other services.

Uber and Lyft abruptly withdrew from Austin, Texas in May 2016 after losing a high-profile lobbying campaign. In the resulting vacuum, Arcade City formed its peer-to-peer ridesharing network, which quickly grew to 40,000 members. Riders and drivers in Austin communicate directly and coordinate rides with no corporate intermediary.

Toyota & Mazda Research Partnership

Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) and Mazda Motor Corporation (Mazda) signed an agreement to enter a business and capital alliance, with the aim of further strengthening their lasting partnership.

The companies agreed to: 1) establish a joint venture that produces vehicles in the United States, 2) jointly develop technologies for electric vehicles, 3) jointly develop connected-car technology, 4) collaborate on advanced safety technologies and 5) expand complementary products.

Volvo & Geely  New Tech Joint Venture

Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, and Geely Holding, the Chinese car group,  completed the formation of two new entities to share existing and future technology and provide the economies of scale that will allow them to more rapidly develop next generation electrified vehicle technology.

The agreements, signed at a ceremony in Ningbo, China, formalize the strategic priorities, management teams and targeted synergies for the collaboration within the group.

As a result, a new technology joint venture will be formed called GV Automobile Technology (Ningbo) Co. Ltd. It will be 50/50 owned by Volvo Cars and Geely Holding and headquartered in China with a subsidiary in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Lars Danielson, former SVP of Volvo Cars and CEO of Volvo Cars Asia Pacific, will become the Chairman of GV Technology, which will seek synergy benefits for Volvo Cars, Geely Auto and LYNK & CO through two units controlling technology access as well as procurement.

A separate LYNK & CO company, fully responsible for the LYNK & CO car line, will also be formed, jointly owned by Volvo Cars, Geely Holding and Geely Auto, with a newly constituted board of directors.


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