Category Archives: In-Car

Continental Speeds up Evolution of AR Head-up Displays through Strategic Partnership with DigiLens

 Strategic partnership will deliver ultra thin Augmented Reality Head-up Displays to enable wider market penetration in cars and to further increase safety on the roads. DigiLens, a Silicon Valley based company, is a proven leader in holographic projection technology for Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality applications.





The international technology company Continental has entered into a strategic partnership with DigiLens Inc., a leader in holographic projection technology for application in automotive and consumer electronics. The partnership has been formed to develop ultra thin Augmented Reality Head-up Displays that will further enhance a wider market penetration in cars of different segments.

The adoption of Augmented Reality in the automotive industry,” said Helmut Matschi, member of the Executive Board of Continental and head of the Division Interior. “More and more drivers will have all relevant information in their line of sight; thanks to the advanced technology Continental and DigiLens will bring to Head-Up Displays. This will bring us closer to our vision of zero accidents.” The technology will be displayed for the first time at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January 2017.





Compared to currently available systems, the ultra thin holographic Head-up Display from Continental and DigiLens will be smaller by a factor of three. It will need less space while at the same time providing a larger image with all the relevant information.

DigiLens, a Silicon Valley based company, is a proven leader in holographic optical waveguide technology and materials. The knowledge DigiLens has in Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality will enhance and compliment the expertise of Continental in the field of automotive Head-up Displays.

Compared to currently available systems, the ultra thin holographic HUD will be smaller by a factor of threeImage download

“With the breakthroughs we already have achieved in integrated optics, we are confident that together with Continental we will expand this technology to the automotive industry. Augmented Reality blends all relevant information provided by a Head-up Display, straight in front of the eyes of the driver. With that augmentation there is no reason not to keep your eyes focused on the road,“ said Jonathan Waldern, founder and CEO of DigiLens. “Together with Continental we will make roads safer and accelerate the adoption of Head-up Display technology.”

The technology will also ease drivers into accepting automated driving faster. Automated driving will require a holistic human machine interface that will lead to a safer and more intuitive driving experience with an enhanced joy of use. This is what the new type of display technology will clearly provide. With increased acceptance of Augmented Reality HUD drivers will feel secure in the knowledge of what the car actually sees and knows. In turn, driver confidence in automated driving will be enhanced significantly.

Source: Continental

Co-Star release Dashmount in-car mounting brackets for the latest Vauxhall Astra and Ford Ranger



Co-Star  home of Dashmount in the UK are pleased to announce the release of two new in-car mounting brackets for the latest Vauxhall Astra and Ford Ranger.

Designed to mount the latest mobile communications devices Dashmount is the original in-vehicle no-holes mounting bracket manufactued by specialist engineers who have more than thirty years experience in the mobile communications industry. Dashmount is the only in-car mounting bracket that has  full safety approval  from TÜV Rheinland, the German Traffic Department. The type approval includes everything from the development, documentation, production, installation to crash test with the product.

The Vauxhall Astra Dashmount is located on the right handside of the console and is fitted by releasing the panel below the climate control and placing the arm of the bracket in the two slots locared on the right handside and press it into the contour. It can be secured by using self tapping screws. Than refit the panel.

The Ford Ranger Dashmount is located between the left hand air vent and display unit. The bracket is fitted by releasing the molding on the passenger side (it comes out with the air vent grille) a bending tool will help with this part of the installation. Unscrew the right hand side upper screw and place the arm of the bracket in the screw hole and reset the screw, tighten and refit the molding.

The no-holes dash mount brackets are designed to fit safely and securely in a convenient are of the vehicles console  without the need to drill any holes resulting in a damage free no holes installation. Manufactured from top quality steel that has a special black powder coating means that the Dashmount is tough enough to deal with everyday professional use.

The Co-Star Dashmount brackets are compatible with the following equipment:

About Co-Star:

Co-Star specialise in supplying the ICT Industry globally with all the equipment necessary to initiate and conclude 3G/4G LTE Mobile Networking Installations for Mobile Data, Telemetry and Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications. Our core product range includes: Sierra Wireless and Cradlepoint Mobile Wireless Gateways for 3G/4G LTE applications, Antennas, RF Connectors and RG58 Low Loss Coaxial Cable Assemblies.

Source: Co-Star



Co-Star develop on-line search engine to enable customers to quickly find correct Dashmount


Co-Star the Harrogate based distributor to the ICT industry have developed an on-line search facility to enable their customers to quicky find the correct dashmount no-holes mounting bracket for their vehicle.

Co-Star are the UK distributor for Dashmount in-vehicle mounting brackets which are vehicle specific and are the only bracket to have full safety approval from TÜV Rheinland, the German Traffic Department. The  approval includes everything from the development, documentation, production, installation an crash test of the product.

The brackets are designed to safely mount the latest mobile communications devices without drilling holes in the vehicles.



Co-Star have added an extensive database of vehicle information including make, model and year of manufacturer designed to simpilfy the search processs.

The Dash Mount brackets are manufactured in Norway using a specialised manufacturing process  and currently consist of over 1500 adaptions for different vehicles.

A close cooperation with the European automotive industry since 1988 has given Dash mount a unique understanding of how to develop mounting solutions for individual vehicles and bring them to market quickly.

Tim Cosgrove of Co-Star commented;

” We wanted to enable our customers to quicky identify the correct dash mout bracket for their vehicle. Because the brackets are vehicle specific means that there are 1000’s of varients so we have developed a comprehensive database of vehicle information including the make, model and year of manufacturer which will provide details of the correct bracket in seconds”.

To see the database in action please click here>

About Co-Star:

Co-Star are a UK distributor based in Harrogate who supply the ICT industry globally. Our product range includes: Wireless Routers, Antennas, RF Cable Assemblies and Dashmount mounting brackets.

Source: Co-Star



Co-Star showcasing USB Panel Mounted Power Supplies at Coach & Bus Live


CL.9/AS232A Twin Port Charger installed in a London Taxi


Co-Star USB Power Dock display at the Coach & Bus live exhibition.

Co-Star USB Power Dock display at the Coach & Bus live exhibition.

Co-Star will be showcasing the latest in-vehicle USB power technologies designed to charge the latest Apple i-devices and other Smartphones at the Coach & Bus live exhibition at the NEC from the 30th September to the 1st October.

There are two models available a twin port version that has a dedicated port for the latest Apple i-devices rated at 2.1 amps and a port for standard smartphone devices including; Samsung, HTC, Sony and a single port version rated at 2.1 amps suitable for i-devices.

The panel mount design allows for a professional low profile flush fit in a confined space which is ideal for bus and coach manufactures.

Manufactured from tough marine grade materials means the chargers can withstand use in heavy duty applications including: Public Transport, Commercial Vehicles, Ambulances, Fire Engines and Boats.

The LED indicator alerts the user when their device is fully charged and the detachable cover provides extra protection from harsh environments.

  • Provides passengers with power to charge their mobile devices resulting in increased passenger numbers.
  • Low-profile flush fit for easy installation in tight confined spaces.
  • Compatible with all the latest Smart Phones and Apple i-devices.
  • Manufactured from marine grade materials for use in harsh environments.

Please click here for more information>



Audi intensifies the expansion of connectivity in cars in China


AUDI AG concluding extensive cooperation agreements with Baidu and Huawei

  • Audi is enabling seamless and fast automotive smartphone use for its customers in China
  • Brand with the four rings is integrating Baidu CarLife in its cars
  • Ricky Hudi, Head of Development Electrics/Electronics at AUDI AG: “We are working with strong partners and are driving progress in networking the car with the Internet and its surroundings.”
Audi and Baidu CarLife – Integration of smartphones into the car
Audi and Baidu CarLife – Integration of smartphones into the car

Audi is intensifying the expansion of connectivity of its cars in China, according to an announcement by the premium carmaker in advance of the first CES Asia taking place in Shanghai. With Baidu CarLife, Audi will also be offering uncompromising integration of smartphones in its cars in China. A China-specific LTE module, which Audi is developing in a joint venture with Huawei, will deliver fast data transmission.

“The aim of our partnership with Baidu – a company that is number one on the Chinese search engine market – is to drive advances in the online networking of our cars in China,” says Ricky Hudi, Head of Development Electrics/Electronics at AUDI AG. Baidu CarLife is a smartphone integration for use in the automobile, similar to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

As soon as customers connect their smartphone to the car, the Audi smartphone interface starts up. On the MMI display, an environment opens with customized Baidu apps that are very popular in China, especially among young people. CarLife will operate with both iOS and Android, which will allow Audi reach the vast majority of customers.

Audi and Baidu already agreed to form a partnership at the end of January. Along with integration of Baidu CarLife, other components of the partnership include joint development of map data, positioning algorithms and point-of-interest functions. For example, they enable the transfer of destination data into the car from a Baidu Map on a computer or smartphone. In addition to Baidu CarLife, another cooperative effort being shown by Audi at CES Asia is the Audi tablet, which already includes the integrated Baidu web browser and Baidu app store.

To assure its Chinese customers of unlimited use of their online services in the automobile, quick and seamless data transmission must be guaranteed. Audi is adapting to market-specific requirements in Asia. Audi has signed an agreement with Huawei Technologies Co., one of the world’s largest network providers, for the development and utilization of an Asia-specific LTE module. Audi will use the module in China, Japan and Korea. It supports the TDD-LTE (Time Division Duplexing) wireless standard by China Mobile, which was redefined in 2013, and the FDD-LTE (Frequency Division Duplexing) standard. This makes Audi the first premium automaker to offer a fully integrated LTE solution in China.

Source: Audi

Audi develops high-resolution technology for improved driver efficiency

Audi utilizes high-resolution navigation maps for its driver assistance systems

  • Highly precise data leads to greater convenience and better fuel economy
  • Predictive efficiency assistant in the Audi Q7* achieves up to ten percent fuel savings
  • Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Board Member for Technical Development: “High-resolution maps are continuing to gain in importance.”
Virtual Cockpit
Virtual Cockpit

The premium brand is developing a new high-resolution map materials together with competent partners. A current example of the potential of this data is the predictive efficiency assistant in the new Audi Q7*. It utilizes information about the topography to get the car to its destination with greater efficiency and convenience. High-resolution maps will also play a key role in piloted driving.

“The importance of high-resolution, three-dimensional maps will continue to grow in the future,” explains Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi Head of Development, and he refers to piloted driving as a typical application: “Here we primarily use the data in situations in which a precise prediction is crucial – e.g. data on expressway interchanges, road splits and entrance and exit ramps.” Audi is working on the navigation map of the future with strategic partners such as Dutch map and navigation supplier TomTom – utilizing various technology platforms in the process. The next generation of the Audi A8 will be a front-runner in piloted driving technology and the use of high-resolution maps.

Today, Audi customers can already realize significant benefits from precise map materials. The predictive efficiency assistant in the new Audi Q7* already utilizes highly precise route data that includes information on elevation profiles – it works with this data even while the driver is not actively using navigation. If desired, the system can also be used to help economize on fuel. It offers practical fuel-saving tips to drivers in situations in which reducing speed makes sense.

The predictive efficiency assistant recognizes curves, roundabouts and intersections, descents and ascents, as well as municipality border signs and speed limit signs – often before the driver even sees them. Drivers who fully utilize this features can reduce fuel consumption by up to ten percent.

Fuel consumption of the models named above:

Audi Q7:
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 8.3 – 5.7**;
Combined CO2-emissions in g/km: 183 – 149**

**The fuel consumption and the CO2 emissions of a vehicle vary due to the choice of wheels and tires. They not only depend on the efficient utilization of the fuel by the vehicle, but are also influenced by driving behavior and other non-technical factors.

Source: Audi

Jaguar Land Rover & BMW to launch technology startups.

Both Jaguar Land Rover and BMW are launching initiatives to encourage automotive technology startups.

The newly founded BMW Startup Garage sets out to tap directly into the potential of particularly innovative startups. With the BMW Startup Garage, the BMW Group is continuing its successful collaboration with startup companies. The combination of the strategic and global planning clout of a large corporation with the culture of ongoing innovation, creativity and venturesomeness that marks out successful startups has already proved a winning recipe. In addition to the BMW Startup Garage, the venture capital company BMW i Ventures also fosters the exchange with young enterprises developing innovative solutions for urban mobility.

The BMW Group has, moreover, joined forces with the Centre for Innovation and Business Creation – UnternehmerTUM – at Munich’s Technical University in order to set up the “TEchFounders” accelerator programme for technology startups. The Accelerator Programme introduces the BMW Group to innovative technologies, products and services at a very early stage, with the option of working together with the startup teams.

The BMW Group has always actively sought new, pathbreaking technologies, but until now it has been difficult for startups to present their ideas to the company – the internal processes and procedures of a major enterprise can be quite daunting to fledgling companies. With its slimmed-down, efficient processes, the BMW Startup Garage now allows for swift and flexible collaborative projects. That way more startups can be identified and integrated more rapidly. Any interested startup companies can apply online to the BMW Startup Garage. The selection is then made directly via the BMW Startup Garage in close consultation with the innovation management team and the relevant departments of the BMW Group.

Selected startups subsequently undergo a special programme lasting several months. At the core of this programme is the development of a functional prototype with an application relevant to the BMW Group. Startups also receive assistance in building up their network within the Group and in drawing up a business plan.

In principle, any startup anywhere in the world can apply. And the scheme is not restricted to companies in the automotive sector, but extends to technologies that can be transferred to automotive engineering applications. However, applicants must meet a number of requirements as well: “We’re looking for good startups and not good inventors,” explains Matthias Meyer. “Anyone thinking of applying needs to bring along not just a great idea but a great team as well. After all, only a top-flight team can make ideas work successfully.”

As Jaguar Land Rover reveals In Control Touch Pro, its next generation infotainment and connected car technology in the all-new Jaguar XF, it has announced a new initiative to support the development of future infotainment technologies in the US.

Jaguar Land Rover will now launch an ‘Innovation Incubator’ project in Portland, Oregon, to encourage, promote and support new software-based automotive technologies that are being developed by US technology start-ups.

The focus will be on finding innovators who have great potential ideas, but need Jaguar Land Rover’s technical help to make these concepts a reality. The Innovation Incubator project begins in May 2015 with an outreach program to US universities. It will select around 120 start-up companies for Jaguar Land Rover to work with over the next decade.

Nick Rogers, Engineering Director, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “As well as pioneering new ideas and developing our own technologies in-house, we want to develop even more collaborative partnerships with the world’s leading technology businesses. We want to cast a wide net and invite technology start-ups to pitch us their ideas, rather like TV’s Shark Tank or Dragon’s Den! If we think they’ve got something innovative that could enhance the experience customers have in our vehicles, we want to support them and help develop their ideas.”

This support includes a space in a new ‘Innovation Incubator’ centre that will be developed in Portland specifically to accommodate these technology start-ups. Jaguar Land Rover will also recruit 50 experienced engineers who will work directly with these start-ups in Portland to help them make their ideas a reality.

“This incubator approach will enable us to seek out and encourage young companies with brilliant ideas for new technologies who may lack the technical skills or knowledge of the automotive industry to move their ideas forward. As well as mentoring them and offering them technical support, they can base themselves with us and develop and test their ideas in our brand new, collaborative and innovative environment in Portland,” said Matt Jones, Head of Future Infotainment, Jaguar Land Rover, who will manage the new facility.

Jaguar Land Rover has already run a pilot for the ‘Innovation Incubator’ programme and identified a project with a US technology start-up called Vonsor.

The innovative Vonsor system is currently under development with Jaguar Land Rover’s engineering team in Portland. The system will allow drivers to take live footage from cameras inside and outside the vehicle, edit them together on the vehicle’s touchscreens and then share the footage on social media.

“This is completely in tune with the social media generation. People of all ages love to capture their experiences on their smartphones and share them. The Vonsor system allows you to save both your on and off-road driving adventures, with cameras integrated in the vehicle filming anything from wheels articulating over an obstacle, to the whole family having fun inside the car whilst driving along. Vonsor would allow you to collate all of that footage, edit it together and post it all from the vehicle’s touchscreen – so everyone can share the experience,” said Justyn Baker from Vonsor. “We met Jaguar Land Rover at a start-up pitch competition, and it has been great to get their support and insight. It has helped open my eyes to more possibilities than I had ever imagined.”

Sources: BMW, JLR

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Dashmount Vehicle Mounting Brackets

The latest mobile devices installed in commercial vehicles used by mobileVauxhall_Insigni_52dea7482f7f1 engineers and delivery drivers to improve efficiency and communication with customers need a strong mounting solution tough enough to deal with demanding every day use.

Dash mount manufacture vehicle specific non-damaging vehicle mounts that are easy to install without damaging the vehicle interior and tough enough to deal with the rigours of everyday professional use.

The Dash Mount brackets are manufactured in Norway using a specialised manufacturing process  and currently consist of over 1500 adaptions for different vehicles.

A close cooperation with the European automotive industry since 1988 has given Dash mount a unique understanding of how to develop mounting solutions for individual vehicles and bring them to market quickly.

The Dash mount brackets are the only in-car mounting solution that have full safety approval from TÜV Rheinland, the German Traffic Department. The  approval includes everything from the development, documentation, production, installation an crash test of the product.

Co-Star are the UK distributor for Dash mount and stock a comprehensive range at there distribution centre located close to Harrogate in the UK.

For more information please visit our website: Co-Star





Ford intelligent speed will stop you getting a speeding ticket ever again


Ford has announced that its new SMax will come with its first Intelligent Speed Limiter system that aims to stop drivers being stung with ticket charges.

This smart limiter is far cleverer than cruise control. The driver sets a limit and then as the car recognises speed signs on the road it changes the limit to suit. This works in conjunction with sat nav data for those cars that have that built-in also.

So how does it limit speed? It won’t ever use the brake but rather limits the amount of fuel being fed to the engine, a bit like taking the foot off the accelerator. Should the car speed up over the limit on a downhill it will emit an alarm so the driver knows to apply the brakes.

The Intelligent Speed Limiter can, of course, be turned off. But it can also be overridden while driving by pressing the accelerator down fully to get a burst of speed if, for whatever reason, you need to break the speed limit.

This sounds like a great option to have if you know you’re a bit too easily tempted to slip over the speed limit, especially when driving in a new area. The local limit will be displayed in the car’s dash so if you missed a sign you can rest easy knowing the car didn’t.

This is the first time Ford’s Adjustable Speed Limiter and Traffic Sign Recognition systems found in the Focus, Mondeo and Kuga have been combined in one car.

The Ford S-Max with Intelligent Speed Limiter is available to order now from £23,310.

Source: Pocket-Lint


Incease on mobile phone use whilst driving

Latest survey shows that mobile phone use whilst driving has increased.

The Government’s latest mobile phone use survey (published on 25 February) gives cause for concern as it shows that mobile phone use whilst driving in England has increased.

The report showed that the proportion of car drivers seen using a hand-held mobile phone has gone up. Overall, 1.6% of all drivers in England and Scotland were observed to be using a hand held mobile phone and that could be as many as half a million drivers every day!

Most were observed using the phone in their hand (1.1%) rather than holding it to their ear (0.5%) suggesting that most mobile phone use while driving is sending/receiving texts or using social media.

Male drivers (1.7%) are more likely to use a mobile phone than female drivers (1.3%) and van drivers (2.7%) are more likely to be observed using a mobile phone than car drivers (1.4%) or goods vehicle/lorry drivers (1.2%).

The only way to counter White Van Man’s addiction to mobiles is to have more cops in cars and for employers to take their duty of care more seriously. If not they could face corporate manslaughter charges.

It’s worrying that the percentage of car drivers using a hand-held mobile phone has not gone down since 2009. This shows that there is a hard-core of drivers who still believe there is nothing wrong with their behaviour and continue to put their own lives, and the lives of others, at risk by using their phone behind the wheel.

We know how common this behaviour is from our AA-Populus motoring panel.  Virtually all of our members say they see other drivers using a hand-held mobile phone on most journeys, and the majority (81%) think that speaking on a hand-held mobile phone should be categorised as a dangerous driving offence in the event of a fatal collision.

Education and enforcement are the tools needed to try and keep our roads safe for everyone who uses them.

Edmund King  (26 February 2015)

Co-Star supply  hands-free car kits  and mounting solutions  for all types of vehicles to ensure that you communicate safely and legally whilst your on the move.

To view the Parrot CK3100 Bluetooth Hands Free Kit, click here.

For all hands free car kits and accessories click here.