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Alpine showcases the latest entertainment systems at CES

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Alpine Electronics Expands Entertainment Options for AVN and AV Systems

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto™ compatibility are now available for these universal systems

Alpine Electronics of America, Inc. debuted three new 8 and 7-inch screen-based systems at the 2017 International CES, taking place Jan. 5-8 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. All models have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto™ compatibility and can also serve as control hubs for system expansion with external accessories, drive assist cameras and rear seat entertainment products.

“We’re excited to offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in these new systems,” said Steve Crawford, vice president and general manager, aftermarket business unit, Alpine Electronics of America, Inc. “Alpine is the only manufacturer to offer aftermarket connectivity solutions in a selection of systems ranging from the standard 7-inch to the oversize, vehicle-specific 8 and 9-inch sizes.”

The new lineup consists of three mech-less systems: the 8-inch Alpine Restyle X208U audio/video/navigation (AVN) system, the 7-inch INE-W977HD AVN system and the iLX-207 audio/video (AV) system. The X208U is compatible with vehicle-specific Alpine Restyle dash kits that come with all needed accessories for the plug-and-play installation of the X208U, while the INE-W977HD and iLX-207 are for universal application in vehicles.

Optimized Smart Phone Connectivity
The X208U, INE-W977HD and iLX-207 are optimized for connectivity with an iPhone or Android™ phone. The systems are designated as “Work with Apple CarPlay” models. Apple CarPlay lets iPhone users make and receive calls, access text messages, play music, and get directions in a way that allows them to stay focused on the road. Apple CarPlay is accessed through the capacitive touch screen or “Voice” hard key with Siri voice control and is compatible with iPhone 5 and later, including iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and the latest version of iOS.

The three models are also Android Auto compatible. Android Auto was designed with safety in mind. With a simple and intuitive interface, integrated steering wheel controls, and powerful new voice actions, it’s designed to minimize distraction so drivers can stay focused on the road. The corresponding audio, driving directions and phone calls from either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto are played through the vehicle’s speaker system.

System Expansion Capabilities
All three models can serve as control hubs for other accessories. When used with the optional KAC-001 External Accessory Control Module (sold separately), the screen becomes a hub for touch screen control of add-on electrical accessories like a motorized tonneau cover, winch, LED lights, etc. Eight outputs are available to control eight relay-connected accessories. A graphical icon and custom text can be assigned to each accessory for quick identification on the screen. The individual outputs can be configured as Pulsed, Latched or Momentary.

The models are compatible with Alpine’s rear and front camera systems and can be used with the optional KCX-C250MC Multi-Camera Controller (sold separately) to manage multiple camera systems. The KCX-C250MC allows up to three camera systems (rear, front, side) to be controlled from the screen for one-touch viewing of the camera images.

DVD or CD entertainment can be added to any of the systems with the optional DVE-5300 add-on DVD player. The KCX-630HD HDMI Selector Interface (sold separately) can also be added to retain HDMI capability when the X2008U, INE-W977HD or iLX-207 is connected to the DVE-5300. It uses an HDMI connection for maximum signal quality and a digital optical connection for output to an external processor (processor sold separately).

Audio Features

Audio features on the X208U, INE-W977HD and iLX-207 include:

  • FLAC compatibility (Free Lossless Audio Codec): FLAC files can be played on the new models via USB, providing a truer listening experience.
  • HD Radio™ Technology: The models have a built-in HD Radio receiver for free, crystal clear digital sound from the more than 2,000 AM and FM stations broadcasting with HD Radio Technology.
  • Pandora® internet radio: Pandora control is available from iPhone® and Android smartphones. Users can create new Pandora stations, rate songs with the thumbs up or down rating system, and bookmark songs for later purchase from the touchscreen.
  • SiriusXM: They are SiriusXM-Ready™ and connect to the SiriusXM SXV300 Connect Vehicle Tuner Kit (sold separately, subscription required). SiriusXM features include: album art; display of channel logos; pause, rewind and replay up to 60 minutes of content while listening to satellite radio; start songs from the beginning when tuned to any favorite music channel using TuneStart™; scan and select songs on favorite music channels with TuneScan™.
  • iPod® and iPhone: The units are “Made for iPod and iPhone” compatible and have USB access to their iTunes library.
  • Alpine TuneIt® App: The units are compatible with the Alpine TuneIt App, a free smartphone app for sound tuning. The app allows for tweaking of sound settings (like Time Correction, Parametric EQ and Crossover) via hand-picked adjustments or from pre-made settings in the database. If the vehicle has Alpine speakers and subwoofers, these items can also be selected for more precise tuning of the audio system. Settings can be shared with and rated by other users.
  • Alpine’s MediaXpander® technology: This technology provides further enhanced sound quality by adding back missing harmonics in compressed media.

Video and Navigation Features
The three models each have an HDMI input for video entertainment through connectivity to HDMI-enabled devices (HDMI cable sold separately). Each system also has an HDMI output, allowing for full digital audio/video output to a rear seat entertainment system (sold separately). The dual zone video control allows the driver to use a source in the dash while the rear seat passengers enjoy a separate video in the back.

The X208U and INE-W977HD come with onboard navigation systems with free lifetime HERE® traffic RDS service, pre-loaded maps of the United States and Canada and more than seven million Points of Interest (POIs). Major landmarks, buildings and terrain details are depicted in 3D. Driving directions are delivered through text-to-speech announcements and the highway services list displays the services at each exit (gas, ATM, etc.).

Bluetooth® Wireless Technology Features
Alpine’s advanced Bluetooth® wireless technology features include secure simple pairing (SSP); multipoint technology which allows for pairing and connecting of two different Bluetooth devices at the same time; phone battery, cellular signal level and received message indicators; as well as call waiting.

iDatalink® Maestro® Compatibility
The X208U, INE-W977HD and iLX-207 retain various factory features through compatibility with the iDatalink Maestro module (sold separately). The retained features and customized vehicle information will vary by vehicle model, examples include: OnStar® from GM, SYNC® from Ford, SiriusXM, factory amplified system, rear seat entertainment system, rear view camera and steering wheel controls. Customized vehicle information (diagnostic data, gauge screen, parking assist screen, etc.) may also be viewable.

Customizable Settings
The X208U and INE-W977HD have smartphone connectivity powered by Airbiquity® for iPhone and Android based smartphones, featuring a portfolio of useful and popular infotainment content. The companion Alpine Connect smartphone app provides simple content selection and user personalization and integrates it into the Alpine system’s user and navigation interfaces. Current Alpine Connect content includes: iHeartRadio® for streaming live radio stations from across the country, custom music stations, 24/7 news, on-demand podcasts, and the best in sports, talk and comedy programming; Yelp® for finding local places to eat, drink, and shop; and Glympse® for sharing locations with friends and family; and Spotify® for streaming music and playlists. Additional content will be added to Alpine Connect in 2017.

The “My Favorites” feature lets users customize a quick-access screen with shortcuts to their most-used features. Shortcuts can be created from audio sources, navigation commands and phone settings. If the chosen radio station broadcasts metadata, the metadata is fed into the radio station icon so the user can see the current song before choosing the radio station.

The X208U, INE-W977HD, iLX-207, and system expansion products are available at authorized Alpine retailers, visit www.alpine-usa.com for a store locator.

X208U Mech-less 8-inch Restyle Dash System

  • 8-inch anti-glare capacitive touch screen
  • Designed for use with Alpine Restyle dash kit solutions
  • Works with Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto™ compatible
  • Audio, video, navigation and Bluetooth® feature set
  • Touch screen control of truck accessories via KAC-001 External Accessory Control Module (sold separately)
  • 4-way swipe action graphical interface control
  • Touch screen control of multiple camera systems via KCX-C250MC Multi-Camera Selector Interface (sold separately)
  • HD Radio Tuner built-in
  • Made for iPod and iPhone
  • SiriusXM-Ready™ (SXV300 Connect Vehicle Tuner Kit sold separately, SiriusXM subscription required)
  • Pandora control from iPhone and Android smartphones
  • FLAC/MP3/WMA/AAC/HE-AAC music playback via USB
  • Alpine TuneIt App integration
  • BT Plus Bluetooth® wireless technology with audio streaming
  • Free lifetime HERE® Traffic RDS
  • Alpine Connect infotainment service and companion smartphone app featuring in-dash content from iHeartRadio®, Yelp®, Glympse®, and Spotify®
  • My Favorites feature provides custom shortcuts to favorite audio sources, places and phone numbers
  • HDMI input via KCX-630HD HDMI Selector Interface (sold separately)
  • HDMI output for digital connection to rear seat entertainment system
  • Independent dual zone video control for separate front and rear video sources
  • Available May, SRI: $2,000

Alpine Restyle Dash Kit Solutions for the X208U 8-inch AVN system

The following dash kits are available now at authorized Alpine retailers:

  • RAM trucks, 2013-Up (KTX-RPU8); SRI: $400
  • Chevrolet Silverado, 2014-Up (KTX-GM8K2); SRI: $500
  • GM Trucks and SUVs, Various 2007-2014 models in Black (KTX-GM8-O); SRI: $400
  • Bracket kit for the following Ford trucks and SUVs: 2005-Up Super Duty, 2004-2008 F-150, 2007-2013 Navigator, 2007-2013 Expedition, 2006-2010 Explorer (KTX-FDB8); SRI: $40
  • Universal Trim Bezel (KTX-UTB8); SRI: $30

INE-W977HD Mech-less 7-inch Audio/Video/Navigation (AVN) System

  • 7-inch anti-glare capacitive touch screen
  • Audio, video, navigation and Bluetooth® feature set
  • Works with Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto™ compatible
  • Touch screen control of truck accessories via KAC-001 External Accessory Control Module (sold separately)
  • 4-way swipe action graphical interface control
  • Touch screen control of multiple camera systems via KCX-C250MC Multi-Camera Selector Interface (sold separately
  • HD Radio Tuner built-in
  • Made for iPod and iPhone
  • SiriusXM-Ready™ (SXV300 Connect Vehicle Tuner Kit sold separately, SiriusXM subscription required)
  • Pandora control from iPhone and Android smartphones
  • FLAC/MP3/WMA/AAC/HE-AAC music playback via USB
  • Alpine TuneIt App integration
  • BT Plus Bluetooth® wireless technology with audio streaming
  • Free lifetime HERE® Traffic RDS
  • Alpine Connect infotainment service and companion smartphone app featuring in-dash content from iHeartRadio®, Yelp®, Glympse®, and Spotify®
  • My Favorites feature provides custom shortcuts to favorite audio sources, places and phone numbers
  • HDMI input via KCX-630HD HDMI Selector Interface (sold separately)
  • HDMI output for digital connection to rear seat entertainment system
  • Independent dual zone video control for separate front and rear video sources
  • Available May, SRI: $1,500

iLX-207 Mech-less Audio/Video (AV) system

  • 7-inch anti-glare capacitive touch screen
  • Audio, video and Bluetooth feature set
  • Works with Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto™ compatible
  • Touch screen control of truck accessories via KAC-001 External Accessory Control Module (sold separately)
  • 4-way swipe action graphical interface control
  • Touch screen control of multiple camera systems via KCX-C250MC Multi-Camera Selector Interface (sold separately
  • HD Radio Tuner built-in
  • Made for iPod and iPhone
  • SiriusXM-Ready™ (SXV300 Connect Vehicle Tuner Kit sold separately, SiriusXM subscription required)
  • Pandora control from iPhone and Android smartphones
  • FLAC/MP3/WMA/AAC/HE-AAC music playback via USB
  • Alpine TuneIt App integration
  • BT Plus Bluetooth® wireless technology with audio streaming
  • Free lifetime HERE® Traffic RDS
  • My Favorites feature provides custom shortcuts to favorite audio sources, places and phone numbers
  • HDMI input via KCX-630HD HDMI Selector Interface (sold separately)
  • HDMI output for digital connection to rear seat entertainment system
  • Independent dual zone video control for separate front and rear video sources
  • Available March, SRI: $900

Additional Models with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are:

X209-WRA 9-inch Alpine Restyle Dash System for 2011-Up Jeep Wrangler

  • Available April, SRI: $4,000

i209-WRA Mech-less 9-inch Alpine Restyle Dash System for 2011-Up Jeep Wrangler

  • Available April, SRI: $2,200

KAC-001 External Accessory Control Module

  • Allows the system to be used as a hub for touch screen control of add-on third-party electronically controlled accessories
  • Eight outputs to control eight relay-connected accessories as Selectable On/Off, Continuous or Pulsed
  • Customizable on screen icons and labels
  • Available now, SRI: $250

KCX-C250MC Multi-Camera Selector Interface

  • Allows up to three camera systems to be controlled from the touch screen
  • Available now, SRI: $200

KCX-630HD HDMI Selector Interface

  • Adds an HDMI input when used with the DVE-5300 for connection to HDMI-enabled devices
  • Available now, SRI: $200

DVE-5300 Add-On DVD Player for Mech-less Systems

  • Compatible with X208U, INE-W977HD, iLX-207 and optional Alpine rear seat entertainment systems
  • HDMI connection for maximum signal quality
  • Optical output for optional processor control
  • Automotive-grade DVD mechanism for on-the-road reliability
  • Media playback options (DVD Video, DVD+R/RW, DCD-R/RW, DivX, JPEG, MP3)
  • Compatible with optional HDMI switcher (KCX-630HD) to retain HDMI input
  • Available now, SRI: $380

Faraday Future unveils electric vehicle in Las Vegas to kick off CES

A Faraday Future FF 91 electric car is displayed on stage during an unveiling event at CES in Las Vegas, Nevada January 3, 2017. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

Electric vehicle start-up Faraday Future showed off in Las Vegas on Tuesday a prototype of a vehicle set for production next year as the China-backed company strives to win credibility in the crowded sector and weather its funding challenges.

The “FF 91”, described by its designer Richard Kim as “weird-pretty”, is a luxury electric SUV Faraday executives say will be the most technologically advanced on the market when it goes into production in early 2018. Advance reservations for the car – which insiders say will retail for about $180,000 – are being taken for $5,000.

“You’re about to witness day one of a new era of mobility,” said Nick Sampson, senior vice president of engineering and research and development. “We’re going to show the first of a new species.”

But cash shortages and a recent spate of executive departures have raised questions about the company’s prospects.

Faraday is funded and controlled by Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, the chief executive officer of China’s Leshi Holdings Co Ltd, also known as LeEco (300104.SZ), which is showing its own prototype electric car, the LeSee Pro, at CES. He is also an investor in California-based Lucid Motors, a competing electric vehicle start-up attending CES this year.

Faraday debuted at CES last year with a concept car not intended to be produced, raising eyebrows over the company’s legitimacy and Jia’s overall strategy. A cash crunch at LeEco and Faraday’s missed payments to a contractor working on its $1 billion Nevada factory have spurred more questions in recent months over Faraday’s financial situation.

In late December, LeEco said it was in talks to secure 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) from an unidentified strategic investor.

Faraday executives would not comment on the company’s financials.

“We’re hoping to … convince people that we’re real, we are doing a real product, it’s not just a vaporware Batmobile to create attention, but we now have a serious product,” Sampson told reporters during a tour of Faraday’s headquarters in Gardena, California, in December.

Executives say the car’s modular architecture and flexible battery layout will allow for a faster rollout of future models. The car will have a range of about 378 miles (608 km) per charge. Its electric motors will generate a combined 1,050 horsepower.

The FF 91, a long, low, futuristic SUV with a roomy interior has no handles, as doors will open as a driver approaches. Holograms will be projected on the windshield to alert drivers of needed information.

 

(Reporting by Alexandria Sage and Paul Lienert in Las Vegas; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

Source: Reuters

Tesla Makes Reno a Critical Stop on Way to Las Vegas and CES

 Investors invited to exclusive tour of Elon Musk’s Gigafactory

  • Driving down battery costs is key as Model 3 production nears

As far as Tesla’s concerned, what’s happening in Las Vegas can stay in Las Vegas. The real action is some 400 dusty miles northwest, across the state in Reno.

The electric-car maker is seizing on next week’s consumer electronics show to host investors and analysts at Gigafactory 1, the sprawling Nevada plant where it makes batteries and energy storage packs. Tesla Motors Inc.’sinvitation-only “investor event” will take place Jan. 4, as the tech and automotive industries swarm into Las Vegas for CES 2017. Though self-driving technology will be in the spotlight this year at CES, Tesla typically skips large industry trade shows, preferring to announce products separate from the pack.

Tesla Gigafactory 1

Source: Tesla Motors

“We are excited to see the scope and scale, not just of the facility itself, but in the levels of automation and potential advancements in manufacturing,” said Joe Dennison, associate portfolio manager of Zevenbergen Capital Investments in Seattle. Dennison said he’s eager to learn more about Tesla Energy products and hear any updates on timing or battery-cost reductions ahead of the Model 3 introduction.

While visitors have to pay their own air fare and hotel costs, they’ll get some time with Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk and Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel, according to guests who have received invitations. Tesla may need the good graces of Wall Street and investors this year as it spends heavily to expand production to 500,000 vehicles annually by 2018, some 10 times the number of vehicles delivered in 2015.

Battery Demand

The $5 billion Gigafactory 1 plant was born out of Tesla’s massive need for lithium-ion batteries both for its vehicles — including the Model 3 due in late 2017 — as well as energy storage-devices such as the Powerwall. Tesla, in partnership with Panasonic Corp., is working to collapse its battery supply chain and drive down costs. In its third quarter letter to shareholders, Tesla said “the Gigafactory remains on track to begin cell production later this year.”

A vehicle charger, right, in the lobby of the Gigafactory 1.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Reno has clawed its way back from the recession, embracing tech and the arts alike as the city sheds its image as a second-tier destination for gamblers and visitors to Lake Tahoe. The hope is that Tesla’s gigafactory will attract other manufacturers and help to transform the region.

Musk has said that he expects the fourth quarter to be profitable. It will be the first earnings period that includes SolarCity Corp., the solar-panel installer it bought for $2 billion.

Machinery inside Gigafactory 1

Photographer: Troy Harvey/Bloomberg

Tesla boosted a credit linewith Deutsche Bank AG by $200 million, according to a regulatory filing last week. The company has the potential to add another $50 million to that agreement and increased a separate credit facility by another $300 million. Musk surprised investors in October by saying Tesla didn’t need to raise equity or borrow money this quarter, when some analysts were projecting it might soon need $2.5 billion to cover the company’s ambitious growth plans.

CES is heavy on autonomy this year and includes an opening keynote from Jen-Hsun Huang, the CEO of Tesla supplier Nvidia Corp. Tesla’s forthcoming Model 3 sedan will be equipped with hardware to enable full self-driving, and Musk hopes to showcase an autonomous cross country drive from Los Angeles to New York by the end of 2017.

Source: Dana Hull. Bloomberg Business

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.

 

 

continental-1

 

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.

 

continental2

 

 

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