Tag Archives: ford

Ford SmartLink enables drivers of older cars to benefit from the latest connectivity platforms

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BACK TO THE FUTURE: FORD VEHICLE OWNERS CAN EASILY UPGRADE 2010 – 2016 VEHICLES TO HAVE CONNECTIVITY FEATURES

  • Ford SmartLink provides owners of 2010 – 2016 model-year Ford and Lincoln vehicles not equipped with a modem access to a wide array of connectivity features through the new platform
  • Features include remote start, lock and unlock, Wi-Fi access capable of hosting up to eight devices, and vehicle health, security and location alerts
  • Components of Ford SmartLink include a 4G LTE-enabled OBD II plug-in device, as well as a companion App and Web Portal used to activate remote features, receive alerts and schedule service appointments with the owner’s preferred dealer

Millions of current Ford customers stand to benefit from Ford SmartLink, a technology that enables connectivity features normally only available on new modem-equipped vehicles. Using a simple device that plugs into the OBD II port below the steering wheel, Ford SmartLink will give customers who own 2010 – 2016 model year Ford and Lincoln vehicles that are not equipped with a modem access to:

  • Smartphone-based remote start, lock and unlock.
  • 4G Wi-Fi hotspot capable of accepting up to eight devices.
  • Vehicle health and security alerts.
  • Vehicle location assistance.

“Ford SmartLink will surprise and delight owners of recent model-year vehicles by adding some of today’s most popular connectivity features” said Stephen Odell, executive vice president, Global Marketing, Sales and Service. “Offering it through our dealerships is another way to keep us connected with our customers and earn their loyalty.”

SmartLink can be obtained at Ford and Lincoln dealerships starting this summer.

With more than two years of research and development invested, the Ford SmartLink team of engineers, in collaboration with Delphi Automotive and Verizon Telematics, have ensured the technology will work seamlessly with Ford and Lincoln vehicles.

“From security to performance, we’ve conducted extensive testing and made a number of improvements to ensure Ford SmartLink enhances the customer experience for our owners,” said Raj Nair, executive vice president, Global Product Development, and chief technical officer.

“We are thrilled to offer this level of convenience and connectivity to our existing customers, extending the value of their vehicles and giving them just one more reason to love their Ford and Lincoln vehicles.”

Source: Ford

UK Autodrive Completes First Collaborative Autonomous Vehicle Trials

Jaguar Land Rover's vehicle completes an automated overtake during Friday's demonstration.

Jaguar Land Rover’s vehicle completes an automated overtake during Friday’s demonstration.

 

The UK’s first collaborative trials of connected and autonomous vehicle technology were successfully completed on Friday, as UK Autodrive partners Jaguar Land Rover, Ford and Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC) jointly demonstrated a number of future vehicle technologies at HORIBA MIRA’s Proving Ground in Nuneaton.

Friday’s demonstration came at the end of a fortnight trials, in which the three vehicle manufacturers were able to successfully demonstrate the programme’s first two connected car features.

The first demonstration showcased cars that can warn their drivers when another connected car up ahead has braked severely, lowering the risk of rear-end collisions when the driver’s view is obscured, for example, by fog or other vehicles.

The second demonstration showed how connected cars can be sent information from traffic lights, allowing them to reduce the likelihood of meeting red lights – potentially improving future traffic flow and lowering emissions in urban areas.

“There has already been a lot of public focus on self-driving vehicles, but connected car technology may be just as revolutionary,” said Tim Armitage, Arup’s UK Autodrive project director.

“The benefits of having cars that can communicate with each other and their surroundings could be very significant – from increased road safety to improved traffic flow, more efficient parking and better information for drivers.”

Jaguar Land Rover also used Friday’s event to demonstrate a self-driving Range Rover Sport that was able to overtake slower moving vehicles automatically – and also reject overtake requests if it detects another vehicle in the occupant’s “blind spot”.

A Ford test driver receives a brake light warning triggered by the Jaguar ahead of him.

A Ford test driver receives a brake light warning triggered by the Jaguar ahead of him.

The UK Autodrive demonstration was also welcomed the UK’s Roads Innovation Minister, John Hayes, who said: “This technology has the potential to revolutionise travel by making journeys safer and cutting congestion for motorists. I’m proud that the UK is a world leader when it comes to developing connected and automated vehicles, and we are further establishing ourselves as the place to test and invest in this emerging technology.”

 

Further UK Autodrive trials and demonstrations are scheduled to take place at HORIBA MIRA during the spring of next year, before moving out onto closed-off areas of Milton Keynes and Coventry in late 2017. The project will culminate in a series of open road trials and demonstrations to be held in both cities in 2018.

Jaguar Land Rover's vehicle completes an automated overtake during Friday's demonstration.

Jaguar Land Rover’s vehicle completes an automated overtake during Friday’s demonstration.

The driver of the TMETC vehicle receives a speed advisory to help reach a green light.

The driver of the TMETC vehicle receives a speed advisory to help reach a green light.

NEW SMARTDEVICELINK DEVELOPER PROGRAM MAKES IT EASIER TO CREATE IN-CAR APPS FOR GROWING LIST OF GLOBAL CAR MANUFACTURERS

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  • New developer program is latest step for SmartDeviceLink – the agnostic app interface software that aims to set the industry standard for accessing smartphone apps inside the vehicle
  • SmartDeviceLink.com will provide developers with information they need to build smartphone apps compatible with vehicles by any automaker adopting the open-source connectivity software contributed to the industry by Ford
  • Toyota Motor Corp. has already announced adoption of the technology for future vehicles; PSA Groupe, Honda, Subaru and Mazda are exploring adoption

SmartDeviceLink’s new developer program aims to make it easier to build in-car apps for a growing list of global automakers that have adopted or are exploring adoption of the Ford-created smartphone app interface standard.

Working with Toyota Motor Corp. and other leading automakers, Ford created SmartDeviceLink.com – a new program that makes it easier for developers to access the information they need to build and launch their services for millions of cars on the road globally.

“We first set out to develop a way for Ford customers to access and control their favorite smartphone apps using voice commands,” said Don Butler, executive director, Ford Connected Vehicle and Services. “Now, seeing how our innovative software is serving new industry partners is very rewarding. We look forward to innovating together to keep pace with the needs and wants of consumers around the world.”

SmartDeviceLink is the open-source software on which the Ford AppLink platform is built. It provides consumers an easier way to access their favorite smartphone apps via voice command or touch screen interface. Part of Ford SYNC®, AppLink is available on more than 6 million Ford vehicles globally, and is expected to reach 28 million more by 2020.

Ford contributed its AppLink software to the open-source community in 2013. Toyota was the first automaker to adopt the technology, and plans to introduce it on vehicles in the near future. PSA Groupe, Honda, Subaru and Mazda are exploring similar integration. Auto suppliers QNX Software Systems and UIEvolution are adopting the Ford software as well, with plans to integrate it into their products.

Already, Pandora, Spotify, AccuWeather and iHeartRadio feature SmartDeviceLink compatibility, and other popular apps are planning product integrations in the coming months. Adopting and supporting the SmartDeviceLink protocol will provide automakers worldwide with immediate access to a growing ecosystem of compatible smartphone apps to enhance the in-car experience for their own customers.

Industry adoption of SmartDeviceLink offers significant benefits to automakers interested in creating apps for safer in-car use and providing greater control to customers over how their data is utilized.

For developers, industry adoption provides greater scale due to the availability of the technology in vehicles across multiple brands. It enables automakers and suppliers to maintain brand-specific, differentiated entertainment and connectivity systems that broaden choices for customers in terms of how to connect and control their smartphones in the car.

As SmartDeviceLink is both device- and operating system-agnostic, it’s poised to play a key role in the integration of apps in emerging markets where new mobile operating systems may become popular.

“We’re focused on building the best tools to support the growing SmartDeviceLink ecosystem and promote the developer community,” said Justin Dickow, product manager for Livio, the Ford subsidiary that maintains the SmartDeviceLink software. “The SmartDeviceLink developer portal is designed to increase the visibility of the software, improve the documentation process, and help developers source the information they need to create great in-car applications and experiences for consumers.”

SmartDeviceLink.com offers a hub of information for automakers and suppliers interested in the technology. It includes software requirements for developing apps compatible with SmartDeviceLink, along with system requirements needed to adopt the technology. The site will point developers to the online location of the software code necessary for a given project.

Livio continues to manage the open-source project by working with SmartDeviceLink adopters to build the appropriate interface into each unique vehicle environment.

Source: Ford

Ford Accelerate Cloud-Based Software Deployment With Pivotal Investment

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FORD INVESTS IN PIVOTAL TO ACCELERATE CLOUD-BASED SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT; NEW LABS DRIVE FORD SMART MOBILITY INNOVATION

  • Ford invests $182.2 million in Pivotal, a cloud-based software company headquartered in San Francisco, to further strengthen its core software abilities and deliver innovations to customers more quickly
  • The investment is part of Ford’s expansion to be both an auto and a mobility company
  • Already partners, Ford and Pivotal now will expand the use of advanced software development methodologies, analytics tools and a cloud platform throughout Ford’s Product Development and IT teams, including new software labs to support Ford Smart Mobility
  • Ford CIO Marcy Klevorn will join the board of directors at Pivotal

Ford today announces an investment in Pivotal, a cloud-based software platform company headquartered in San Francisco, to further enhance its software development capabilities and deliver innovations to customers more quickly.

The $182.2 million investment in Pivotal aims to help drive Ford’s transition to an auto and a mobility company. Ford is continuing to focus on and invest in its core business – designing, manufacturing, marketing, financing and servicing cars, SUVs, trucks and electrified vehicles. At the same time, the company is aggressively pursuing emerging opportunities through Ford Smart Mobility – its plan to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics.

“Expanding our business to be both an auto and mobility company requires leading-edge software expertise to deliver outstanding customer experiences,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. “Our investment in Pivotal will help strengthen our ability to deliver these customer experiences at the speed of Silicon Valley, including continually expanding FordPass® – our digital, physical and personal mobility experience platform.”

Expanding a relationship
Ford recently teamed up with Pivotal to deliver FordPass, an innovative consumer experience platform that launched last month. FordPass will offer new customer services, like remote access to vehicles through a smartphone app, and mobility solutions, such as parking and car sharing. Innovating and iterating quickly, Pivotal and Ford IT engineers are working side-by-side to create new consumer experiences for FordPass members.

Building on this existing relationship, Ford plans to accelerate the incorporation of Pivotal’s advanced software development methodologies and technology across the IT, product development, and research and advanced engineering teams. Ford will put Pivotal’s next-generation cloud platform and analytics capabilities to use on the company’s new mobility projects – such as its on-demand Dynamic Shuttle pilot program.

“Today we are at a major inflection point in global business, and Pivotal is at the fulcrum of that change,” said Rob Mee, Pivotal CEO. “We are collaborating with iconic companies like Ford to help transform their businesses with our unique software development methodology and modern cloud platform and analytics tools. We are thrilled to create a deeper partnership with Ford through this investment as we drive its evolution to becoming both an auto and mobility company – reinventing yet again how the world moves.”

Building more software expertise
Pivotal’s advanced software development methodologies and cloud platform complement Ford’s already strong embedded software capability that supports EcoBoost® engines, the SYNC® 3 connectivity system, driver-assist technologies like active park assist and more.

Software plays a growing role in new vehicles as demonstrated by the all-new F-150 that features more than 150 million lines of code, whereas a typical smartphone operating system has approximately 12 million lines. Engineers are capitalizing on software to deliver precise control over aspects of vehicle performance such as engine and transmission calibration to improve fuel economy and for the connectivity experience by giving customers hands-free access to their smartphones through SYNC 3.

In fact, the very success of EcoBoost engine technology can be attributed to software. Software is the secret sauce to the fuel efficiency EcoBoost delivers because it allows engineers to maximize the use of each drop of fuel at a molecular level. Ford has 275 patents on EcoBoost technology and another 200 pending, with a large majority covering aspects of software controls and calibration.

“Investing in Pivotal builds on our current strengths in software development,” said Marcy Klevorn, Ford vice president and CIO, who will join the board of directors at Pivotal. “We plan to quickly add new state-of-the-art software engineering capabilities across the Ford enterprise.”

In addition, Ford and Pivotal plan to open new software labs in strategic locations in both the United States and Europe. The labs will be staffed with software architects, engineers and user experience experts – all using Pivotal’s advanced software development methodology. Ford’s investment in Pivotal is subject to customary regulatory approval.

Source: Ford

Ford Conducts Autonomous Snow Driving Tests

FORD CONDUCTS INDUSTRY-FIRST SNOW TESTS OF AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES — FURTHER ACCELERATING DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

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  • Ford is the first automaker to test fully autonomous vehicles in winter weather, including snow – a major step toward fully autonomous driving.
  • Ford’s fully autonomous vehicle strategy uses high-resolution 3D mapping and LiDAR for localization to facilitate driving when road markings are not visible
  • Winter weather testing strengthens Ford leadership in autonomous vehicle development, building on recent news of the company’s expansion of its fully autonomous vehicle fleet – now the largest of all automakers

 

Ford is conducting the industry’s first autonomous vehicle tests in snow-covered environments – a major step in the company’s plan to bring fully autonomous vehicles to millions of customers worldwide.

Unlike other major car manufacturers and technology companies, which have tested autonomous vehicle technology only in dry, mostly sunny climates, Ford knows the future of autonomous driving cannot rely on ideal conditions.

“It’s one thing for a car to drive itself in perfect weather,” said Jim McBride, Ford technical leader for autonomous vehicles. “It’s quite another to do so when the car’s sensors can’t see the road because it’s covered in snow. Weather isn’t perfect, and that’s why we’re testing autonomous vehicles in wintry conditions – for the roughly 70 percent of U.S. residents who live in snowy regions.”

Ford’s winter weather testing takes place in Michigan, including at Mcity – a 32-acre, full-scale simulated real-world urban environment at the University of Michigan.

Fully autonomous driving can’t rely on GPS, which is accurate only to several yards – not enough to localize or identify the position of the vehicle. And it’s key that an autonomous vehicle knows its precise location, not just within a city or on a road, but in its actual driving lane – a variation of a few inches makes a big difference.

LiDAR, on the other hand, is much more accurate than GPS – identifying the Fusion Hybrid’s lane location right down to the centimeter. LiDAR emits short pulses of laser light to precisely allow the vehicle to create a real-time, high-definition 3D image of what’s around it.

In ideal weather, LiDAR is the most efficient means of gathering important information and metadata – underlying information about the data itself – from the surrounding environment, sensing nearby objects and using cues to determine the best driving path. But on snow-covered roads or in high-density traffic, LiDAR and other sensors such as cameras can’t see the road. This is also the case when the sensor lens is covered by snow, grime or debris.

Undaunted by this challenge, Ford and University of Michigan technologists began collaborating toward a solution that would allow an autonomous vehicle to see on a snow-covered road.

How snow autonomy works
To navigate snowy roads, Ford autonomous vehicles are equipped with high-resolution 3D maps – complete with information about the road and what’s above it, including road markings, signs, geography, landmarks and topography.

“Maps developed by other companies don’t always work in snow-covered landscapes,” said Ryan Eustice, associate professor at University of Michigan college of engineering. “The maps we created with Ford contain useful information about the 3D environment around the car, allowing the vehicle to localize even with a blanket of snow covering the ground.”

An autonomous vehicle creates the maps while driving the test environment in favorable weather, with technologies automatically annotating features like traffic signs, trees and buildings. When the vehicle can’t see the ground, it detects above-ground landmarks to pinpoint itself on the map, and then subsequently uses the map to drive successfully in inclement conditions.

“The vehicle’s normal safety systems, like electronic stability control and traction control, which often are used on slippery winter roads, work in unison with the autonomous driving software,” said McBride. “We eventually want our autonomous vehicles to detect deteriorating conditions, decide whether it’s safe to keep driving, and if so, for how long.”

A pioneer in autonomy
Winter driving still presents a host of challenges, but Ford’s testing marks an important achievement on the road to autonomous driving. That road goes back roughly a decade, to the first-generation autonomous vehicle from Ford – a LiDAR-equipped F-250 Super Duty.

In 2013, Ford launched its second-generation autonomous vehicle platform, a Fusion Hybrid sedan using more advanced LiDAR sensors. This past summer, Ford transitioned its fully autonomous vehicle development program from the research to advanced engineering phase, the second of three phases before entering production.

Earlier this month, Ford announced it is taking the next step – tripling its fully autonomous development fleet to 30 vehicles being tested on roads and test tracks in California, Arizona and Michigan. This makes the company’s fully autonomous vehicle fleet the largest of all automakers. These third-generation autonomous vehicles continue to be based on a Fusion Hybrid sedan now featuring the first auto-specific LiDAR sensor capable of handling different driving scenarios – thanks in part to its longer range of around 200 meters.

Building on more than a decade of Ford autonomous vehicle research, this advancement is a key element of Ford Smart Mobility – the plan to take Ford to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics.

Source: Ford

AT&T 4G LTE to Power Ford SYNC Connect in More Than 10 Million Vehicles in North America by 2020

Ford and AT&T are bringing high-speed connectivity and an even better owner experience to customers this year – with plans to connect more than 10 million customers to Ford SYNC® Connect within the next five years.

SYNC Connect, Ford’s new high-speed connectivity technology, adds levels of convenience to SYNC, the industry-leading in-car entertainment and communications system. Ford is introducing SYNC Connect in the United States and Canada this spring in the new Escape.

“Vehicle owners want the convenience that comes with being connected at home and on the go,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president, Global Product Development and chief technical officer. “With SYNC Connect, we are able to provide features and services that make the car an even more seamless part of our customers’ connected lifestyles.”

With Ford SYNC Connect, Ford vehicle owners can:

  • Remotely lock and unlock doors from virtually anywhere
  • Use the built-in GPS system to locate their parked vehicle on a map
  • Remotely start the vehicle or schedule a start time
  • View vehicle information, including fuel and battery level and tire pressure readings

SYNC Connect plays a key role in Ford’s connectivity strategy as part of Ford Smart Mobility, the plan to take Ford to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics.

SYNC Connect debuts this spring on the new Ford Escape. After the initial rollout in North America, SYNC Connect is launching in global markets, adding another 10 million connected vehicles by 2020.

“Connected car services are an important feature to consumers,” said Chris Penrose, senior vice president, Internet of Things, AT&T Mobility. “We’re thrilled to expand our relationship with Ford to deliver an enhanced connected experience to more Ford drivers.”

Ford SYNC

Ford SYNC is the world’s leading in-car entertainment and communications system, with more than 15 million vehicles equipped with the technology on the road worldwide.

Launched in 2007, Ford SYNC was the industry’s first system to widely and most affordably offer voice-activated technology to control smartphones. New-generation SYNC 3 features faster performance, more conversational voice recognition, a smartphone-like touch screen and easier-to-understand graphical interface for a growing number of Ford vehicles in North America.

Building on industry leadership

Ford was the first U.S.-based automaker to build AT&T network service into its cars in 2011 with the introduction of MyFord® Mobile – a smartphone and Web-based connected experience that enables electric vehicle owners to remotely connect their smartphone with the car to manage charging.

AT&T network service has been a standard feature in all Ford plug-in electric vehicles, including Ford Focus Electric, Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi.

In 2014, Lincoln introduced MyLincoln Mobile powered by AT&T, enabling owners to access their vehicles using their smartphone. The capability allows owners to start, lock, unlock and locate their vehicle, as well as schedule remote starts.

Now, SYNC Connect expands on the relationship between Ford and AT&T, giving more North American customers the ability to remotely access their vehicles.

AT&T connected car leadership

In 2014, AT&T launched two major initiatives to lead innovation in the connected car space. The first was a pioneering connected car innovation center in Atlanta, called AT&T Drive Studio.

It also launched a new global automotive solution and development platform, AT&T Drive.

A telematics leader, AT&T connects vehicles around the globe. In late 2015, AT&T added 1.6 million connected devices; nearly 1 million were connected cars.

Additionally, AT&T was the first major wireless carrier to launch a global SIM platform for cars. The platform lets automotive, consumer and M2M equipment makers use a single carrier to wirelessly connect products across the globe.

– See more at: http://about.att.com/story/att_4g_lte_to_power_ford_sync_connect.html#sthash.WOqlGkC5.dpuf

Source: AT&T

Ford teams up with Marmalade to make new cars affordable for young drivers


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Ford has joined forces with Marmalade, a leading provider of insurance for young drivers, to make the UK’s most popular car more affordable for young drivers and improve their road safety skills. Under the new scheme being launched today, Ford is offering drivers between the ages of 18 and 24 a contribution of up to £1,450 on Marmalade’s New Driver Insurance when they purchase a new Ford Fiesta.

Ford is also offering up to £1,110 towards Marmalade’s insurance if young drivers choose to buy a new Ford Ka. These deals are only available when financed with Ford Options two-year personal contract purchase plan. All cars will be fitted with a black box free of charge as part of Marmalade’s advanced telematics system, which improves safety without imposing curfews on young drivers. 4.3% APR representative Marmalade’s black boxes collect data on accelerating, braking, cornering and speed for each journey and feedback any issues to the driver.

Marmalade also provides ongoing education and support and this approach is dramatically improving young people’s driving skills. On a national basis, 1 in 5 young drivers is involved in an accident**, with Marmalade’s telematics customers this goes down to 1 in 17***. This new initiative is being launched to help more young drivers stay safe on the road and supports Ford’s Driving Skills for Life, an advanced free safety training programme for newly licensed drivers.

Young drivers will benefit from all the safety features of the new Ford Fiesta and Ford Ka, as well as the latest security and low emissions technology. As standard Fiesta is fitted with Ford MyKey, a new technology that allows parents to limit top speed, encourage seatbelt use and control the volume of the integrated sound system.

Mark Ovenden, Chairman and Managing Director, Ford of Britain said: ‘We’re dedicated to helping keep young people safer on the roads. This insurance offer with Marmalade not only makes owning a brand new car more affordable, but also helps offer the latest safety and security features of a brand new vehicle to young drivers’. Crispin Moger, CEO at Marmalade, said: “Ford is the ideal partner for us with its commitment to the safety of young drivers. We are passionate about keeping young drivers safe and thanks to our intelligent black box technology have a strong track record of doing so. This new partnership will provide many more young people with a safe and affordable means to get on the road in great Ford cars.”

Source: Marmalade

 

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

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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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3qmtEGGlOo&feature=player_embedded

Source: Pocket-Lint

 

71% of Telefonica’s customers want to use connected cars according to a new study

The term Connected Car has been a buzzword within the automotive industry for several years, but the big question is – are consumers ready? Research released today suggests they are. According to a study by Telefónica, there is sufficient global demand for connected car services, with more than 70 per cent of drivers surveyed saying that they are interested in using, or are already using, connected car services.

In fact, around half of consumers now consider connected features, such as inbuilt connectivity and the ability to plug in a smartphone, a key part of their next car purchase. Features such as increased safety, early warning systems and smarter navigation are cited as the most popular, with almost three-quarters (73%) of drivers listing safety and diagnostics features as the most important.

The findings have been unveiled as part of Telefónica’s Connected Car Industry Report 2014 featuring independent primary research and contributions from six of the world’s largest car manufacturers. The report builds on some of the topics covered in Telefónica’s inaugural Connected Car study from 2013 which predicted that that the number of vehicles with built-in connectivity will increase from 10 per cent of the overall market in 2013 to 90 per cent by 2020. This second report provides insight, from a driver’s perspective, into the car industry’s biggest transformation in over a century, detailing the opportunities, challenges and predicted trends for the sector.

Key trends identified by the report include:

1. There is sufficient global demand for connected car services, with 71% of drivers surveyed saying that they are interested in using, or are already using, connected car services.

2. 80% of consumers expect the connected car of the future to provide the same connected experience they are used to at home, at work and on the move via their mobile phone.

3. Across all markets surveyed, there was clear consensus about the three features most in demand: increased safety, early warning systems and smarter navigation. Almost three-quarters (73%) of respondents chose safety and diagnostics features as the most important, giving a clear indication of the areas they would expect connected services to focus in the future. Usage-based insurance models are also very popular, with 54% of UK drivers choosing it one of the connected car features they would be most interested in.

4. On average 35% of drivers expect not to own their own car by 2034, and instead predict they will be using alternative options such as car sharing services

5. The dashboard is the favoured way for accessing connected services, particularly for safety, navigation and vehicle diagnostics, with more than 60% of respondents across all markets preferring to access features in this way.

6. Drivers in different countries will prefer to pay for connected services in different ways. Most Spanish drivers would prefer a one-off payment (49%) while those in America, Germany and the UK would favour basic connectivity with the option to choose additional services. Brazilians are split between the latter and a full-on PAYG model, suggesting a degree of flexibility not seen in other countries.

Pavan Mathew, Global Head of Connected Car at Telefónica commented: “Through looking at the connected car from a driver’s perspective, it’s clear that the demand for connected services in cars is unquestionable. Even though we’re just moving off of the starting line, people are ready for it and know what they want. But challenges to widespread roll-out remain.

“Many consumers currently think of connected car services in terms infotainment and WiFi, but this changes when they are made aware of the variety of options that the technology can offer. Safety and diagnostics appear to be the most attractive features to drivers, illustrating just how important factors such as road safety and vehicle maintenance are in consumer purchasing decisions.

“We can expect to see a gradual creep of connectivity into vehicles over the next few years but there won’t be an explosion over the next 12 months,” said Mathew. “The reason for this lies in the complexity of the challenges that connectivity is trying to address.

“While OEMs still have a way to go before they break out of their traditional role as a manufacturer and become a full, connected service provider, they certainly have a strong, trusted base to build from.”

Earlier this year Telefónica announced an agreement with Tesla, to provide connectivity for the Tesla Model S in Europe.

Industry quotes

Telefónica’s report includes quotes and insight from industry experts including the following:

“Autonomy obviously has implications for car ownership, and as a 110-year-old company we’re obviously taking our heritage extremely seriously as we look forward to the next 100 years. But over the next decade I think we’ll see autonomy overshadowed slightly by the use of smart materials in vehicles. Things like materials that deflect water, refract light or change colour. And then beyond that I think we’ll start to see some very cool stuff around nano electro-mechanical materials where you could start doing things with self-forming circuitry and self-morphing materials. These advances start to change our perceptions of how form and substance are influenced by the environment, overhauling what we understand about the current dimension of physicality.” John Ellis, Global Technologist and Head of the Ford Developer Program, Ford

“We are seeing a drive from consumers to actually have the same level of connectivity in the car that they would have whilst walking down the street, whilst sat in their front room, whilst sat on public transport. So just because they are spending two, three hours a day in a car, they don’t want to be disconnected from their normal life.” Ian Digman, General Manager, Nissan

“I see a huge expansion beyond legacy telematics such as vehicle health reports, safety and security, crash notifications into active safety and automated driving aspects. I also think vehicle-to-vehicle communication is going to grow very quickly in the next five years. The beauty of that technology is that the communication protocol can be used for a host of other services beyond vehicle communication, so it benefits the wider infrastructure too.” Henry Bzeih, Chief Technology Strategist, Kia

“For us it comes down to the things that make the car a better vehicle. When we talk to customers about connectivity they say well it’s a car and so what I need it to do are the things I bought a car for. They want it to be safer, more intelligent and more economical. Connectivity is a chance for OEMs to look at how we can help to reduce costs for customers and make cost of ownership lower by giving advice on how to drive more fuel efficiently, or helping you find the lowest cost source of fuel or the most efficient route. Can I, by providing data for things like usage based insurance or pay as you drive insurance, can I save you money on insurance?” Greg Ross, Director of Product Strategy and Infotainment, GM

Source: Telefonica

Ford & Toyota deploy news safety technology

Ford, Toyota Crash-Avoidance Systems Target Pedestrian Fatalities

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As pedestrian versus car fatalities continue to rise , automakers are working on new technologies to help address the problem. Most recently, both Ford and Toyota have developed new safety systems that use both automatic braking and steering to prevent the vehicles from striking a pedestrian or other obstacle in the roadway. Both announced their innovations last week, with Ford revealing a test car using its Obstacle Avoidance system, and Toyota announcing the development of its Pre-collision System with Pedestrian-avoidance Steer Assist.

Ford’s test car, a Focus introduced at its proving grounds in Lommel, Belgium, uses automatic steering and braking to avoid collisions with vehicles that are stopped or slowing in the same lane ahead, or to avoid hitting a pedestrian. The system first issues warnings when it detects slow-moving or stationary obstacles; if the driver fails to steer or brake following those warnings, the system automatically steers and brakes to avoid a crash. Ford developed the Obstacle Avoidance-equipped Focus as part of a research project in cooperation with a consortium of 29 partners creating active safety systems to intervene in imminent collisions.

“There are many instances — such as unexpectedly queuing traffic ahead — when this technology could benefit both the driver whose car is equipped with the technology and others on the road,” said Barb Samardzich, vice president of product development for Ford of Europe, in a statement.

On Friday in Japan, Toyota announced that it had developed a similar system, which uses automatic steering combined with increased precollision braking force and automatic braking specifically designed to help avoid striking pedestrians. The system, PCS with Pedestrian-avoidance Steer, kicks in when automatic braking alone is not sufficient, such as when the vehicle is going too fast or a pedestrian suddenly steps into its path, according to the automaker.

An onboard sensor detects pedestrians and issues a visual alert on the dashboard in front of the driver; if the likelihood of a collision increases, the system issues an audio alarm, and the increased precollision braking force and automatic braking functions are activated. If the system determines a collision cannot be avoided by braking alone, and there is sufficient room for avoidance, steer assist is activated to steer the vehicle away from the pedestrian.

“Toyota is committed to developing safety technologies that help eliminate traffic fatalities and injuries involving pedestrians and other vulnerable road users,” the automaker said in a statement.

Toyota said it intends to make the pedestrian-avoidance technology widely available by 2015. Ford did not specify a timeline for the availability of the Obstacle Avoidance system.

Source: Co-Star