Tag Archives: infotainment

VNC Automotive collaborates with Noser Engineering AG to introduce a new MirrorLink enabled concept

VNC Automotive, the global provider of VNC® remote access technology and premier MirrorLink supplier are pleased to announce their collaboration with Noser Engineering, a leading software supplier in the technical computer science industry.

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Noser Engineering have collaborated with VNC Automotive to produce a new concept that will revolutionize the existing in-car connectivity market. This exciting project sees Noser developing a screen-less embedded module for installation into vehicles that integrates the RealVNC MirrorLink server and can be connected to certified MirrorLink enabled head units. The result is a highly flexible solution for vehicle manufactures and fleet operators that will support a range of their dedicated console apps and simplifies geographical customisation.

“We are delighted to collaborate with Noser Engineering on this exciting project which will deliver a new concept using MirrorLink as a safe and flexible open standard, enabling automotive OEM’s and fleet operators to deploy applications to their vehicles” said Tom Blackie, Vice President of Automotive at RealVNC. “We look forward to a very long and successful working relationship with Noser Engineering”.

Noser Engineering also looks forward to the collaboration and future projects with VNC Automotive. “The collaboration between VNC Automotive and Noser Engineering will consolidate both company’s strengths,” says Patrick Schättin, Head of Automotive at Noser Engineering AG. “The expertise of VNC Automotive, and in particular being the well-known supplier of MirrorLink technology, combined with the know-how of Noser Engineering as a full-service software provider, enable us to develop new, innovative and customer-specific solutions in the area of car connectivity.”

RealVNC software is technology agnostic and readily embraces complementary standards such as Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto and Baidu’s CarLife. VNC Automotive includes VNC Telematics™, VNC Enhanced™ and the RealVNC MirrorLink Certified solution that pairs the driver’s car with their mobile device, enabling mobile devices to perform a number of different functions within the car. In an industry where driver safety is of the utmost importance, VNC Automotive technology allows the mobile device to be controlled from the car dashboard, vehicle bezel keys, or steering wheel switches without distracting the driver.

About RealVNC

VNC Automotive is a division of RealVNC, the global provider of VNC® remote access technology. RealVNC’s software is used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide; in over 1 billion devices; in every sector of industry, government and education. RealVNC is a Charter member of the Car Connectivity Consortium supporting the MirrorLink® specification, which uses VNC. VNC Automotive underpins many of the commercial MirrorLink Certified™ products and has been available in production with automotive OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers and phone vendors for several years. It is already in millions of vehicles available from many of the major automotive OEMs. Founded by the original inventors of VNC, RealVNC is the only organization able to offer a commercial license to embed VNC in third-party products and offerings. www.realvnc.com RealVNC®, VNC® and RFB® are trademarks of RealVNC Limited and are protected by trademark registrations and/or pending trademark applications in the European Union, United States of America and other jurisdictions. MirrorLink Certified™, MirrorLink® and the MirrorLink® Logo are certification marks and trademarks of the Car Connectivity Consortium LLC. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited.

Source: VNC Automotive

On-board infotainment: choose the profitable route

Roger Matthews, Managing Director at GoMedia, explores how train operators should take advantage of their on-board infotainment system to drive ancillary revenue and form deeper relationships with passengers.

The on-board infotainment revolution is a huge opportunity for transport operating companies (TOCs) across Europe and beyond. It’s a chance to boost ancillary revenue and bring about a profound change in relationships with passengers by offering a more personalised experience. To stand out though, operators joining this revolution must now provide free, world-class entertainment, which is more beneficial than pay-per-view avenues.

GoMedia’s understanding of this issue comes from working with leading operators like National Express, Eurostar and Virgin Trains, who have all recently launched state-of-the-art on-board systems that are proving extremely popular with passengers. These systems yield improved passenger satisfaction levels post-launch, with one operator in particular recently reporting a 6% increase in satisfaction from an already impressive 80% to 86% in the space of just three months.

As well as creating the operator’s infotainment portal, GoMedia also handles content-sourcing and digital rights management, so they also understand the viewpoint of content owners, whether for blockbuster movies, catch-up TV, box sets or games. From these insights, GoMedia is now advising operators that the following approaches are the best ways of monetising on-board infotainment, meeting the needs of operators and publishers alike…

Effective sponsorship and advertising

Sponsorship and advertising is a vital revenue stream that can be used to target passengers when connected to the on-board infotainment system. For example, pre-roll video ads – online video commercials – can appear after a passenger launches an infotainment system or just before they view content. These adverts can be targeted to particular demographics on the basis of usage history. Partnering with high-profile advertisers represents a significant opportunity. One operator is already enjoying a successful partnership with bookmakers, Betfred, streaming service NOW TV and digital magazine service Readly, who are all reporting impressive sign-up numbers.

The power of taster content

Sometimes you only need to see one episode of a TV series and you’re hooked. In another partnership that has proved highly successful, NOW TV is offering taster episodes of hit shows to passengers who use an on-board infotainment system available via a web browser or an app (iOS and Android), so passengers can sample content before they sign-up. This approach is popular with content providers and transport operators who want to have premium content on-board.

A spot of shopping to pass the time

Transport operators can also reap the rewards of partnerships with online retailers. Here, passengers connecting to the on-board infotainment system are offered special deals by a retail partner, with the transport operator receiving a commission. Other potential sources of ancillary revenue include at-seat ordering, destination deals and first-class upgrades.

Using their own smartphone, tablet or laptop, it’s quick and easy for users; a key advantage of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach. And TOCs that run coach and bus services can extend their bespoke infotainment delivery to the next stage of a passenger’s onward journey.

The bigger picture

Making content free to view encourages many more passengers to use the on-board infotainment system, which brings further important benefits. For a start, it helps reduce perceived journey times, again making for happier travellers.

Meanwhile, data gathered as passengers interact with infotainment systems can reveal crucial insights about their preferences. And transport companies can also slash their cellular backhaul costs when higher-bandwidth content is streamed via the on-board Wi-Fi, freeing up the mobile network for lower-bandwidth use by other passengers.

New ancillary revenue streams, reduced costs and an improved customer experience; all based on giving content away for free. This is a revolution indeed.

Source: Roger Matthews, Managing Director of GoMedia

Volkswagen and LG agree joint development on Connected Car Initiative

LG Electronics (LG) and Volkswagen AG have entered into a memorandum of understanding signaling their commitment to cooperate on the research and development of a next-generation connected car service platform.

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Key LG executives present at the signing at Volkswagen HQ in Wolfsburg, Germany included Richard Choi, head of LG Cloud Center, Lee Sang-yong, head of LG Vehicle Infotainment System Research Lab. Representing Volkswagen were Prof. Thomas Form, head of Electronics and Vehicle Research and Robert Kattner, head of Vehicle Information Systems Research.

The two companies will work together to develop Volkswagen’s Cross-Over-Platform to enhance vehicle connectivity and convenience. Using the latest in cloud technology, the goal of the new platform is to offer drivers a seamless digital life with access to features such as smart home services and location based services from their vehicles

Over the course of the next few years, LG and Volkswagen will collaborate to:

  • Develop technologies that bring together the connected car and the smart home, giving drivers the ability to control and monitor smart devices in their homes — such as lights, security systems and household supplies — from the road.
  • Develop a notification center that understands context and delivers notices in an intuitive and safe manner and also provides optimized recommendations for drivers to respond based on real-time situations.
  • Develop optimized next generation infotainment technology for connected cars.

“Volkswagen is pressing on with the digitalization of its brands,” said Professor Form at the official signing of the agreement. “Our focus in doing so is always on our customers. For them, comfort, safety and energy efficiency play a central role. LG is a strong, reliable partner in the implementation of new features and one of the drivers of innovation in the networked household. We look forward to working with LG and to developing in future simple, easy-to-use smart home solutions for our customers integrated into our vehicle systems.”

“LG Electronics and Volkswagen are teaming up to develop the next generation of connected car platform that allows wide integration with smart home services and adoption of open IoT connectivity technologies,” said Richard Choi, head of the LG Cloud Center. “We think LG’s expertise in smart technology together with Volkswagen’s leadership in the automotive space will revolutionize the way drivers interact with their vehicles.”

This lastest agreement is an example of the long and mutually beneficial relationship LG and Volkswagen have developed over decades. LG was one of the first electronics companies to commit itself to the automotive industry with the launch of its Vehicle Components division in July 2013. Even before then, LG has been working closely with Volkswagen since 2007, supplying advanced audio-visuals products for vehicles and establishing a reputation for reliability and technological innovation.

In March in 2015, Volkswagen subsidiary Italdesign Guigiaro unveiled its GEA concept car at the Geneva Motor Show with seven key components supplied by LG Electronics, including the holographic display, connected smart watch, rear lamp and camera. In July, LG was selected as Volkswagen’s strategic electronics supplier and also listed as a partner company on its FAST (Future Automotive Supply Tracks) program. At CES earlier this year, the two companies successfully demonstrated an advanced smart home service that could be controlled remotely from a vehicle.

Source: LG Electronics

 

 

 

Parrot Automotive Unveils Latest SDR Chip For Next Genneration Connectivity

Parrot unveils its latest SDR chip “O3+”: worldwide radio reception combined with Parrot connectivity solutions

 

Parrot unveils its latest SDR chip “O3+”: worldwide radio reception combined with Parrot connectivity solutions

Parrot unveils its latest SDR chip “O3+”: worldwide radio reception combined with Parrot connectivity solutions

 

Parrot Automotive, a leading player in the field of Connected Automotive Infotainment and the best-in-class provider of radio solutions in mobility, is proud to introduce the Octopus 3+.

Building upon the market-proven Octopus 3, Parrot “O3+” takes digital and analog radio reception to the next level. The current generation is already deployed through major European, Japanese and Chinese OEMs and enables global radio reception: AM, FM, DAB, DAB+, DRM, DRM+, DVB-T2 Lite and HD Radio* standards. Aside from this worldwide tuner, the Octopus 3+ embeds an ARM Cortex-A5 processor with a fully-featured Linux system running Parrot well-known connectivity middleware for Bluetooth, telephony, voice recognition, media, etc. The chip also features an Ethernet, CAN and USB interface.

The O3+ is running the state of the art processing algorithms that made the success of the Octopus Chip Series: fast and accurate channel estimation, multipath rejection, Doppler Effect compensation and MRC diversity. Thanks to its background scanning and diversity capacities, the Octopus 3+ is also an all-in-one high-end radio solution. As a result, it enables best-in-class reception of radio in motion, even at very high speeds. The Octopus 3+addresses all major radio standards deployed throughout the world, thus providing car makers with a single solution for global deployment, lowering R&D, testing and qualification costs. The Octopus 3+ plays its part in building an increasingly connected in-vehicle environment at an affordable cost.

In addition, this universal component delivers the processing power required by any variation of smart antenna or media box application. The Octopus 3+ is offered to all major Tier-1 auto suppliers as a reference design.

“We are proud to bring this cutting edge tuner-processor to the automotive market: the Octopus 3+ enables worldwide tuner capabilities and media features,” says Éric Riyahi, Executive Vice-President at Parrot Automotive.

Source: Parrot Automotive

Land Rover Discovery Sport The SUV That Never Forgets

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The world’s-first automotive integration of Tile Bluetooth tracking device with Land Rover InControl™ apps: WATCH HERE

  • Smart app ensures customers never leave important day-to-day items behind.

  • Tile integration links to new InControl Touch Pro infotainment system and can even direct owners to missing or lost items.

    The 2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport is the car that never forgets thanks to the world-first integration of Tile’s advanced tracking app. The premium compact SUV is the first vehicle to incorporate the pioneering technology in addition to enhanced new design, convenience and safety features.

The rush to work or the school run can often result in important items being left behind, but the new Discovery Sport is designed to make forgotten wallets and missing bags a thing of the past. The app uses Tile tags, tiny Bluetooth trackers that can be attached to important items and used to track their whereabouts using smartphone technology.

With the average person spending 15 minutes a day searching for lost items*, the unique in-vehicle app promises to put an end to this wasted time. Once the app is initiated using the central touchscreen, customers are alerted if specified items are not inside the vehicle and are even able to get on-screen directions to their last known location.

Peter Virk, Jaguar Land Rover’s Director of Connected Technologies & Apps, said:  “Losing your wallet or leaving your child’s sports kit behind isn’t just an inconvenience. The realisation you’ve mislaid something important can be a cause of distraction. Our unique partnership with Tile means customers can check the status of tagged items using Discovery Sport’s touchscreen, so forgotten items will be a thing of the past.”

Jaguar Land Rover is the first automotive company to integrate Tile with its in-car entertainment system. The partnership allows customers to establish a list of ‘Essentials’ using the vehicle touchscreen, which are always checked when the app is initiated. If items are lost inside the vehicle, customers are able to sound a 90-decibel alarm on the Tile tag, to help locate them.

Mike Farley, CEO of Tile, said: “We’re really excited to be partnering with Jaguar Land Rover. We believe this integration will provide many benefits such as improved assurance and peace of mind about the whereabouts of essential items, helping drivers save time before they embark on journeys. Having increased the number of Tiles in circulation from two million to over five million in the last six months alone, we are confident of the extensive advantages this will bring to Jaguar Land Rover customers globally.”

The Tile smartphone app is compatible with both Android and Apple platforms and the number of items that can be tracked is limitless.

Premium Design Enhancements

The 2017 Discovery Sport showcases a number of exciting design additions including the new Black Limited Edition. The eye-catching Black model features existing Black Design Pack exterior accents with the addition of a unique Dynamic style grille, black SPORT badging and privacy glass. It is available in a choice of three exterior colours: Silicon Silver, Yulong White and Carpathian Grey.

Graphite Pack, also offered at 2017 Model Year, includes a Dark Atlas colour finish to the grille, bonnet script and side vents, a Corris Grey contrast roof and Narvik Black mirror caps. The pack also includes new wheel colour finishes in sizes ranging from 18 to 20-inches.

Gerry McGovern, Chief Design Officer, said: “Our customers want their vehicles to stand out and expect a wide range of personalisation options. The latest additions to Discovery Sport deliver this in a premium way. With its polished finishes the additional Graphite Pack gives our compact SUV a uniquely distinctive appearance, while the new Discovery Sport Black emphasises its assertive, confident stance.”

New 2017 Discovery Sport is also available in four new body colours: Silicon Silver, Farallon Black, Carpathian Grey and Aruba metallic finishes. The premium compact SUV is manufactured at Jaguar Land Rover’s award-winning Halewood plant in the UK.

Cutting-Edge Convenience Technology

Jaguar Land Rover’s updated InControl Touch Pro infotainment system is at the heart of the technological additions. The new set-up provides a larger 10.2-inch touchscreen and intuitive menus, replicating the look and feel of smartphone apps and allowing users to swipe and pinch, just as they would on a tablet.

The screen does not require any ‘hard’ buttons and provides a super-wide 21:9 format with higher resolution than the standard 8-inch touchscreen. In addition, the increased pixel-count provides superior clarity when using the dual-screen option, ensuring neither driver nor passenger sacrifices screen quality.

InControl Touch Pro’s state-of-the art capability is delivered through a combination of a super-fast access 60GB Solid State Drive (SSD), which is around 100 per cent faster than a typical hard disc drive (HDD) and is the first automotive use of Intel’s high-performance Quad-Core computing and graphics processor.

Advanced Safety Systems

Complementing the enhanced design, convenience and technology features fitted to the 2017 Discovery Sport is a trio of new safety systems.

Driver Condition Monitor alerts the driver via visual and audible warnings if it detects signs of drowsiness. The vehicle algorithm, which continuously monitors driver inputs looking for signs of fatigue, helps to ensure safe driving.

Intelligent Speed Limiter helps drivers to keep to the speed limit. The system takes advantage of the Traffic Sign Recognition feature to detect changes to the prevailing limit. When a change occurs, the driver is prompted to accept the new maximum speed limit. Once accepted the vehicle will automatically begin to slow the vehicle to the required speed.

Lane Keep Assist uses the forward-facing camera on the vehicle to detect lane markings. If the driver begins to veer out of their lane without indicating, the vehicle will gently counter-steer to ensure it does not leave its lane unintentionally.

Source: Jaguar Land Rover

AT&T and Porsche Enter Mult-Year Connected Car Agreement

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Companies to Deliver Wirelessly Connected Vehicles with Wi-Fi and Infotainment Services

AT&T* and Porsche Cars North America, Inc., are bringing high speed Internet to select 2017 models in the U.S. as a part of a new multi-year agreement.

AT&T will offer wireless connectivity on AT&T’s 4G LTE network in certain 2017 Porsche Macan, Boxster and 911 models. Porsche’s Connect Plus services, powered by AT&T, are either standard or an available option on a number of models and will include a Wi-Fi hot spot, navigation, news and weather alerts and other infotainment services. Customers will be able to connect up to 5 devices to the hot spot.

“Porsche’s technologies have advanced performance and spurred improved innovations within the automotive industry,” said Chris Penrose, senior vice president, Internet of Things, AT&T Business Solutions.  “Our work with Porsche will continue that innovative tradition and deliver a connected experience in their cars for drivers and passengers.”

Porsche customers can take advantage of Connect Plus services with a stand-alone plan.  Existing AT&T customers can easily share data among phones, tablets and their vehicles with Mobile Share Value or purchase a separate stand-alone plan. The cost for connecting Porsche vehicles equipped with Connect Plus to an existing Mobile Share Value plan is a $10 access charge per month.[1]

To learn more about IoT’s potential to transform business, visit www.att.com/iot

Source: AT&T

The XE, Jaguars most connected car

 

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INFOTAINMENT AND CONNECTIVITY

With a tablet-style touchscreen, navigation that can tell others if you’re running late, a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to eight devices, apps for wearable technology and an 825W Meridian Digital Surround Sound system – the new XE’s next-generation infotainment system ensures that you’re always connected.

World-class infotainment technology

Customers can now choose between the InControl Touch system with 8-inch capacitive touchscreen and the next-generation InControl Touch Pro system – Jaguar’s most advanced infotainment system ever. InControl Touch Pro is designed around a tablet-style 10.2-inch touchscreen and is as intuitive to use as it is powerful, making every journey a more enjoyable, rewarding experience.

InControl Touch Pro features state-of-the-art technologies including a powerful quad-core processor and a high-speed 60GB solid-state drive (SSD). Everything is connected using ultra-fast Ethernet – the most advanced network available and up to five times quicker than competing technologies. Put together, this gives InControl Touch Pro incredible computing power and delivers exceptional performance and functionality.

The 10.2-inch touchscreen is the largest in the segment and makes interaction smooth, seamless and intuitive. The home screen can be customised and widgets can be added to provide shortcuts to specific features, functions, tasks and favourite contacts. It’s even possible to add additional customised home screens if desired.

The screen delivers superb graphics and the super-wide display enables multi-tasking. So for instance, media can be shown in the main area of the screen, while the side panel can show journey status, weather reports or phone details – swiping up or down allows the user to select from one of up to five panels.

Because the data is stored on the high-speed SSD it can be accessed in a fraction of the time needed for conventional hard drives, so the graphics are sharp, highly detailed and incredibly responsive. Users can zoom in and out of maps using ‘pinch’ and ‘pan’ gestures – nothing could be simpler or more intuitive.

InControl Touch Pro can get you to your destination even when the GPS signal is lost, thanks to innovative dead-reckoning functionality. By analysing data from the vehicle’s sensors, it can accurately predict the vehicle’s location and heading – something beyond the capability of smartphone navigation apps.

Functionality is taken to the next level by specifying InControl Touch Pro’s data connection and location-based features and services. Enter a destination and the system can check if there’s enough fuel in the tank to complete the journey. If not, the driver is alerted and filling stations on the route that are within range are highlighted on the map: a tap is all it takes to add one as a waypoint.

Drivers can use the system to share destination, current location and estimated time of arrival (ETA) with others via email or text message. If there are delays and the ETA slips, an automatic follow-up message can let them know and provide an update.

InControl Touch Pro can help drivers to avoid hold-ups in the first place: Commute Mode can learn your daily drive and, using historical and real-time traffic information, can suggest alternative routes that will help you to avoid congestion.

Arriving at your destination has never been easier. Once within 200 metres, Approach Mode will show a 360° interactive street-level view of your destination next to the main navigation display: it can even direct you to the nearest available car parking spaces.

A companion app for iOS and Android smartphones enables true door-to-door route planning and guidance and can help you to complete the final stage of your journey by public transport or on foot. The app also enables synching of routes and destinations between the device and the XE’s InControl Touch Pro system so that routes can be set in advance and uploaded automatically once in the car.

Outstanding performance: Meridian Digital Audio 

InControl Touch Pro is designed to deliver exceptional audio performance too, and offers a choice of two digital systems developed specifically for the new XE together with world-renowned British firm Meridian. The first is a superb 380W system with 11 speakers (including subwoofer), while the truly outstanding surround sound system delivers 825W and features 17 speakers (including subwoofer).

To enhance the experience still further, this system benefits from Meridian’s Trifield and Audyssey’s MultEQ XT signal processing technologies, producing rich, balanced sound throughout the XE’s cabin. And because all of the speakers and amplifiers are so carefully matched, it delivers its high output with exceptionally low levels of distortion – just 0.2 per cent.

The experience is enriched with Gracenote album art stored on the SSD drive – a massive 10GB is dedicated to user media storage. There are also smart functions such as ‘Play more like this’ which automatically compiles playlists, or Music Queue, which makes it easy to search for and add songs, albums or artists to a music queue while the current track is still playing.

As well as media streaming from smartphones and tablets via two USB ports and a dual-purpose HDMI/ MHL port, InControl Touch Pro offers a CD/DVD player too. The system also supports satellite radio, and delivers features such as buffering, enabling users to skip back to the start of tracks.

Wearable technology makes it even easier to stay in touch 

The XE’s InControl Touch and InControl Touch Pro infotainment systems support the familiar InControl Apps, Wi-Fi Hotspot, InControl Secure and InControl Protect features, but now the InControl Remote app is available for the Apple Watch, making it simpler and more convenient than ever to interact with the vehicle – no matter where you are.

Offering similar functionality to the InControl Remote smartphone app, drivers will be able to use their Apple Watch to lock and unlock the vehicle, check how much fuel is in the tank and see its location on a map. It’s even possible to set the climate control and start the engine to get the cabin to the ideal temperature before the journey begins.

Source: Jaguar Landrover

VW Offers Latest Infotainment Technologies in the US

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VOLKSWAGEN OFFERS NEW LEVELS OF CONNECTIVITY WITH CLASS LEADING SUITE OF INFOTAINMENT TECHNOLOGIES

VW is one of the first automakers to implement the top three technology standards for in-vehicle smartphone integration

  • VW’s Next Generation Car-Net platform offers one of the most comprehensive suites of connected services in the auto industry
  • Smartphone integration available through Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, and MirrorLink®
  • Connectivity features available across VW lineup, in virtually every trim
  • Volkswagen worked with tech industry giants to integrate the latest connectivity products and services in VW products
  • Comprehensive list of connected vehicle features in three areas—“Security & Service,” “Guide & Inform,” and “App-Connect”

Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced the introduction of its all-new MIB II infotainment system, available later this year on most model year 2016 Volkswagen products. The all-new infotainment system not only creates the foundation for the next generation of Volkswagen’s Car-Net connected vehicle services platform, but also offers one of the most comprehensive suites of connected vehicle services and features available in the automotive industry today. The new technology will provide consumers access to information, right at their fingertips, available across nearly the entire Volkswagen range. The first 2016 models featuring the new infotainment system will start landing in dealer showrooms late July 2015.

Under the VW Car-Net connected vehicle services umbrella, features are divided into three key areas, each offering a unique set of customer benefits—“Security & Service” includes connected car services and advanced telematics, “Guide & Inform” enhances the navigation and advanced infotainment systems, and “App-Connect” provides seamless smartphone integration through three interfaces: Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, and MirrorLink®.

“With the new MIB II infotainment platform, Volkswagen’s next generation of Car-Net connected services brings to market one of the most comprehensive suites of connectivity features ever available in an automobile,” said Michael Horn, president and CEO, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “As the people’s car brand, we knew that it was important to democratize these technologies across the Volkswagen line-up, with features like App-Connect ensuring that more consumers can integrate their smart devices in a wide range of trims on virtually every model the company sells.”

Instead of trying to control all connectivity development, Volkswagen has moved away from what has become an industry norm by collaborating with technology industry leaders to identify and integrate the latest innovations into VW products.

Modular Infotainment Platform (MIB II)
At the heart of VW’s new connectivity offerings is the new, second-generation “modular infotainment platform” (MIB II) introduced for the first time in U.S.-market 2016 Volkswagen models. The new platform brings to market one of the most dynamic infotainment technologies available, offering new levels of performance, flexibility and adaptability, enabling the brand to quickly integrate new updates.

MIB II offers higher resolution, faster processing speeds, and crisp graphics that further improve on the MIB I system offered in 2015 Volkswagen Golf models. These units feature touchscreens as standard equipment on all models. On most models, the display utilizes a capacitive touch sensor (as in smartphone and tablet technology) enabling gesture controls like swiping and pinch-zooming rather than the resistive touchscreens that require pressure and have slightly longer response times. Similar to MIB I-equipped Volkswagen’s, vehicles with MIB II will feature a proximity sensor, which senses when a hand is nearby and automatically switches its display to allow easier selection of specific features.

For 2016, four head units will be available (depending on the trim level of the vehicle), all of which offer more connectivity, services, and convenience when compared to outgoing models.

Entry-level VW models will feature a Composition Color touchscreen radio with a 5.0-inch resistive 400 x 240 color display and a host of standard features including AUX-in, SD card slots, and a USB multimedia interface with Apple iPhone® and iPod® compatibility, reverse camera display, and Bluetooth® technology.

The Composition Media unit is available on select trims across the Volkswagen line. Incorporating the features from the Composition Color unit, the Composition Media unit adds an 800×480 capacitive color touch display with proximity sensor, with either a 6.5-inch screen for the Golf family or a 6.3-inch screen for all other Volkswagen models. Other standard features include industry-leading App-Connect smartphone integration, Bluetooth with the ability to send and receive SMS text messages with compatible phones, sync two phones simultaneously, enhanced electric vehicle functions, two SD card slots, and a JPEG viewer, SiriusXM Radio, HD Radio and support for lossless audio file format (Free Lossless Audio Codec FLAC).

Higher trim levels feature the Discover Media unit, which captures the features available in the previous two units and adds 2.5D Navigation, one-shot voice destination entry, additional electric vehicle functions, predicts possible destinations based on often used routes, and Destination Entry with Quick Search and Auto-complete, and Car-Net Guide & Inform.

For 2016, the e-Golf SEL Premium model will receive the Discover Pro unit which adds an 8.0-inch color capacitive touch display, one-shot Point-Of-Interest (POI) entry, 3D SSD navigation, Jukebox music storage with approximately 10GB of available storage, wireless connectivity, even more electric vehicle functions such as range check and range view in the map, DVD drive, and a simplified route editing features for the navigation which allows the user to drag and drop waypoints directly on the display.

Volkswagen Car-Net
Volkswagen is committed to driving the development of more connected and intelligent vehicles, and the new and improved Car-Net® connectivity system is a major element in achieving that goal. Features available through the new Car-Net are divided into three key areas, “Security & Service,” “Guide & Inform,” and “App-Connect.”

Features available through the new Car-Net are divided into three key areas, “Security & Service,” “Guide & Inform,” and “App-Connect.”

Customers purchasing new Volkswagen models equipped with VW Car-Net will receive a no-charge trial for six months after purchase. To extend the benefits of this connectivity system, customers can choose from a number of VW Car-Net payment options: 1 year, for $199; 2 years for $378; 3 years for $540; or, month-to-month, for $17.99.

Volkswagen Car-Net “Security & Service”
One of the most important aspects of vehicle ownership is feeling secure with your vehicle and Volkswagen has built several features into Car-Net “Security & Service” that underscore that customer expectation. Consumers have the ability to access the Car-Net Security & Service suite through the innovative online Customer Web Portal as well as an advanced app for smartphones, providing access to all the features available from virtually anywhere your mobile device is connected to wireless internet. The system incorporates new advanced app and smartphone integration while creating a platform that offers higher levels of comfort and convenience to Volkswagen customers.

Available security related features include Automatic Crash Notification², which automatically notifies an operator who can quickly contact first responders in the event of an collision; Manual Emergency Call, a feature that allows for quick access to customer specialists at the touch of a button; Roadside Assistance, for added peace-of-mind in the event of trouble on the road; and Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance, which uses Car-Net Security & Service to assist law enforcement with locating your vehicle in the event that it is stolen.

In addition, VW Car-Net Security & Service offers other new features for 2016 model year including a new layers of convenience such as remote vehicle access, remote door lock and unlock, remote honk and flash (of lights), last parked location information, and remote status check (doors and windows). Consumers will also be able to send a location from their connected smart device to the factory-installed compatible navigation system on select models. For consumers that prefer a more personal touch, agent destination assist is also available.

The Car-Net Security & Service also offers Family Guardian, a suite of features that help families. Features including speed alert, which notifies the owner of the vehicle when the pre-determined maximum speed limit is exceeded; and boundary alert, which lets you know when the vehicle has traveled outside of a pre-set virtual boundary.

Diagnostics and maintenance information is also available through Car-Net. A Vehicle Health Report allows Volkswagen customers to quickly check to see if their vehicle is in proper running order. When it’s time for scheduled service, Car-Net Security & Service not only notifies the customer, but provides a simple way to schedule a dealer visit. It can even identify the closest dealer in case you need a recommendation.

For e-Golf drivers, enhanced e-mobility services grant access to a long list of vehicle information from their mobile device or online. Through Car-Net, customers can access the vehicle’s climate control system remotely in order to pre-heat or pre-cool the vehicle before they return (saving energy). In addition, electric vehicle drivers will be able to set up remote charging times right through the mobile app or Customer Web Portal. Driving data is also available, allowing customers to see information including range, state-of-charge, vehicle status, and maintenance information.

Available later this year, the VW Car-Net app for Apple Watch will allow VW customers to control a host of features and functions available through the iPhone app and Customer Web Portal, directly from their wrist. Apple Watch wearers can keep an eye on their vehicle from afar, remotely locking and unlocking doors and viewing the status of doors, windows and sunroof (open or closed). Consumers will also be able to find a parked vehicle quickly, with a map of the current vehicle location, walking or driving directions to the vehicle, and the ability to honk the horn and flash the lights remotely. As with the Car-Net app for iPhone, Apple Watch wearers will also be able to receive alerts directly to their Apple Watch from the app.

Drivers of gas and TDI® Clean Diesel-equipped Volkswagen vehicles will be able to check their fuel level, while those driving the all-electric e-Golf will be able to monitor their current charge and estimated driving range, turn charging on or off and access climate control features, all from the Apple Watch.

VW Car-Net for Apple Watch will be available on the App Store for Apple Watch later this year.

Volkswagen Car-Net “Guide & Inform”
Car-Net Guide & Inform offers an enhanced navigation and infotainment experience for VW consumers. Volkswagen has incorporated technologies that enhance existing navigation offerings while adding an additional level of information that empowers consumers.

Satellite navigation is refined with Car-Net Guide & Inform, incorporating several layers of information right onto the screen. MIB II-equipped Volkswagen models with in-vehicle navigation systems will now feature real-time fuel prices, sports scores, movie information and weather data as part of the three month SiriusXM Travel Link trial. VW customers will also enjoy real-time traffic information and a complimentary four-year SiriusXM Traffic trial.

Volkswagen App-Connect
Through App-Connect, Volkswagen becomes one of the first automakers to offer three of the dominant technology standards available for in-vehicle smartphone integration. Understanding that one of the most important updates to the second generation of Car-Net is app and operating platform integration, the new App-Connect system creates seamless smartphone integration across smartphone brands utilizing three options— Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, and MirrorLink®.

Designed to be incredibly intuitive and fully integrated with Volkswagen’s infotainment system, Apple CarPlay is the smarter way to use your iPhone in the car. It takes things you want to do with your iPhone and puts them right on the car’s built-in display. With CarPlay, you can get directions, send and receive messages, and listen to audiobooks or music, through the vehicle’s touchscreen, steering wheel controls or Siri®, allowing you to stay focused on the road ahead.

CarPlay supports some third party apps including Spotify, Audible, and MLB.com at Bat. CarPlay is compatible with iPhone 5 or later iOS 7.1 or later. For more information about CarPlay, please visit www.apple.com/ios/carplay.

Android Auto will also be available as part of the Car-Net suite of connectivity offerings. Designed with convenience in mind, Android Auto will offer a simple and intuitive interface that enables users to access features through existing vehicle controls, touchscreen and voice actions for compatible Volkswagen models. Android Auto organizes contextual information into simple cards that appear on the overview screen when they are needed. Enhanced voice technology for compatible Volkswagen models makes controlling the features of Android Auto quick and easy with minimal distraction.

Consumers with Android Lollipop 5.0-powered smartphones will also be able to make and receive phone calls, listen to incoming messages, respond to messages by voice and access other features through the in-vehicle system.

Google Maps provides voice-guided navigation, real-time traffic, and predictive features based on your settings and preferences. By accessing previous destinations, searches, contacts, or messages, Google Maps is able to suggest your destination as well as places of interest the consumer may enjoy. Android Auto also provides access to stream music through Google Play Music.

Third party apps will be available with Android Auto including Spotify, iHeart Radio, Stitcher and messaging apps including Whatsapp, and Skype.

Another interface available through App-Connect is MirrorLink®. MirrorLink® technology integrates select apps and operating layouts of numerous smartphones (including select phones from Samsung, HTC, LG and Sony) into Volkswagen products. In addition to seamless integration in to a Volkswagen infotainment screen, the MirrorLink® interface will feature third party app integration including Parkopedia, Glympse, AUPEO!, miRoamer, WeatherPro, and many more.

VW Apps
Volkswagen has also developed a number of apps that can be used as part of the App-Connect suite, with plans to develop more in conjunction with each connectivity provider in the months to come.

In addition, Media Control, a technology that enables the integration of tablets and smart devices into the infotainment system and uses a special app that allows you to remotely control the infotainment system, will be available on e-Golf premium models.

The first MIB II-equipped Volkswagen models will hit dealer showrooms in the third quarter of 2015. The only 2016 Volkswagen models that will not receive the new technology are the Eos, which has a short production run, and the Touareg.

VW Car-Net is available on select Volkswagen models. For more information, visit www.vw.com/features/vw-car-net/.

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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Tesla Motors, AT&T partner on connected car

Tesla-Moters-Musk

Companies Collaborating to Deliver Wirelessly Connected Vehicles with Safety, Security, Diagnostic and Infotainment Services

AT&T, the leader in connected cars, and Tesla, the premier all-electric vehicle manufacturer, have entered into a new multi-year exclusive agreement to enable current and future Tesla vehicles in North America with high speed wireless connectivity. AT&T connectivity will power Tesla’s remote engine diagnostics, telematics, and industry-leading infotainment features such as Internet radio, Web browsing, live traffic, weather and navigation, all accessed through the 17-inch touchscreen.

“It’s an honor to work with a company as innovative as Tesla on delivering a connected experience inside automobiles for both drivers and passengers,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility.

“Tesla’s goal has always been to catalyze the market for electric vehicles for all consumers while providing an exceptional driving experience,” said Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla. “AT&T’s advanced and reliable wireless connectivity will help Tesla continue to deliver a cutting-edge ownership experience.”

In addition, AT&T announced yesterday two major initiatives to lead innovation in the connected car market – a first-of-its-kind connected car innovation center in Atlanta, called the AT&T Drive Studio, and a new global automotive solution and development platform, now called AT&T Drive.

AT&T Drive Studio features a working lab, showroom to build and exhibit the latest innovations, and serves as an overall hub where AT&T can work hand in hand with companies and respond to  opportunities presented by automotive manufacturers.

AT&T Drive is the company’s connected car platform – a modular and flexible, global solution that allows automakers to pick and choose what services and capabilities are important to them and allows them to differentiate their solutions in the marketplace.  From connectivity and billing solutions to data analytics and infotainment, this platform will allow auto makers and developers to develop their own innovative and customized connected car solutions, now and in the future.

As a telematics leader, AT&T already provides mobile internet access in vehicles manufactured by both domestic and foreign automobile makers. AT&T was the first to enter the market with a proprietary, global SIM platform which made it possible for automotive, consumer and M2M equipment makers to work through a single carrier to wirelessly enable and connect products across the globe, and cars are being sold throughout world today with this SIM.

Source: Tesla