Attention turns back to stereo systems
Apple has opened up yet another automotive-related job position, notes AppleInsider. The company is currently searching for an In-Car Software QA Manager, who will help "drive iPod/iPhone/iPad integration testing with car stereos." The person is specifically expected to help test stereo compatibility with iOS products.
New LaFerrari builds iPad mini into passenger seats
Apple and Ferrari are in talks about expanding a partnership on in-car entertainment systems, says Ferrari chairman Luca Cordero Di Montezemolo. Bloomberg reports that the executive made the comments at today's Geneva motor show. Ferrari has just introduced a new hybrid car, the LaFerrari, which builds iPad minis into the passenger seats.
Allows music, calling, texting control
As promised, Chevrolet's 2013 Sonic and Spark cars have been updated to support Siri Eyes Free. The bridge is handled through MyLink, a touchscreen interface built into the vehicles. To use the function a person has to connect a cellular-equipped iOS device via Bluetooth; commands are issued by pressing a voice activation button on the steering wheel.
May integrate with HondaLink and AcuraLink
Honda has announced a slate of 2013 cars that will support Apple's Eyes Free feature for Siri. The technology will come as a dealer-installed option for the new Honda Accord, as well as for the Acura RDX and ILX. On the Accord it may be integrated with the company's new HondaLink console, whereas the Acuras will likely rely on AcuraLink. No prices have been revealed so far.
Listing of supporting companies so far up to 10
Korea's Hyundai is joining the list of car makers supporting Apple's Siri Eyes-Free technology, according to a CES announcement. The company hasn't identified specific car models yet, but says that upcoming vehicles with dashboard consoles will get the technology. Using Eyes-Free requires a mobile device running iOS 6.
Chevy Volt Owner Sokoler
The Chevy Volt is unique among electric cars because it runs on two sources of energy. You have an electric -- a battery -- that allows you to drive gas-free for an EPA–estimated 35 miles. And there's also an onboard gas generator that produces electricity so you can go farther. So if you want to drive using only electricity, you can. If you want to drive using electricity and gas, you can do that, too. Feeling all revved up? Check out what this current Chevy Volt driver has to say about his unique driving lifestyle…
Chevrolet Volt Sponsored Post
The Chevrolet Volt is unique among electric cars because it runs on two sources of energy. You have an electric source – a battery – that allows you to drive gas-free for an EPA–estimated 35 miles. And there's also an onboard gas generator that produces electricity so you can go farther. So if you want to drive using only electricity, you can. If you want to drive using electricity and gas, you can do that, too.
No sign Apple working on car tech
Before his death on October 5th, one of the things Apple co-founder Steve Jobs wanted to build was a so-called "iCar," according to company board member and J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler. "Look at the car industry; it's a tragedy in America," he said during a Fast Company conference this week. "Who is designing the cars? ... Steve's dream before he died was to design an iCar."
Technology 'redundant' to owners
The American branch of Hyundai is abandoning its program of giving out free iPads as Equus owner manuals, according to CEO John Krafcik. The promotion was originally announced in April 2010, at the same time as the first iPad was launching in the US. The campaign has also been a central element of TV ads for the Equus.
Deal requires early deposit
Swedish car maker Saab is now using the iPad as a promotional tool, says Leftlane News. People placing an order on the upcoming 9-4X can now get a 16GB Wi-Fi iPad. The deal requires putting down a $500, non-refundable deposit; nevertheless, Saab says it expects most 9-4X reservations to turn into car sales.
Extra technical imitations apply
With the advent of iOS 4.2, iPad owners will finally be able to connect the device directly to a car audio system, reports say. Unlike iPhones and iPods, iPads can only currently pump audio into a first- or third-party car system using an aux-in stereo connection. The addition of USB support should allow for more advanced features, such as charging, and controlling an iPad through a head unit.
Enables secondary interface
One of the lesser-known additions to iPhone 4.0, "iPod Out," may be intended in part to support integration with vehicles, a source suggests. When a handheld is connected to a device supporting the iPod Accessory Protocol, iPod Out will allegedly bring up a special interface (seen below) to be fed to a secondary display, with a simplified menu system resembling the one on the iPod classic and nano. Evidence for a connection to cars is said to come from two strings in iPod Out code, "IAPSimpleRemoteCarButtonNotification" and "IAPSimpleRemoteCarButtonTypeKey."
Combines touchscreen, voice controls
Presenting at the CES expo in Las Vegas, Ford has formally introduced MyFord, a new dashboard interface. The technology replaces a number of the gauges in a vehicle with two 4.2-inch LCDs, which can be customized to display particular information. Many controls are being replaced with an eight-inch touchscreen, as well as five-way buttons on the steering wheel, and Sync-based voice commands.
Linked with HD Radio receivers
Some Ford cars shipping next year will support iTunes Tagging, the automaker has announced. In vehicles equipped with HD Radio receivers, people will be able to push "Tag" buttons on their displays, automatically saving the track data from on-air music. Once an iPod is docked with a car via Ford Sync, up to 100 tags will be transferable for later display in iTunes.
Works with Viper security systems
Viper has launched Viper SmartStart for the iPhone. The app works with Viper remote start systems to start a car, lock or unlock its doors, and open its trunk. It can also be used to find a car, or set off a panic alarm. The app can control more than one car, and allows for multiple users to control the same vehicle.
Nissan iPhone car app
Nissan is developing an iPhone app to accompany a trio of electric cars, according to sister site Leftlane News. The cars are expected to be announced on August 2nd, at which point the iPhone app may be announced as well. Taking advantage of Apple's iPhone 3.0 firmware, the app should be able to monitor a car's battery level away from the display.
Cadillac in-car Internet
GM-owned car maker Cadillac has announced an April introduction for its first in-car Internet service. Dubbed Cadillac WiFi, the service is actually based around a device from Autonet Mobile, which is portable between vehicles and should allow computers and similar devices to access the Internet via a local network connection. The first car to come with the option will be the CTS sport sedan; the Autonet device will sell for $499, while maintaining service should cost $29 per month.
Mercedes iPhone services
As iPod integration becomes a standard option, the iPhone is next in line for car-audio upgrades. Mercedes is preparing to offer a $400 iPhone integration as an option on 2009 model-year cars, according to Leftlane News. First announced last week, the device is an iPhone cradle integrated into the console between the driver and passenger seats, and can be operated from the car's steering wheel-mounted controls. The cradle should offer full connectivity to all the iPhone's audio options. A retrofit for older Mercedes models will also be available. It is expected in August for about $400.
Mercedes integrates iPhone
Luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz this week revealed that an integrated iPhone cradle is now available as an option on all its vehicles. Allowing drivers to easily switch between standard radio and iPhone functions, it offers full iPhone functionality through the vehicle's driver display and multifunction steering wheel. In addition to helping drivers comply with traffic legislation specific to mobile telephone usage in cars, Mercedes believes that the cradle "enhances road safety, as the driver’s hands remain on the steering wheel, leaving them free to concentrate on the traffic and the other controls in the cockpit."
Apple, VW talks on hold?
Negotiations between Apple and Volkswagen are at a halt, a German business publication suggests. The companies' respective CEOs, Steve Jobs and Martin Winterkorn, are said to have met in August to discuss the prospect of an "iCar," which would integrate Apple products directly into the design; now however, Capital magazine claims that although Volkswagen later confirmed exploratory talks, these have suddenly stopped. "The project is shaky," say the magazine's business sources.
Toshiba 80GB Car Drive
Looking to grow the market for in-car computers, Toshiba today introduced the largest-ever hard drive built specifically for vehicles. The MK8050 series stores just 80GB but includes the shock tolerance to handle engine vibration or the jolts from the road underneath. These new 2.5-inch drives are 50 percent more resilient than past models despite the size increase, Toshiba boasts. The company also creates a cushion of air around the read head that prevents it from scratching the platters during a car trip, even at altitudes as high as 3.4 miles above sea level where the pressure would otherwise not be enough to prevent an accident.