Copyright © 2016
Tag - Cars
Ford is rolling out an update for its vehicles which introduces Siri Eyes-Free to the Sync entertainment and communications system. Originally announced in mid-October, the update for Ford vehicles sold since 2011 with a second-generation version of the Sync system can now update to version 3.8, adding the ability to interact with Siri on a nearby iPhone via the vehicle's built-in microphone and audio system.
Not everyone likes having their car windscreen blocked by a big iPhone 6 Plus and in many states they can like it all they want, they're still not allowed to do it. Plus, we don't all have cars, some of us hire one only when we need it. For each of us, a full-blown car mount for our iPhones is overkill and instead the Vent Luxe is a contender. It's an iPhone car mount that you wedge onto the slats of your air conditioning vents.
Google's fleet of self-driving cars have been involved in a few accidents while driving on public roads, though the number is relatively low. Over the six years of the project, and over the course of 1.7 million miles of autonomous and manual driving, Google reveals the cars have been in a total of 11 minor accidents involving light damage and no injuries, though apparently none of them have been caused by the car itself.
The European Parliament has voted in favor of new regulations that would require new vehicles to call the emergency services in the event of an emergency. The eCall regulation, due to come into force from April 2018, will force manufacturers to install equipment that will automatically contact the 112 European emergency services line if in-car sensors or safety features are triggered, for example when the airbag deploys.
Google may find it has competition in the development and production of self-driving cars, as Uber is planning to research the technology with Carnegie Mellon University. At the same time as the research plan announcement, reports claim that Google is exploring the possibility of its own competing ride-hailing app, though other sources seem to claim it to be an exaggeration.
Last week at the S4X15 Security Conference, Corey Thuen of Digital Bond Labs presented a talk called "Remote Controlled Cars." The talk outlined security flaws Thuen found in a Snapshot OBD device provided by Progressive Insurance plugged into his Toyota Tundra. Separately, another researcher has found security issues in the Zubie Connected Car service.
The 2016 model of the Chevy Volt will support Apple's CarPlay, at least if an early demonstration version is accurate. The car is on display at this week's North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and its dash system shows options for both CarPlay and MirrorLink connections. Google's Android Auto is notably absent, but since the 2016 Volt isn't due to go on sale until mid-2015, there may be time to implement it.
Pioneer and Kenwood have used CES to announce a slate of new headunits, all of which are compatible with both Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto. The Pioneer offerings include the AVIC-8100NEX ($1,400), AVIC-7100NEX ($1,200), and AVH-4100NEX ($700). Each has an external microphone for voice commands, as well as a wired remote and support for HDMI input, Bluetooth, HD Radio, and dual-zone audio/video playback. The 8100 sports a seven-inch capacitive touchscreen, whereas the other two models use lesser resistive touchscreens. The products should ship in March.
Alpine has begun shipping the previously-announced iLX-007, its first receiver to support Apple's CarPlay platform. The device has also been given an $800 pricetag. It sports a 7-inch 800x480 touchscreen, three 2V preouts, one aux input, and an input for rear-view camera systems. Like other Alpine receivers, it uses a technology called MediaXpander to try to improve the quality of compressed digital audio.
As hinted at earlier in the year, Alpine has joined Pioneer in introducing CarPlay-compatible in-dash receivers, beginning with the iLX-007. The unit has a 7-inch WVGA touchscreen, and three 2V preouts as well as aux and Lightning inputs. Drivers with rear-view cameras can connect those as well.