Clever little car mount for iPhones
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.
Autonomous car accidents involved minimal damage, Google claims
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.
EU approves plan for cars to call emergency services at the time of an accident
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.
Uber working with Carnegie Mellon University on self-driving car research
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.
Attackers can use cell connection to rewrite device; risks range from privacy to 'loss of life and l
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.
Native CarPlay support still rare
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.
Third-party vendors go platform-agnostic
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.
Unit has three-inch depth
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.
Increases small number of CarPlay options
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.
Technology too complex, non-intuitive, company says
Even though Apple's Siri is meant to simplify smartphone commands and in some cases enable hands-free control, it's in fact a severe distraction for drivers, according to a study from the AAA's Foundation for Traffic Safety. The group studied 45 drivers, asking them to accomplish various tasks using native in-car voice systems as well as Siri. Real and simulated cars were used; for Siri, people were given an iPhone 5 with iOS 7, as well as a microphone. Siri users were asked to make phone calls, send and receive texts, update Facebook and Twitter, and check their calendar. Other voice systems were tested with tasks like adjusting the radio, listening to and composing messages, and navigating simple and complex menus.
Marks first practical support for platform
Pioneer has issued long-delayed firmware updates, bringing support for Apple's CarPlay platform to several of its NEX receivers. These include the AVH-4000NEX, AVIC-5000NEX, AVIC-6000NEX, AVIC-7000NEX, and AVIC-8000NEX, which range in cost from $700 to $1,400. CarPlay is also an option on the new $600 AppRadio 4. To leverage of the technology, users must have an iPhone 5 or better, running at least iOS 7.1.
Apple developing fix
The current versions of iOS 8 is creating problems for people who pair their iPhones with Bluetooth devices, particularly car audio systems, according to complaints. In the case of cars, devices with the firmware may refuse to pair, fail to play audio, or disconnect when a phonecall comes in. The problem can't be solved with iOS 8.0.2, and is affecting many automotive brands, including BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Toyota, and others.
Mercedes working on 'highly sophisticated head-unit based solution'
Two of the core automakers supporting Apple's CarPlay -- Volvo and Mercedes-Benz -- have both confirmed that they won't have vehicles with the technology in 2014, despite earlier promises. "As of now, we do not support CarPlay in our series production cars," the latter party says. "We are working on a highly sophisticated head-unit based solution, which will enable CarPlay as well as other systems (e.g. MirrorLink) â€¦ we are not quite sure if we will feature an aftermarket solution. CarPlay won't be available by the end of this year, but in 2015."
Car accessory mounts iPhone to air vents
Logitech has announced a pair of new accessories for the iPhone 5 and 5s. The first is the Protection+, a case with a tough external shell and a rubber internal layer to absorb some of the force of impacts. Its edges are deliberately raised to guard the screen. Phones in the case should be able to withstand drops up to 1.8 meters, or roughly 6 feet.
Number could be higher, as Apple broadens compatibility with makers
A new report from ABI Research suggests that as many as a third of all new vehicles sold by 2019 could be compatible with Apple's CarPlay techology, right alongside competitors such as Android Auto and potentially other systems. Just now hitting the market, Apple's CarPlay system works with automakers' built-in infotainment systems, cooperatively overriding the vehicle's native interface when users plug in a Lightning-compatible iPhone or other iOS device (Android Auto works in the same manner, but for selected premium Android phones).
Includes major brands like Chrysler, Dodge, Mazda
An additional eight car brands have confirmed plans for vehicles supporting Apple's CarPlay platform. These include Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Mazda, and Ram. So far, though, the parties haven't said when their first CarPlay-ready vehicles will arrive, or which models will have support.
Integration follows 'intensive dialog' with Apple
Audi has announced plans to offer CarPlay-equipped vehicles beginning in 2015. The integration is said to be the result of "intensive dialog" with Apple, and work at Audi's Silicon Valley development lab. Which models will get CarPlay, however, has yet to be revealed, and it's not known if custom apps or features will be used to distinguish Audi's take on the platform.
Connected car system said to use Android smartphone functions
Google is preparing to unveil its competitor to Apple's CarPlay at Google I/O next week, according to a report. Believed to be codenamed Google Auto Link, the system is said to be a "projected" system instead of an embedded system, namely that the car can connect to a mobile device and be controlled using media interfaces and displays already installed in vehicle.
Uber launches uberFamily pilot service in NYC
Uber has announced a new pilot service, uberFamily, launching first in New York City. The cab-hailing service is offering users vehicles that are equipped with car seats for children. The seats will be installed by those who are trained and certified to do so, and accommodates children aged one year and up. Available for a $10 surcharge, those interested in trying out the service in the New York City area must enter "FAMILY" as a code in the app to access the option.
Connected Car Fund will work with Nokia's Here maps arm on investments
Nokia is planning to invest $100 million into companies working on computing in cars. Buoyed by a cash influx from the sale of its mobile phone business to Microsoft for $7.2 billion, the company wants to put money towards those creating technologies for "connected and intelligent vehicles," with the fund set to be managed by the company's own Nokia Growth Partners venture capital arm.
Brings mainstream cars into CarPlay lineup
Hyundai will support Apple's CarPlay beginning with 2015-model Sonatas shipping later this year, according to an announcement. The Korean carmaker is the first since Volvo, Ferrari, and Mercedes-Benz to reveal specific plans for vehicles shipping in 2014. One more, Honda, has yet to say which car models it will fit with CarPlay. Other brands -- such as Ford, BMW, and Toyota -- may not have CarPlay-ready vehicles until 2015 arrives.
Uncertain if device will have Apple sanction
Car audio and navigation company Alpine will start selling its first aftermarket CarPlay upgrade in the fall, according to Nikkei. Details are relatively scarce, but the unit will reportedly cost between $500 and $700, and "likely" measure 7 inches. Given the nature of CarPlay, the unit will presumably need to be dealer-installed.
Volvo suggests retrofits unlikely
Ferrari will not be retrofitting any of its existing cars to support CarPlay, the company states. "The new system CarPlay is available only on new range cars and cannot be installed on older ones," a representative says. The company is instead pointing people to an aftermarket product it offers that provides "last generation infotainment" compatible with modern phones.
Pioneer distances itself from service rep's statement
Kenwood isn't planning any aftermarket CarPlay add-ons for 2014, says a marketing manager for the company, Scott Caswell. He in fact suggests that Apple could be reserving CarPlay as a perk for automakers, who may want it to entice new car buyers. The manager adds, though, that Kenwood products already support some subsets of CarPlay, like Siri and media playback. CarPlay proper involves duplicating iOS control functions on an in-dash display.
No CarPlay support expected until 2015
Earlier today, Toyota accidentally leaked news of its CarPlay plans on its UK blog, reports note. The site was scarce on details, but briefly claimed that CarPlay was "coming soon" in 2015 models. That news was deleted however, and replaced with a new post and a correction. "A previous version of this article said Apple CarPlay would be in Toyota cars from 2015. This is incorrect and we are happy to put the matter straight," it says. "No announcements have been made about if and when Apple CarPlay will arrive in Toyota cars."
Suggests workarounds coming for cars without built-in support
Pioneer is exploring the possibility of adding CarPlay support to its current and future aftermarket car add-ons, a customer service representative for the company says. Although the claim doesn't constitute an official announcement, and no specific products have been named, it may represent the first hint that CarPlay could reach vehicles that don't even have built-in dash displays. Mercedes-Benz has proposed retrofitting older models for Apple's technology, but that might still be limited to cars with integrated displays.
Main barrier may be Apple approval
CarPlay support is fairly easy to implement for apps, suggests Brian Lakamp, Clear Channel's president of Digital. iHeartRadio -- an app that streams Clear Channel stations -- is one of the few third-party offerings currently supported by CarPlay. "Apple is pretty selective about how they disclose information," Lakamp says about how his company gained a toehold. "Apple made us aware of the opportunity. We were enthusiastic to participate and then worked closely with them to build the demo that they just demoed in Geneva." The iHeartRadio team was given early access to the private CarPlay API.
May alleviate problem of limited CarPlay support
Mercedes-Benz is working on an aftermarket installation option for older cars without Apple's CarPlay, the company has confirmed. While the technology will be present in the 2014 C-Class, even people with older C-Class models won't have access to the technology at first. Mercedes will only say that it's developing "an after-market solution for previous cars," leaving pricing and other details unknown.
Pandora support could come down the road
As it stands, Apple's CarPlay doesn't currently support Pandora, according to an official statement. When CarPlay was announced on Monday, Apple initially highlighted just Spotify, Beats Radio, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, and its own Podcasts and iTunes Radio as compatible music/podcast-themed apps. "At this time, Pandora is not integrated with Apple CarPlay," the Pandora statement reads. "As a first mover in the auto space, we continue to broaden our relationships with OEMs while also exploring other opportunities to expand our presence in the car. Apple has been and continues to be a valued partner."
Carmaker to also offer Android, existing in-car options
Following in the same steps as Volvo, Mercedes-Benz has published a series of photos (below) showing how CarPlay integration will look in future vehicles. The company is due to show off a new C-Class with CarPlay support at this week's Geneva Motor Show. Significantly, though, Mercedes says it will continue to offer non-Apple alternatives.
Tech to be supported in Volvo vehicles with Scalable Product Architecture
Carmaker Volvo has published a new promotional video (below), demonstrating how Apple's CarPlay will be integrated into its future car models. Seven apps are shown, including Phone, Music, Maps, Messages, Now Playing, Podcasts, and Spotify. In related press material Volvo notes that integration will be reserved for vehicles supporting its new Scalable Product Architecture, beginning with the XC90 SUV.
TP-Link now shipping Wireless Range Extender Kit PowerLine Edition
Networking products company TP-Link is now shipping its TL-WPA4220KIT, a wireless range extender kit which uses Powerline and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi technology. Capable of providing network coverage anywhere up to 1000 feet measured by electrical circuitry, the new wireless extender is ideal for multi-level home and large offices. The kit includes two Powerline adapters, of which one connects to the router and feeds network connection through existing electrical circuitry at 500Mbps, and the latter broadcasts that connection as a 300Mbps Wi-Fi signal while providing two fast Ethernet ports for concurrent wired connectivity. The TL-WPA4220KIT is priced at $60, and is available for purchase online.
Newspaper also suggests iWatch might be able to predict heart attacks
Apple was at one point considering buying electric auto maker Tesla, a report from the San Francisco Chronicle suggests. The paper cites a source who says that in April of 2013, Tesla CEO Elon Musk met with Apple's head of acquisitions -- Adrian Perica -- at the company's Cupertino headquarters. It's speculated that he might also have met with Apple CEO Tim Cook, a strong possibility given Musk's importance, especially if the two companies were exploring a buyout.
Aereo reopens new registrations in New York City after extending capacity
Aereo has re-opened itself to new subscribers in New York, after rectifying its temporary capacity issues in the region. The cloud-based DVR service will not be allowing for new registrations, reports CNet, with a company spokesperson advising those who pre-registered will get priority for joining the service, with others expected once the wait list queue is shortened. Aereo's other service areas remain unaffected.
Could be used for mobile payments for gas, parking
Automatic's Link "smart driving assistant" has been issued a software update allowing it to operate as an iBeacon, reports say. The Link is normally just meant to help optimize a car's performance. With the update, though, the device should be able to both transmit and receive data from compatible devices within Bluetooth range, such as iPhones and iPads.
Depicts voice, location-beaming features
New video from developer Steven Troughton-Smith shows iOS in the Car in action, running in iOS Simulator. The clip (below) shows Troughton-Smith going through some basic functions, including beaming a location from an iPhone to a virtual in-dash display. The dash also brings up a Siri prompt, asking people to speak a search term such as "1 Infinite Loop," "ice cream," or "San Francisco."
Timeline for feature's launch still vague
iOS in the Car has changed significantly since it was first demonstrated at WWDC 2013, the current state of pre-release code shows. Apple has for instance rearranged the status bar into a vertical position, and altered the look and placement of buttons. This includes completely revamping the app screen to use a more standard icon placement, instead of displaying an unlabeled bar.
Display Audio tech requires iPhone 5 or later
The 2014 Civic and the 2015 Fit will each get two forms of iOS integration, Honda has announced. The most significant is Display Audio, which will let users control functions like music, calling, and navigation through gesture controls on a built-in capacitive touchscreen. Connecting will require an iPhone 5, 5s, or 5c, and one or more of four new HondaLink apps: Connect, Navigation, Aha, and Launcher. Aha provides access to Internet audio including radio, podcasts, and audiobooks, plus Twitter and Facebook updates, and listings for nearby points of interest. Launcher is used to find and launch HondaLink-compatible apps. The official Honda apps are all free except for Navigation, which costs $60.
iOS mirroring still limited to 2014 Civic Coupe
Honda has officially launched Siri Eyes Free integration for a handful of vehicles. These include 2013 and 2014 models of the Honda Accord, and 2013 models of the Acura RDX and ILX. Eyes Free lets people trigger Siri through a button on their steering wheel, instead of having to reach for their iPhone to control functions like texting, music playback, or turn-by-turn navigation; it also shuts off the phone's screen to reduce distractions. To get the feature, car owners must pay for a dealer installation.
2014 Honda Civic Coupe to support iOS mirroring
The 2014 Civic Coupe will support iOS mirroring when it becomes available on December 4th, Honda has announced. The car has a 7-inch multi-touch display built into the dash, which people will be able to use to control an iOS device without having to use a mount or reach down. Honda adds that promised Siri Eyes Free updates for its vehicles will also be available in early December.
Feature integrated into Chevy MyLink
Siri's "Eyes Free" mode will be supported in several 2014 Chevrolet cars, GM has announced. These include the Camaro, Volt, Malibu, SS, Cruze, and Equinox. The technology will be integrated via Chevy's MyLink service. Earlier in 2013, the company's Spark and Sonic models were among the first vehicles to get Eyes Free support.
Watch monitors driver, provides car feedback notifications
Automobile manufacturer Nissan has revealed its own concept of smart watch, designed to work in tandem with its line of performance sports cars. The Nismo Concept Watch, instead of providing the usual features associated with smart watches such as the Samsung Galaxy Gear and the Pebble, focuses on monitoring the driver as well as offering messages and details relating to the car itself.
Would require too many dashboard changes, carmaker says
BMW vehicles will not support iOS in the Car anytime soon, a spokesperson for the company says. "The upshot is that as we have such an advanced multimedia offer that has been in vehicles in various guises for more than a decade, it would not be that straight forward to start changing all of the architecture of a car as has been implied [by Apple]," the person explains, adding that the process of integrating iOS into a dashboard is "not as simple as it sounds."
Tech enabled through ConnectedDrive service
All 2014-model BMW cars will support the Siri "Eyes Free" technology included in iOS, the luxury automaker has announced. The technology is being delivered through an update to BMW's iDrive platform. By pressing and/or holding a voice command button on the steering wheel, people will be able to trigger Siri without reaching for their iPhone. The same button will also be able to trigger S Voice on Samsung phones.
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…