DOT's distraction guidelines Weekly Brief—2.20.12

DOT's distraction guidelines Weekly Brief—2.20.12

In this week's Brief: US Department of Transportation, Ford, Bug Labs, TomTom, AutoNavi, Toyota, BMW, Ixonos, GMC, Opel, and Mazda

The U.S. Department of Transportation proposed new guidelines that would encourage auto manufacturers to develop less distracting in-vehicle electronic devices.

The proposed voluntary guidelines would apply to communications, entertainment, information gathering and navigation devices or functions that are not required to safely operate the vehicle.

Members of the public will have the opportunity to comment on the proposal for 60 days.

Final guidelines will be issued after the agency reviews and analyzes and responds to public input. (For an overview of the proposed guidelines, read our full coverage here.)

“Distracted driving is a dangerous and deadly habit on America’s roadways – that’s why I’ve made it a priority to encourage people to stay focused behind the wheel,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

“These guidelines are a major step forward in identifying real solutions to tackle the issue of distracted driving for drivers of all ages.”

Ford took its OpenXC Research Platform global with the aim of engaging local developers to accelerate market-specific in-car app development.

OpenXC is an open-source hardware and software platform developed by Ford Research and Innovation and New York City-based Bug Labs.

Ford has begun distributing the platform to universities in the US and now has engaged HCL Technologies in India. Ford is demonstrating an app created by HCL at the NASSCOM India Leadership Summit this week.

TomTom and Chinese digital map content and navigation provider AutoNavi are set to introduce real-time HD Traffic to drivers across China.

HD Traffic is a navigation product that provides precise delay times and the exact location of traffic jams.

The Dutch-Chinese joint venture hopes to cover up to 30 Chinese cities by the end of 2013.

Toyota added TPEG Traffic Information to its Toyota touch multimedia system. TPEG, short for Travel Protocol Expert Group, works with a DAB digital tuner to provide more detailed, accurate and timely traffic information, coordinated with the vehicle’s satellite navigation.

The goal is more efficient journey planning and better re-routing options. Toyota is the first OEM to integrate TPEG in the UK and will debut the feature on the 2012 Land Cruiser V8.

BMW launched the My BMW Remote app for Apple iOS devices. My BMW Remote allows BMW customers to access remote features for their vehicle by using their mobile device and the power of BMW Assist.

These features include remotely locking and unlocking of doors, getting the location of their parked vehicle, and sending Google Local Search results to their vehicle. 

Additionally, some customers will be able to send a command to sound the horn or flash the headlights of their BMW.

Ixonos unveiled a new solution to connect smartphone content and cloud services to in-car infotainment devices.

Ixonos IVI Connect is the first connectivity solution that integrates both mobile devices and cloud services with automotive infotainment equipment and is compatible with Android and iOS devices, as well as with all MirrorLink compliant devices.

Complying with MirrorLink specifications allows device manufacturers and app developers to significantly cuts down development costs and time.

Several automakers released cars with amped up infotainment offerings:

GMC added IntelliLink to the standard color touch radios in its 2012 GMC Terrain line. IntellikLink provides smartphone connectivity and voice activated control of the audio system.

Simple commands initiate a phone call, change a station, stream internet radio, and control an iPod.

Opel added a new radar system located behind the front grill of its flagship Insignia for enhanced active safety. Insignia customers can now opt for the radar-based Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).

The new system maintains the selected speed during cruising, yet automatically adjusts the vehicle speed according to traffic conditions to secure a pre-set safety distance with vehicles ahead.

Mazda added an advanced safety technology called Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) to its new crossover SUV, the Mazda CX-5, to be launched this spring. SCBS uses a laser sensor to detect a vehicle or obstacle in front and automatically reduces the extent of the brake rotor travel to quicken braking operation.

If the driver fails to perform any operation to avoid a collision, such as applying the brake, SCBC automatically activates the brakes and reduces the engine output at the same time.


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