GENIVI puts its Apollo IVI platform into orbit with MeeGo, as iSuppli forecasts that eighty percent of cell phones will have GPS

GENIVI puts its Apollo IVI platform into orbit with MeeGo, as iSuppli forecasts that eighty percent of cell phones will have GPS

The GENIVI Alliance selected the MeeGo operating system for Apollo, its new in-vehicle infotainment reference platform. GENIVI intends the platform to be a common software architecture scalable across product lines and generations, and one that helps accelerate IVI app development throughout the industry. MeeGo is open source, Linux-based, and supported by Intel and Nokia.

“Access to a thriving ecosystem and engaging applications for an in-vehicle infotainment system is vital to our customers,” says Gerulf Kinkelin, GENIVI director and innovation area manager for electronics and telematics, PSA Peugeot Citroen. “The rapid innovation associated with open source and a rich network of contributors available with MeeGo can enable us to define and deliver a faster time-to-market and outstanding IVI experience in our upcoming products.”

The selection gives BMW, GM, and PSA Peugeot Citroen the green light to begin integrating the new reference platform into their in-car offerings. GENIVI gave no timetable for when the first cars with MeeGo-based infotainment systems will hit the market.

New OnStar Apps for iPhone and Android

OnStar announced new iPhone and Android apps for Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, and GMC 2011 vehicle models. The apps will transfer traditional key fob functions—like locking and unlocking doors, remotely starting the vehicle, honking the horn, and turning the lights on and off—to smartphones. The apps will also give drivers diagnostic information about their cars, including fuel and oil level, tire pressure, the current odometer reading, and more.

Telogis adds Layers

Telogis launched a new function, Telogis Layers, which allows its customers to navigate to specific points within their infrastructures, rather than to specific addresses. Telogis customers are generally utility and telecommunications companies. With Telogis Layers, they can navigate to power poles, oil wells, gas and water lines, land use grids, and forestry and parcel data, all as if they were following point-by-point navigation directions to a movie theater or a home address. Telogis Layers is available as an additional module for the Telogis Fleet platform.

AT&T ramps up connected devices

AT&T added nearly 900,000 connected devices to its network in the second quarter. That brings the total number of connected devices—both emerging consumer devices and machine-to-machine—on the AT&T network to 6.7 million. Many of the devices hailed from the personal navigation sector, as well as from the smart grid, security monitoring, and e-readers and netbooks. In May 2010, AT&T created the Advanced Enterprise Mobility Solutions Group to encourage the growth of emerging device solutions and to accelerate the mobilization of apps for develops and independent software providers.

TomTom turns in a solid Q2

TomTom reported a 69 percent rise in second quarter net profit. Group revenue was €362 million, slightly down from its second quarter performance in 2009 (€368 million). TomTom attributed the solid second quarter to increased sales of maps and content to car manufacturers. Revenues in its automotive division grew 82 percent to €44 million. The company’s market share grew from 44 to 49 percent in Europe and from 19 to 23 percent in North America, although both overall markets shrunk in the quarter.

The GPS boom

Eighty percent of cell phones will have GPS functionality by the fourth quarter of 2011, forecasts a new report from iSuppli. That’s up from 56.1 percent in the first quarter of 2009. iSuppli attributes the growth to smartphones, whose social networking services and navigation apps are pushing GPS functionality toward ubiquity. By 2014, iSuppli says usage of navigation-enabled smartphones will exceed that of PNDs. Furthermore, iSuppli says the smartphone is bound to generate legions of innovative LBS apps in the next five years. Apple’s iPhone already has more than 6,000 LBS apps available.

Volvo’s CareTrack in India

Volvo Construction Equipment announced that its CareTrack telematics system is now available for companies in the construction equipment industry in India. Volvo plans to release the telematics system in China and Indonesia this year as well, bringing its total country count to 43. CareTrack allows companies to track the location, fuel consumption, speed, and hours of operation of their machines and makes data securely available via any remote online connection.

Distracted driving app

Global Mobile Alert launched a new smartphone app that turns cell phones into virtual alarm systems alerting drivers to upcoming traffic lights, railroad crossings, and school zones. It also cautions drivers when they’ve zoomed over the speed limit. The app uses Navteq’s mapping of U.S. traffic lights to help deliver the service. A chirping sound indicates an upcoming traffic light; the ringing of a school bell signals the proximity of a school, and the wailing of descending crossing gates alerts nearby train tracks. The app is available in the Android Market under the “Travel” tab for $24.99 a year.

Andrew Tolve is a regular contributor to TU.

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