Honda joins GENIVI, as German car manufacturers line up behind the HomePlug Powerline Alliance

Honda joins GENIVI, as German car manufacturers line up behind the HomePlug Powerline Alliance

Rumors swirled that Garmin is poised to buy navigation software supplier Navigon for an estimated €50 million. Navigon was set back by the financial crisis and was further threatened by the rise of free navigation solutions from the likes of Google and Nokia. The company still offers compelling navigation apps like MobileNavigator and has coveted contracts with many of the top German car manufacturers, for whom it supplies navigation dashboard solutions. If it were to acquire Navigon, Garmin could greatly expand its European business beyond PNDs.

The French government backed down on its proposed ban of speed camera warning devices. In turn, manufacturers agreed to obscure the precise location of approaching speed traps and instead will label them as “dangerous zones” where drivers are recommended to reduce their speed. The proposed ban sparked indignation across the country; opponents took to the streets of Paris in protest and amplified their cry via Facebook.

Sony joined the Car Connectivity Consortium as a core member, and HTC followed along as a charter member. The Consortium aims to develop and promote a standard solution, called Terminal Mode, which projects the smartphone screen on a dashboard display. Eleven companies, including Samsung, GM, Daimler, Toyota, and Volkswagen, launched the Consortium in March of this year.

Honda announced that it has pledged membership to the GENIVI Alliance, bringing the industry consortium to 123 members. GENIVI aims to drive the broad adoption of an in-vehicle infotainment open source development platform. “Honda recognizes that GENIVI is fulfilling a key role in the industry to create and enable open source development of future in-vehicle-infotainment platforms,” said Joerg Boettcher, senior manager at Honda R&D in Europe.

AAA Insurance unveiled the latest addition to its suite of free mobile applications with the release of the AAA Insurance app for iPhone and iPad. The app walks drivers through the post-traffic crash process of collecting information, photos, and even requesting a tow truck. The AAA Insurance app also provides one-touch access to call police and emergency services, as well as AAA to request a tow and the AAA Insurance claims department, for AAA Insurance policyholders.

Government fleet drivers involved in one or more collisions are six times more likely to be distracted while on the road than non-collision drivers, a study from DriveCam revealed. The most frequent sources of distraction are cell phone use, eating, drinking, and use of communication devices like CB radios and two-way walkie-talkies. The study analyzed more than 700 active drivers in government fleets in 2009 and 2010; DriveCam’s Video Event Recorder allowed researchers to identify specific behavior and distractions in the moments leading up to an accident.

NavNGo completed an 18-month development project to create a navigation solution that meets the requirements of integrated automotive multimedia and infotainment systems. The company was awarded an EU subsidy to stimulate technological innovation among enterprises intending to become steady suppliers and to strengthen the company’s supplier status. Development areas included the use of road information, like wheel turning and gyroscope, in addition to GPS for multi-sensor navigation. NavNGo has delivered its first line-fit navigation product to a global tier 1 supplier.

The HomePlug Powerline Alliance announced support from Germany's major car manufacturers—Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche, and Volkswagen—for its HomePlug Technology. The alliance is an industry-led initiative that creates specifications, marketing, and certification programs to accelerate worldwide adoption of powerline networking. With HomePlug technology, the electrical wires in the home can distribute broadband Internet, HD video, digital music, and smart energy applications, such as smart meters, climate control, and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles. “The endorsement and support of these world class manufacturers is a significant step in establishing robust technology standards to deliver on the smart grid promise,” said Rob Ranck, president of the HomePlug Powerline Alliance.

Andrew Tolve is a regular contributor to TU.

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