International CES Weekly Brief—1.16.12

In this week's Brief: International CES, Broadcom, OnStar, RelayRides, Google, Daimler, Mercedes-Benz USA, Hughes Telematics, Kia Motors America, Telenav, Ford, Microsoft, Healthrageous, BlueMetal Architects, Continental, Sony, Johnson Controls, Elektrobit and INRIX

Twenty-seven hundred exhibitors descended on Las Vegas for the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow, International CES.

In addition to a few cross-industry showstoppers—for instance, Broadcom announced “5G” Wi-Fi—the 2012 show included a raft of announcements on the infotainment and telematics fronts.

OnStar said it will open up its application program interface to third-party developers.

Apps created using the API will be delivered by OnStar’s Advanced Telematics Operating System (ATOMS).

The first partner to use OnStar's cloud platform will be RelayRides, a peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace that holds an exclusive partnership with GM.

Google and Daimler announced that Daimler will now use Google Maps for its in-car map displays, thereby improving its ability to quickly and seamlessly integrate useful Google services into Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles.

Mercedes hopes that by making Google products available directly within its cars it will be able to accelerate the adoption of cutting-edge technologies.

Mercedes-Benz USA launched mbrace2, a cloud-based system that provides drivers with features related to safety, infotainment, personal assistance and vehicle care.

Powered by Hughes Telematics, mbrace2 was developed to work seamlessly inside and outside the vehicle, by way of a revamped mbrace Mobile Application and built-in control module with Internet and remote access capabilities.

Kia Motors America unveiled UVO eServices, the next iteration of the company's voice-activated infotainment system.

eServices is a new telematics suite powered by a free smartphone app that will provide drivers with an in-vehicle connectivity experience including navigation, diagnostics capabilities and added convenience features.

UVO is short for "Your Voice" and provides consumers easy-to-use voice and touch-activated experiences.

Telenav introduced Scout, a daily personal navigator app.

The app opens to a customizable start screen that allows users to quickly get personalized, real-time commute times to work or home, as well as instant access to local search for easy discovery of new places and saved favorites.

Scout is available immediately via the Apple App store and will also be available in cars later this year.

Ford selected Telenav Scout as the personalized navigation service to work with Ford SYNC AppLink.

The company also formed an alliance with Microsoft, Healthrageous and BlueMetalArchitects to research technology to help people monitor and maintain health and wellness in the car.

The alliance hopes to build a “car that cares” by combining an in-car interface like Ford SYNC with access to healthy apps and built-in features that can monitor blood pressure and other personal health readings.

Continental announced that in 2014 it will launch a series production of an internet-capable multimedia head unit that conforms to the GENIVI standard.

By 2018, the company expects to reach a high volume of series production. Various versions of the head unit will be produced, with basic versions for compact vehicles and further functions added for mid-range and luxury vehicles.

Sony introduced several new in-dash infotainment systems that conform to the MirrorLink standard developed by the Car Connectivity Consortium.

The new models, XAV-701HD and XAV-601BT, feature full touch screen capability and universal smartphone connectivity, enabling users to control music and apps on compatible smartphones.

An optional TomTom navigation system with external GPS unit is available as an upgrade.

Johnson Controls debuted an instrument cluster concept that combines multiple layers of information to generate a three-dimensional interface.

The Multilayer Instrument Cluster concept, which is targeted for full- and mid-size luxury vehicles, presents a creative and realistic spatial representation for critical driver information, including speed, navigation and driver assistance systems information.

The company did not say when the Cluster would be available commercially.

Elektrobit demoed the EB street director, a next-gen navigation system based on map data and “smart traffic” information from INRIX.

The solution enables 3-D map displays, speed alerts and speed-limit assistance and traffic-jam information, plus roadway curve, hill and intersection warnings, fuel-saving engine controls, real-time accident warnings, collision-avoidance and traffic-jam information.

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