SYNC adds "Operator Assist" Weekly Brief—9.26.11

SYNC adds "Operator Assist" Weekly Brief—9.26.11

In this week's Brief: Ford, BMW, Deutsche Telekom, European Commission, NAVTEQ, ATX, GENIVI, HARMAN and Toyota

Ford added Operator Assist as a standard feature of SYNC Services. Operator Assist is a free service that allows users to connect with a live person.

At any time during a business search or directions interaction between the user and the SYNC Services automated system, the user can say, “Operator,” confirm his or her request to speak with an operator, and connect to a live operator. In the event a user says an address or business that the voice recognition system can’t identify, the user will be prompted with the option to connect to a live operator.

If the user confirms he or she would like to speak with an operator for further assistance, the system automatically connects the user to the live operator.

“This is more than getting from point A to point B,” said Gersabeck. “It’s about delivering a level of connectivity that provides fast, hands-free connections to businesses or residences without the need for drivers to take their eyes off the road.”

Ford also announced a joint development agreement with Bug Labs to collaborate on a new in-car research platform named OpenXC. OpenXC aims to transform the car into a plug-and-play platform where interchangeable open-source hardware and software modules can be quickly and easily customized to perform advanced tasks.

Innovations like new visual and audio feedback interfaces, environmental sensors and safety devices can be implemented quickly by snapping Bug Labs’ hardware modules directly into Ford vehicles.

BMW unveiled a new camera-based ADAS feature developed by safety specialist Autoliv. The Mono Vision Sensing System provides a primary featured called “Forward Collision Warning,” which alarms a driver to an imminent collision with the vehicles in front of it.

Other features include Automatic High Beam Switching and Traffic Sign Recognition. The camera is mounted between the rear-view mirror and the front windshield, and the electronic control unit includes an EyeQ2 chip provided by MobilEye.

Deutsche Telekom said that it was prepared to fully support the scheduled launch of eCall in 2015, as recently announced by the European Commission. The company has conducted field trials and feels confident its mobile networks will be able to connect to eCall reliably and identify the location of incidents accurately.

Routing of emergency calls will be given priority in Deutsche Telekom networks, the company said, due to its Master Service Management Center, which is programmed to give "Fast Lane" service for all emergency calls across the EU.

NAVTEQ introduced its "Natural Guidance" service in Russia. Natural Guidance enables navigation systems to give directions by way of recognizable orientation points, like “turn left after the red building.”

The goal is simpler directions that allow the driver to remain focused on the road ahead without the need to look for street signs, judge distances or estimate where to make the next turn. Natural Guidance is now active in Moscow, St Petersburg, Ekaterinburg and Rostov-na-Donu.

ATX Group joined the GENIVI Alliance, the automotive and consumer electronics industry association, as an associate member. ATX is a developer and integrator of customized, private-label connected vehicle services. Its customers include global manufacturers like BMW, Hyundai, Lexus, Toyota and Rolls-Royce.

ATX will provide its expertise in integrating cloud-based services and other off board services to support GENIVI's open source approach to connected vehicle platform development and infotainment services integration.

HARMAN and Toyota launched the Toyota Touch & Go and Toyota Touch & Go Plus multimedia systems, which feature a flexible platform-based design that can be updated with new functions without upgrading the multimedia base unit.
The base system incorporates AM/FM radio, a CD/MP3 player, Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity, a USB port for the connection of portable music players, a trip information screen and a rear view camera.

The Toyota Touch & Go system is debuting on board several European Toyota models vehicles including the all new Yaris.

“Direct integration with web-based platforms such as Google Local Search and connected applications will add real-time content to the navigation experience, and field upgradeability will allow users to add new applications as they become available over time,” says Michael Mauser, HARMAN Co-President, Infotainment and Lifestyle Divisions.


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