The EV Charge Weekly Brief—12.30.12

The EV Charge Weekly Brief—12.30.12

In this week's Brief: OnStar, Google, Daimler, BMW, Garmin, The British Automobile Association, TomTom, Valeo, The Car Connectivity Consortium, Nokia, car2go, myTaxi, Virgina Tech Transportation Institute, and Agero

OnStar says it wants to provide electric car owners with renewable energy supplies to charge their vehicles.

The company is at work on a technology that enables OnStar to receive a signal that shows the percentage of available renewable energy on the grid.

Data from this forecast is downloaded to the OnStar cloud, and OnStar uses the signal to manage the charging of vehicles and match the renewable energy availability.

The company envisions a mobile app that will alert customers when renewable energy is available.

OnStar has partnered with Google to demonstrate the technology on the 17 Chevrolet Volts in Google’s “Gfleet” based at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.

“This demonstration shows that in the near future customers will have a real signal of demand for renewable energy,” says Nick Pudar, OnStar vice president of planning and business development.

Daimler and BMW announced plans to build a shared data platform for charging electric vehicles.

The platform will attempt to make EV charging stations as ubiquitous as gas pumps and hopes to standardize how EV owners identify themselves and pay.

The carmakers will team up with Robert Bosch and Siemens, both premium suppliers, and utility companies RWE and EnBW.

The joint goal is to facilitate charging EV batteries and thereby increase demand for EVs.

Garmin showcased its latest location-based upgrades at the Macworld | iWorld2012 conference in San Francisco.

The StreetPilot onDemand navigation app now features social media capabilities that allow users to share their location via Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare.

Additionally, buildings are rendered in 3D, and one click on a Wikipedia icon provides detailed information about specific locations.

Garmin also unveiled a new function for the Tracker app that allows users to share links to a live tracking map.

The British Automobile Association (AA) announced that TomTom will supply real-time traffic data for the AA’s Traffic News website.

The AA website will now include TomTom HD Traffic data, which will provide a live view of road conditions and areas of congestion, enabling AA consumers to better plan their journeys in the UK.

Valeo became a core member of the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) in an attempt to accelerate the safe and seamless integration of smartphones into the vehicle user experience.

The industrial group announced that it has already started designing a new vehicle smartphone interface via CCC’s MirrorLink technology and is working with Nokia’s Qt team to design the interface.

Daimler subsidiary car2go acquired a minority stake in myTaxi, an app that connects taxis directly with people looking for a ride, bypassing the need for a dispatching center.

The app has 800,000 downloads and 7,000 registered taxi drivers.

The capital increase will nurture a market expansion for myTaxi in Europe, where myTaxi is already market leader in over 30 cities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Interactive voice systems for outbound text messaging reduces levels of driver distraction when compared to drivers manually texting on a smartphone, according to a study from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

The study was conducted over a three-month period in tandem with Agero, a leader in driver assistance programs.

Among other findings, the study suggests that the number of eye glances to the mobile phone are 20 times the number of glances to the initiating button required for outbound voice texting.

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