The Open Platform Weekly Brief—2.6.12

The Open Platform Weekly Brief—2.6.12

In this week's Brief: NNG, OnStar, Continental, the OPEN Alliance, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, University of Heidelberg, the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, NAVTEQ, and Yandex

NNG announced a new mobile platform that allows drivers to use smartphones to control the on-board system.

The platfrom is Android-based and integrates services like real-time information about the technical condition of the vehicle, remote control of the alarm system, and the ability to save route information during navigation.

In addition to in-car integration, the platform ensures greater and more intuitive cooperation with the traditional functions of smartphones, such as enabling the navigation app to utilize a smartphone’s voice recognition capabilities and to filter and recognize locations communicated by email or SMS.

“Our new platform puts partners in the position not only to meet the challenging technical demands of new inventions but also to lead the global trend of integrated solutions,” says Péter Balogh, interim CEO of NNG.

OnStar invited utilities, energy companies, and tech firms to develop Smart Grid solutions for the Chevrolet Volt using a set of proprietary OnStar application programming interfaces, or APIs.

The set of Smart Grid APIs will be focused on a variety of recently developed solutions from OnStar like “Demand response,” which connects utilities to companies that have intelligent energy management products, and “Time-of-Use rates,” which allows OnStar to receive dynamic TOU pricing from utilities and notify Volt owners of the rate plan offers via email.

Continental joined the OPEN Alliance, an organization dedicated to spreading the use of Ethernet networks as the standard solution for in-vehicle applications.

Continental views Ethernet as the ideal solution for system integration in vehicle electronics.

In the OPEN Alliance, the company believes it can define standards across the industry and thus minimize development costs.

The academic community voiced concerns that infotainment computers are susceptible to hijacking and could be used to manipulate safety computers in vehicles.

One worry is that thieves could open and start vehicles remotely or listen in on conversations, without drivers knowing their vehicle safety has been compromised.

"There clearly is a vulnerability," Adrian Lund, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, said in an article reported by The San Francisco Chronicle. "All these electronics we're bringing into cars seem to exacerbate that."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that auto cybersecurity will be a key topic moving forward.

German researchers from the University of Heidelberg and the Max Planck Institute for Informatics developed a system that locates pedestrians in front of the vehicle using visible spectrum cameras.

The device includes two cameras housed below the rear-view mirror and a unit that processes information supplied in real time by all image points.

Images can be seen live on a screen with 'heads-up displays' or through projections on the inner side of the windscreen.

Mercedes-Benz plans to integrate the pedestrian locator into top-of-the-range Mercedes vehicles.

NAVTEQ announced that it will serve as the map data supplier for Yandex, Russia's premier internet company. The agreement gives Yandex access to NAVTEQ global map data for use on any Yandex domain around the globe.

The company hopes that its new partnership will help it take "Yandex.Maps" to the level of a comprehensive, all-purpose mapping service that can answer questions about countries from Europe to Eurasia, North America to Australia and Asia. In October Yandex began offering Turkish map services powered by NAVTEQ data.


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