Weekly Brief: Introducing MINI PNDs — 5.27.2013

Weekly Brief: Introducing MINI PNDs — 5.27.2013

In this week’s Brief: Garmin, MINI, Glympse, Ford, Cellcontrol, Fujitsu, Mercedes, Harman, BMW, rara.com, GM China, Shanghai OnStar, Shanghai GM, GENIVI Alliance, JASPAR and the AVnu Alliance

The automotive aftermarket has shrunk in recent years as more OEMs embed in-vehicle infotainment solutions and more drivers bring automotive solutions like navigation into their cars via smartphones. One path forward for the aftermarket is semi-integrated solutions that come with OEM blessing and can be installed at the dealer.

To that end, Garmin this week announced a new integrated and portable navigation device for MINI vehicles. The MINI Navigation Portable XL is designed specifically for MINI models and can be dealer-installed with a customized mount that goes next to the instrument cluster, behind which all cables are hidden for a fully integrated look. The MINI device can be removed to update maps and software, and enables advanced functionality like Bluetooth hands-free calling (Garmin Smartphone Link), voice commands and active lane guidance.

“We’re pleased to extend our partnership with MINI to provide an integrated, next-generation portable navigation device for MINI vehicles around the globe,” says Matt Munn, Garmin managing director automotive OEM. “This new device makes it easier than ever to follow directions with Garmin’s new Real Directions and Active Lane Guidance features. It also integrates seamlessly with the interior of any MINI.”

In other news, real-time location sharing specialist Glympse publicly launched its first developer platform, which allows Android and iOS developers to integrate Glympse location technology directly into their products and applications.

Glympse has already tested the integration with dozens of partner organizations, including BMW and MINI, Ford, Garmin and Mercedes. The public platform opens the location sharing solution up to the masses, enabling anyone to add location technology with just a few lines of code.

At the mobile show CTIA 2013, Cellcontrol introduced a driver identification platform, DriveID, which allows Cellcontrol to accurately detect who sits in the driver’s seat and only apply a safety policy to that individual’s mobile devices. Other passengers are free to talk, text, email and browse while the car is in motion, while the driver of the vehicle has limited use of his or her phone. 

The technology is aimed at reducing driver distraction and helping to solve the riddle of enabling some, but not all, smartphone activity in a car.

Fujitsu unveiled a new semiconductor chip, MB86R24, that allows auto OEMs to embed a 360-degree wraparound view system into their human machine interfaces. The system uses cameras facing forward, backward, left and right to synthesize a 3D model of the environment, and to then display the surroundings from any perspective on a vehicle’s dashboard.

The chip, which will be available in August 2013, also allows OEMs to centralize control of onboard vehicle information from the center console display, the cluster display, the head-up display, the head unit and the cloud in one spot, a first for semiconductor chips. 

Mercedes revealed that its newest generation of S-Class vehicles will come with a multi-seat entertainment concept that gives everyone in the car his or her own personalized entertainment (automotive-grade apps like news and social networks) and the ability to share content within the car. 

The center point will be the NTG5 infotainment system from Harman. The car will also come with ADAS features like active lane keeping assist, braking assist and adaptive highbeam assist.

BMW, meanwhile, revealed that its new 5 Series will offer an upgraded ConnectedDrive technology. Here, the focus will be on heightened connectivity to outside locations, like the work place, thanks to Internet-based services like a dictation function for writing emails while driving. 

The infotainment system will also integrate search, travel, and social media services via the SIM card on the customer’s smartphone.

On the ADAS front, the car will offer features like collision warning, a Traffic Jam Assistant and a fully automatic parking assistant. A partnership with rara.com will provide a direct-to-car music streaming service.

In China, General Motors kicked off the GM Cup Telematics App Contest, which calls upon university students across China to create telematics apps for novel in-vehicle services.

The competition is hosted by GM China, Shanghai OnStar and Shanghai GM, and hopes to engage the next generation of developers in the automotive connected environment. The competition runs through September 31 and will award three first-prize winners with cash and possible internships at GM.

Finally, GENIVI Alliance, whose mission is to ensure the most cost-effective and robust implementations of open in-vehicle infotainment platforms, joined with the Japan Automotive Software Platform and Architecture (JASPAR) to align networking software requirements for automotive Bluetooth and Ethernet. 

The groups plan to work together to drive universally accepted standards throughout the industry.

Earlier this month JASPAR entered into a similar  agreement with AVnu Alliance, the industry consortium that has developed a certification process for audio-video bridging technology, to advance Ethernet standards for in-vehicle networking and reduced integration challenges. 

“The collaboration between JASPAR and GENIVI is a prime example of another technical relationships event that will ease integration of wired and wireless communications for next generation infotainment systems,” says Matt Jones, vice president GENIVI Alliance.

The Weekly Brief is a round-up of the week’s top telematics news, combining TU analysis with information from industry press releases.

For exclusive business analysis and insight about telematics applications, see Industry insight: Telematics and apps

For all the latest telematics trends, check out Telematics Detroit 2013 on June 5-6,Content & Apps for Automotive Europe 2013 on June 18-19 in Munich, V2V & V2I for Auto Safety USA 2013 on July 9-10 in Novi, MI, Insurance Telematics USA 2013 on September 4-5 in Chicago,Telematics Russia 2013 in September in Moscow, Telematics LATAM 2013 in September in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Telematics Japan 2013 on October 8-10 in Tokyo and Telematics Munich 2013 on November 11-12.

For exclusive telematics business analysis and insight, check out TU’s reports: Telematics Connectivity Strategies Report 2013The Automotive HMI Report 2013Insurance Telematics Report 2013 and Fleet & Asset Management Report 2012.


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