Car apps for the future
There’s been plenty of cool applications related to the auto industry lately, some of them still in research, but others are already in the street. One of the more interesting topics are the adaptations of some mobile OS and features present in the mobile ecosystem:
Apple announced on the last WWDC the integration of Siri on BMW, GM, Mercedes, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota and Honda cars. Some of their vehicles will include a “Siri button” to ask questions and interact with the car.
But before that, in 2007, Ford and Microsoft develop Sync, a voice recognition technology that is currenly present in 14 Ford models and 5 Lincoln models. It features full mobile phone integration, including 911 assistance and it can also link to the navigation and entertainment systems. During our last Congress in February, Ford unveiled the B-Max, the latest model including Sync, being the first time that a car was presented in a mobile congress, and proving how these two industries are approaching technologically more and more every day. Ford and Microsoft also keep working in a more advanced technologies, integrating Kinect, Windows Phone 8 and other platforms.
Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of Ford, presenting the B-Max during the Mobile World Congress (Barcelona, February 2012)
Android has no clear deal with any company, although there’s a lot of interesting gadgets coming out. For example, this year in the CES Las Vegas a cool integration with a mirror could be seen. Many companies and techies have been working for the last couple of years in embedding Android based tablet or navigations systems. One of the latest releases coming from Innotrends, who just launched their last Ca-Fi, or infotainment solution.
But the integration of mobile systems in cars not only aims for navigation and calls, safety is also a main target: the European Commission launched a recommendation for eCall, or an emergency call system last year, where the car would automatically send the position of a crashed car to the emergency services. A similar system called OnStar is already integrated in over 30 General Motors cars (including GMC, Chevrolet, Cadillac and Buick models), which features a tracking and road assistance system integrated in the rear-view mirror.
Mirror embedded systems. “Put an Android in your car” (CES Las Vegas)
And that’s not all, some systems are much more advanced and include driving help. For example, Volvo has just presented and enhancement package to its Autonomous Driving Support, that includes several high-tech safety solutions.
But to close this post, we’d like to talk about the most advanced self-driving car, the Google Driverless. The state of Nevada recently issued the Mountain View-based company its first driving license, so Nevadans will soon see driverless cars roaming their street… just check this nice short video from the director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab during a TED Talk last year: