HARMAN launches an infotainment services business, as Bosch unveils its vision for autonomous cars
In this week’s Brief: Bosch, Google, Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab, Military Transportation University, HARMAN, Research in Motion, Telecommunication Systems, TomTom, MediaTek, insurethebox, Honda, and Apple
Vehicles that drive themselves may still feel like the stuff of fanciful Hollywood flicks, but Bosch came out this week and put its brand squarely in the corner of autonomous vehicles.
The company released a YouTube video that describes its innovative work with self-driving cars at the Bosch Research and Technology Center in Palo Alto, California, just down the road from Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, where Googlers are hard at work on their own autonomous vehicles.
Bosch is collaborating with the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab’s Autonomous Driving Team. The YouTube video doesn’t state a timeline for when Bosch sees autonomous vehicles entering the mainstream, but it suggests that street-ready, self-driving cars are rapidly approaching, and that ADAS features that provide additional driver support will continue to accelerate into the market.
“This is really like science fiction, it’s the future we’re working on,” says a Bosch engineer in the video.
The Chinese government’s main news site, China.org.cn, announced that an autonomous vehicle called “Fierce Lion 3” from the Military Transportation University became the first self-driving car to pass a freeway test in China.
The car logged 114 kilometers in 85 minutes, cruising to a top speed of 105 kilometers en route and pulling off various advanced maneuvers along the way, such as passing cars, switching lanes, and responding to human instructions. In doing so, the vehicle claimed top prize in the Future Challenge, a competition for intelligent vehicles.
HARMAN launched “HARMAN Infotainment Services,” a business built around upgrading the existing network of more than 15 million HARMAN infotainment-equipped vehicles on the road today.
As OEMs and car owners seek to keep their vehicle infotainment systems current and connected, HARMAN Infotainment Services will offer 4G/LTE connected head-unit upgrades for vehicles currently on the road, cloud-based services to the car, and customer relationship management services for automakers using vehicle-specific aggregated data.
“The launch of our Infotainment Services business will create a new revenue stream less dependent on automotive production cycles and drive consistent revenue with two to three times higher margins than the current Infotainment systems business,” says Dinesh Paliwal, HARMAN chairman, president and CEO.
The new BlackBerry 10 smartphone, which tech experts think may revitalize Research in Motion, will come equipped with a maps application from Telecommunication Systems (TCS).
The application will come pre-installed and equipped with mapping and turn-by-turn navigation functionality, plus real-time traffic and local search and location services. TomTom will supply the map database.
Taiwan-based semiconductor company MediaTek released the first receiver that supports the traditional four global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and QZSS) plus the new Beidou Satellite Navigation System from China.
The receiver can reduce the cumulative distance and positioning error accumulated over time, improves navigation and positioning accuracy, and provides strong signal acquisition and tracking sensitivity, which efficiently enhances signal quality within dense cities, tunnels and multi-storey car-parks.
insurethebox became the first UK insurer to create its own entirely in-house telematics platform. Branded “Big Telematics”, it includes a new type of box for recording and relaying motorists’ data, as well as the supporting administration system.
The company has developed Big Telematics both as a launch-pad for further increases in customer numbers and to accommodate future technology and product developments by being more flexible and ‘future-proof’. Because it does not involve any third parties, insurethebox expects the move to reduce operating costs.
Finally, Honda announced that it will integrate support for Siri, Apple’s intelligent assistant, into its 2013 Honda Accord and Acura RDX and ILX models as a dealer installed option. Later this year, owners with a compatible iPhone running iOS 6 can direct Siri to perform a number of specific tasks while they keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.
Using Eyes Free mode, Siri takes hands-free functionality even further and minimizes distractions even more by keeping your iOS device's screen from lighting up.
"iPhone has become so integral to people's lives that they continue to use them in their vehicles," says Vicki Poponi, assistant vice president of automobile product planning, American Honda. "Offering Honda and Acura owners Siri and its Eyes Free mode via Bluetooth is an incredible opportunity to provide next-generation connectivity and meet our customer's ever-changing needs."
For exclusive business analysis and insight about telematics applications, see Industry Insight: Telematics and Apps
For all the latest information and trends in V2X and driver safety, visit V2X for Auto Safety and Mobility Europe 2013 on February 20-21 in Frankfurt.
Coming up in 2013: V2X for Auto Safety and Mobility Europe 2013 on February 19-20 in Frankfurt, Telematics for Fleet Management Europe 2013 on March 19-20 in Amsterdam, Insurance Telematics Europe 2013 on May 8-9 in London and Telematics India and South Asia 2013 on June 5-7 in India.
For exclusive telematics business analysis and insight, check out TU’s reports on In-Vehicle Smartphone Integration Report, Human Machine Interface Technologies and Smart Vehicle Technology: The Future of Insurance Telematics.