President Obama endorses V2V and V2I as a job creator and safety enhancement, as Ford launches a global challenge for improved auto mobility in urban spaces. Andrew Tolve reports.
In this week’s Brief: U.S. President Barack Obama, Intelligent Transportation Society of America, Ford, Telefónica, Infonetics Research, Battelle CyberAuto Challenge, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Continental, TomTom and Jaguar Land Rover.
Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication technology won a major endorsement last week from U.S. President Barack Obama, who took a day to test cutting-edge vehicle technology at the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center in McLean, Virginia. Accompanied by members of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, the president took a look at everything from advanced vehicle-detection functions to navigation solutions that deduce whether an alternate route saves time or gas or both, all while driving down a virtual road in a Saturn driving simulator.
Obama said he relished the opportunity to get behind a wheel, virtual or not, and that his administration supports intelligent transportation systems as a job creator and high-tech solution for reducing vehicle crashes and traffic gridlock. The White House believes that V2V and V2I technology could address 80% of crash scenarios (drunk-driving accidents excluded) while reducing wasted fuel thanks to real-time information about traffic congestion.
"As the father of a daughter who just turned 16, any new technology that makes driving safer is important to me," said Obama. "And new technology that makes driving smarter is good for the economy."
In other news, Ford launched the Ford Innovate Mobility Challenge, a global competition that encourages the developer and ‘maker’ communities to find innovative solutions for the connected car using Ford’s OpenXC program. The challenge spans from Asia to Africa to Europe and the Americas, tackling everything from extending health services to mitigating traffic.
In Lisbon, Portugal, contestants must find new ways to optimize the delivery of goods and services in a sustainable way for cities; in Mumbai, India, leverage vehicles and information to improve mobility during inclement weather; in Los Angeles, California, rethink and repurpose outdoor surface parking lots to increase their variety of uses while still ensuring access to parking.
Other participating cities include Johannesburg, South Africa, Shanghai, China and Buenos Aires, Argentina. The submission period lasts until October 14.
Telefónica published its 2014 Connected Car Industry Report, which surveyed 5,000 adults across the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Spain and Brazil about their driving preferences. The biggest findings: 71% of drivers are interested in or already using connected car services and 80% expect that connectivity to match the connected experiences they find on their mobiles, at work, and in their homes. Increased safety and diagnostic features proved most in demand, followed by early warnings systems, smarter navigation and usage-based insurance features.
A second industry report from Infonetics Research forecasted that revenue from connected car service providers will increase by 300% in the next four years. That’s a growth from about $6 billion worldwide in 2013 to $16.9 billion worldwide in 2018. Fueling the growth is the fact that the connected car vertical can harness every generation of cellular technology available, 2G, 3G, 4G and LTE.
In Detroit, Michigan, a group of scientists, students, government personnel and auto industry engineers gathered for the Battelle CyberAuto Challenge, which examined the problem of cyber hacking to the connected car and proposed challenges to help create solutions. At the point of the challenge, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers announced plans to open a voluntary industry sector information sharing and analysis center to complement automakers’ cyber resiliency efforts.
Automotive supplier Continental unveiled its new Augmented Reality HUD (AR-HUD), which moves virtual information and full-color graphics directly into the driver's line of sight. When navigating, for example, virtual symbols appear precisely on the exterior view through the windshield and show the driver which way to turn or the bend of an upcoming turn. When adaptive cruise control is enabled, a marking in the AR-HUD shows the distance to upcoming cars and the speed with which they’re traveling. Continental is planning production readiness of an Augmented Reality Head-up Display in 2017.
TomTom added Algeria, Colombia, Israel and Yemen to its navigable map database, MultiNet. MultiNet allows auto, enterprise and government customers to develop apps that feature turn-by-turn navigation, routing display and geo-coding to create a better navigational experience for drivers. MultiNet is now available in 118 countries, covering 4.1 billion people worldwide.
Finally, Jaguar Land Rover said that it’s using the latest machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques to develop a self-learning car. What’s a self-learning car, you ask? Jaguar says that a new learning algorithm called “The Smart Assistant” recognises who is in the car and learns their preferences and driving style. The car can then use those preferences to adapt everything from climate, seat, mirrors and steering wheel position to automatic destination entry in the navigation system to auto adaptive cruise control to predictive phone calls through Bluetooth. Jaguar says the Smart Assistant is in develop and has kept mum on when it may hit the market.
The Weekly Brief is a round-up of the week’s top telematics news, combining TU analysis with information from industry press releases.
Andrew Tolve is a regular TU contributor.