Automotive Grade Linux Delivers Open Automotive Software Stack for the Connected Car


SAN FRANCISCO and TOKYO (AUTOMOTIVE LINUX SUMMIT), June 30, 2014 – Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), a collaborative open source project developing a common, Linux-based software stack for the connected car, today announced that its first open source software release is available for download, bringing the industry one step closer to achieving a standard Linux-based software platform for the connected car.

AGL is building the industry’s only fully open automotive platform, allowing automakers to leverage a growing software stack based on Linux while retaining the ability to create their own branded user experience. Standardizing on a single platform means the industry can rapidly innovate where it counts to create a safe and reliable connected car experience. Open collaboration within the AGL community means support for multi-architectures and features to bolster the in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) experience.

“Openness and collaboration are key to accelerating the development of a common, standard automotive platform so the industry can more quickly achieve its vision of delivering the connected car,” said Dan Cauchy, general manager of automotive, The Linux Foundation. “This AGL release is a great step forward and the community is already looking to build on its work to address a number of additional capabilities and features in subsequent releases. With AGL at the core, the industry will be able to more rapidly innovate and evolve to meet customer needs.”

AGL builds on top of Tizen IVI and adds key applications developed in HTML5 and JavaScript into a single open source reference platform. 

See slideshow of AGL key features including:

• Home Screen
• Dashboard
• Google Maps
• Media Playback
• News Reader (AppCarousel)
• Audio Controls
• Bluetooth Phone
• Smart Device Link Integration

Each component includes a detailed Design Requirements Document (DRD) with descriptions, use cases, HMI flows, graphical assets, architecture diagrams and more. AGL code, DRDs and more are all available on the AGL wiki to give anyone the background and tools needed to use the software and start contributing to the project.

“Using AGL means the industry benefits from the stability and strength of a common Linux distribution, Tizen IVI, at the core while bringing their own unique applications and functionality to market faster,” said Rudolf Strief, director of embedded solutions, The Linux Foundation. “Collaborating within the AGL community helps the industry avoid fragmentation that can waste time and R&D resources that could be put to better use innovating on safety and reliability for drivers.”

AGL is free to download and anyone can participate in the open source community. Learn more:

For more information follow the source link below.

Source: Linux Foundation


Audi Teams Up With AT&T To Bring 4G LTE To Cars


With our smartphones in tow, we usually have access to data, whether it be 3G or 4G LTE, while we drive. It’s probably not the best idea to be using your phones while you drive, which is why Audi and AT&T have recently teamed up and announced a new plan in which they will be offering 4G LTE data plans to Audi’s 2015 A3 Sedan which will be released later this month.

According to the companies, this will be the first-ever in-vehicle 4G LTE connection offered in North America. The goal is to provide a way for the car’s infotainment system to be used in a similar way that one uses a smartphone, but at the same time reduce the driver’s need to look at their smartphones while they drive.

It sounds like a good idea although we’re not sure tinkering around with your car’s infotainment system while you drive is any better, but it could be an idea worth exploring. AT&T will be offering up Audi drivers a plan that will either go for 6 months or 30 months, with the former offering 5GB of data, while the later will offer 30GB of data.

For customers who are planning to get the A3 with the Audi Connect system, they will be given access to the 4G LTE plan for free, although it will only last for six-months, after which they will have to pay if they wish to continue receiving data while in the car.

AT&T will be charging customers $99 for the 5GB plan over 6 months, and a whopping $499 for a 30GB data plan over 30 months. It should be noted that the data is not renewed monthly, but it stretches over the course of the plan, meaning that f you blow through 5GB in the first two months, you’d be out of luck.

Source: Ubergizmo

Cadillac SRX converted into a self-driving car


Self-driving cars have been the talk of the automotive industry in recent times, with some major car-makers now setting dates for the debut of these vehicles in the marketplace. The latest glimpse into this autonomous future comes from Carnegie Mellon University, where researchers have loaded a Cadillac SRX with an array of sensors that allow it to manage highway traffic, congested roadways, and even merging on and off ramps.

The Carnegie Mellon team, led by Raj Rajkumar, outfitted an average-looking 2011 Cadillac SRX with an array of radars, which are subtly hidden within the car. The SRX was chosen because “GM has been a long-term partner and sponsor,” Rajkumar tells Gizmag.

Utilizing automotive-grade sensors and radars, rather that more exotic and expensive devices, helps make the vehicle more manufacturer friendly, as well as cost effective. Though not all of the radars are certified as automotive-grade yet just yet, “they will be soon, and are known to be very reliable,” Rajkumar says. “They are placed all around the vehicle for 360 coverage.”

Like other autonomous cars, the modded SRX’s system controls general driving functions like steering, acceleration, and braking. Using the radar system, this vehicle also senses and avoids roadway hindrances, like pedestrians and cyclists. “Our Cadillac also supports V2V and V2I communications,” Rajkumar explains. This communication allows the SRX to connect with designed traffic lights and other vehicles that are equipped with the technology, making driving adjustments that much less strenuous on the radar system.

The main goal of the CMU research team is to reduce accidents, but catching up on reading during commutes has its perks as well. “The car’s electronics are simply more reliable than people and will protect drivers from their own bad behavior as well as those of others,” says Rajkumar.

For more information and more pictures click the source link below.

Source: Gizmag

Report: GM to offer wireless charging in 2014 cars


General Motorls will offer consumers the option of wireless charging for mobile devices in some of its automobiles, Bloomberg reported this week. Select GM models will be equipped with Powermat wireless charging surfaces, which will require compatible devices that either have wireless charging capabilities built in or are paired with a wireless charging case. The collaboration was confirmed by Powermat Technologies CEO Ran Poliakine, though GM has so far declined to comment.

“The car is a major part of life for everyone with a smartphone,” Poliakine said in an interview. “And this is taking care of that part of life.”

Powermat’s Duracell chargers are already in place in some Silicon Valley, Boston, and New York Starbucks locations. In declining to comment on the Powermat CEO’s comments, a GM spokesperson did confirm that the automaker is at least working on wireless charging technologies.

“We continue to work with Powermat to bring their technologies to GM products, but for competitive reasons we’re not discussing specifics at this time,” the spokesperson said. “The technology continues to move forward.”

Wireless charging is currently featured in a number of high-end smartphones, but the technology has yet to take off, due in part to competing standards. In addition to Powermat, there is also the Qi wireless power technology, which is featured in a number of mobile devices. Qi’s technology is also built into the 2013 Toyota Avalon.

Source: Electronista

AT&T Snags OnStar Wireless Contract From Verizon

AT&T Inc. is scoring a win over rival Verizon Wireless as it takes over the contract to supply wireless connections to cars with General Motors’ OnStar service.

Verizon Wireless and its predecessor companies have supplied the network for OnStar since the service launched in the 1990s, but AT&T will take over with the 2015 model year, AT&T and GM said Monday.
The news comes as cellphone companies are jostling to connect non-phone devices to their networks. Now that nearly everyone has a phone, the phone companies have to look elsewhere for growth. Dallas-based AT&T has been particularly aggressive in this area, garnering, for instance, the contract to connect Amazon Kindle e-readers.

AT&T will connect OnStar cars to its new “4G LTE” network, which can supply much higher data speeds than current OnStar connections. That means GM could deliver car software updates wirelessly, instead of making owners take their cars  to the shop. It could also enable video streaming for passengers, in-vehicle Wi-Fi “hotspots” and give GM a better view of what’s going on inside a car, and whether it needs maintenance. Owners might even be able to call up views from their car’s cameras, remotely.

“They’re basically smartphones on wheels,” said Glenn Lurie, head of AT&T’s “emerging devices” division.

Verizon has an LTE network that delivers speeds similar to AT&T’s, with wider coverage. Lurie said that by the time AT&T takes over the contract, its LTE network will cover 300 million Americans, or 96 percent of the population. It also has older, slower networks as a backup.

Verizon Wireless said it was looking forward to continuing to provide service to current OnStar customers.

AT&T and GM made the announcement just before the opening of Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest wireless trade show, in Barcelona. The companies didn’t reveal financial terms. The 6 million current OnStar users pay $19 per month or $199 per year, plus per-minute calling fees. Turn-by-turn GPS navigation costs extra, too.

British automotive research firm SBD believes that 100 million cars worldwide will have built-in wireless capabilities by 2015

Source: AP

Car-to-Car Communication Put At Risk By FCC Wi-Fi Proposal

Technologies being developed to aid in communications between cars may be affected by the Federal Communications Commission’s plan to increase Wi-Fi spectrum.

Bands reserved since 1999 for car-to-car communication may become collateral damage in the FCC’s search for more wireless spectrum, and potentially puts the future of self-driving vehicles at risk.

A letter from automotive trade associations has been sent to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in protest of the plans, reports Bloomberg. Parallels were drawn with the LightSquared wireless broadband network proposal, which was at first approved by the FCC, before it was discovered that the signals affected GPS equipment. By opening nearby spectrum to other devices, the possibility of crosstalk or interference with the allocated-to-automotive bands could effectively cause an accident to occur.

The systems currently being developed allows cars at short range to communicate automatically, with data such as speeds, changes in direction, and other important details being transferred between the cars, with the ultimate goal of reducing collisions and vehicular accidents. Currently undergoing testing in Ann Arbor Michigan inside 3,000 vehicles, the technology is said by automakers to cost as little as $100 per vehicle to install, both from new and as an after-market option.

The FCC will be voting on the Wi-Fi proposal on February 20th.

Source: Electronista

Vehicles and Mobility are Converging but Fragmentation, Lack of Standards May Hinder Progress

Peter Rysavy

Peter Rysavy

Two extremely common activities that people engage in are driving and interacting with their mobile broadband devices. Although sometimes people do both at the same time, these have largely been two separate industries. Now they are converging–one might even say they are on a collision course, although avoiding collisions is actually one of the primary objectives for people working in this industry.

From its inception this industry was referred to as “telematics” services, but many now refer to it as “Connected Car” or “Connected Vehicle.” This is not a completely new area of focus as many major manufacturers have been providing telematics services for years now. For example, General Motor’s OnStar has been around since 1995 providing services focused on safety and security. But now, with mobile broadband becoming ubiquitous, auto manufacturers, cellular operators, and many other firms are significantly ramping up their development efforts to provide a suite of services offerings ranging from safety and security to full infotainment services. Manufacturers that succeed will provide improved customer relationship management as well as the right mix of connected car services that provide daily relevance to tomorrow connected driver. There are however significant challenges that each automotive manufacture is looking to overcome.

First, there are two completely different approaches being employed. One is to have connectivity built directly into the car Telematics Control Unit (TCU) at the factory. The second is to have connectivity provided or “brought in” through the driver’s smartphone. Both connectivity approaches have strengths and weaknesses as to what services they can provide and their ease of use.  In the next five years, manufactures will be deciding what connectivity approach best addresses their customer demographic or if they believe a “hybrid” approach best addresses tomorrow’ s car buyer. 

Second, there is an inherent mismatch in development lifecycles. Auto manufacturers are currently designing connected car services for 2016/2017 model years, and those platforms may be around for seven years providing service to a typical 10+ year vehicle lifetime. Compare that to smartphones that may be updated every six months makes it hard for the automotive industry to keep up with today’s constant technological and wireless advances. Compounding this challenge, wireless modems that are built into the Telematics Control Unit (TCU) are not designed to be easily replaced. Drivers may thus be stuck with obsolete wireless technologies are obsolete or no longer supported.

Third, there is fragmentation across the industry with no standards to drive it towards normalization.  Auto manufacturers want to deliver their own unique connected vehicle experience that differentiates them from competitive offerings. This leads to auto manufacturers pursuing customized and unique service offerings with their preferred automotive business partners.  This ecosystem is also fairly complex, involving multiple suppliers who provide unique  capabilities.  These suppliers include telematics service providers, mobile network operators, hardware manufacturers, on-board computer operating systems, content providers, etc. Unfortunately there is minimal overlap with the mobile computing industry.

Despite these challenges, I am enthusiastic about the potential of this industry. Cloud-based vehicle services in particular will greatly simplify how auto manufacturers deliver services to tomorrows connected vehicle.  Manufacturers are slowly providing app developers the means to develop a whole new category of interesting vehicle-oriented apps by tapping into information like fuel efficiency, G forces, etc. HTML5 will also drive standardization to improve the way in which app developers can develop cross-platform solutions and to extend lifetimes and flexibility of solutions by hosting apps and services in the cloud. Developers will need to keep in mind, however, that there really are two types of connected vehicle applications: ones for the drivers and ones for the passengers. In my opinion, both represent large opportunities. Improved natural language speech recognition technology will also improve the way drivers and passengers to interact with the connected world. 

I will be hosting the “Portable Computer and Communications Association” workshop, called “Connected Vehicle,” hosted by AT&T, on March 27, 2013, when we intend to address many of the issues raised in this column.

Source: Fierce Wireless

5 Most Tech Cars Coming in 2013

Each one of these high-end cars has an unusual and unique tech feature that sets it apart from most of the others on the market, as you’re about to find out…

1. 2013 Volvo S60

Winner of top safety awards, the Volvo S60 is full of cutting edge technology. As you drive, the car displays road signs in the dash to help you identify yields and speed limits. A new queue assist tech for the adaptive cruise control system means that, when the car automatically adjusts for the speed of the car in front of you (now up to 31mph/50kmph on city streets) and brings you to a full stop, the car won’t resume with a sudden jolt automatically if you’re paused for more than three seconds. The S60 is one of the few cars on the road that can detect pedestrians crossing your path and stop the car, too.

2. 2013 Lexus 600hL

The flagship saloon/sedan from Lexus, this high-end car uses a unique temperature control system that coordinates the air-flow controls, seat warmers and cabin temperature. There are infrared sensors that monitor the temperature for all passengers and make subtle adjustments as needed. The LED lighting system glows bright as you approach the car, then dims as you enter the vehicle and start the engine. A driver attention monitoring system knows if you are getting drowsy.

3. 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-450

This much-improved vehicle for 2013 now has an active parking assist feature that takes control of steering when you parallel park. But that’s just the beginning of the new automated steering controls. When you drive around a tight corner, the Mercedes GL-450 will make subtle corrections to the ride to ease you around the corner. If a gust of wind blows onto the road on a mountain pass, a crosswind stabilisation system will also correct steering for you and keep the car straight.

4. 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 3

You might think the highest-end BMW would be the company’s flagship luxury saloon/sedan. But this smaller, more affordable hybrid is the one that’s outfitted with the latest tech enhancements. The car can parallel park automatically, dip the headlights from high-beams for approaching cars, and beep at you if you get too close to another car when parking. Those are fairly standard features on a luxury car. But the ActiveHybrid 3 also supports BMW apps such as a new parking spot finder, offers Google Search in the sat nav system, and has a head-up display (HUD) that shows the current posted speed.

5. 2013 Infiniti JX

Another surprise on this list, considering most of the high-tech cars on the road are luxury saloons/sedans, the JX rounds out our list because it has a wholly unique feature. While some cars have a back-up assist that can warn you about an imminent collision, the JX will intervene and stop the car for you. The luxury 4×4/SUV also has typical Infiniti high-tech features, such as a lane departure intervention system that bumps you back into your lane, and an adaptive control system that works even from long-range.

Source: TechRadar

Turn Your iPad Mini Into A Dashboard Console

An F150 Forums user who goes by 2011SuperCrew, found a fantastic use for the small 7.9 inch touchscreen on the iPad mini. As an in dash display that serves as an entertainment system in a way, similar to the Google Nexus 7 that was made into the entertainment system in a Dodge Ram, the iPad Mini relies on the apps available on the tablet.

The most important part of this project is the frame to mount the iPad Mini in the right place. This required some careful measuring of both the iPad Mini and the width of the car’s dashboard, particularly the area just above the CD player where the iPad is located.

Interestingly, 2011SuperCrew started the project before he even owned an iPad Mini, so he used a wireframe template that’s available online.

2011SuperCrew had to completely gut his truck’s stereo control console. He then made his frame by cutting holes in the original dash, then applying body filler. He added a home button and after sanding and painting the frame, he attached his iPad Mini to the frame and placed the entire assembly in his truck.

The iPad draws power from a Lightning connector attached to the stereo system and 2011SuperCrew uses a MiFi hotspot to enable Wi-Fi connectivity to his truck. The rest of the features used on the iPad Mini simply rely on the apps installed on the tablet.

Via: Tech Hive

2013 Audi A3 to Have In-Car 4G LTE Wireless Broadband

Audi is today revealing the 2013 Audi A3 incorporating 4G LTE wireless broadband at CES 2013 in Las Vegas. 

The 4G LTE connection comes thanks to the second-gen Gobi multi-mode 3G/4G LTE chipset, powered by the Qualcomm MDM9215. 

With theoretical data rates up to 100Mbps, the 4G connectivity will bring a speed boost to a range of Audi in-car services such as the vehicle’s Wi-Fi hotspot, internet radio and web services.

“We hope to introduce to automobiles the same 4G LTE connectivity that Qualcomm brought to today’s leading smartphones and mobile computing devices,” said Kanwalinder Singh, senior vice-president of business development, Qualcomm.

“The capabilities of the MDM9215 chipset allows Audi to define a new in-car media experience, including viewing and interacting with content on the head unit as well as on passengers’ own Wi-Fi-connected smartphones and tablets, all at 4G LTE speeds,” said Singh.

“We will soon be offering a fully integrated LTE link for our Audi connect services in the new Audi A3 in 2013,” said Ricky Hudi, chief executive engineer of electrics/electronics, Audi AG.

The integration of 4G LTE connectivity will enable enhancements in navigation, weather services and travel information, as well as offering a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to eight devices in the car, for example smartphones and tablets.

Source: Pocket-lint