With many new models coming out and car technology advancing constantly, more companies are making the news recently with their car technology. Here's a brief overview of a few of the news stories.
According to Qualcomm, vehicle entertainment systems should be completely immersive. The company showed off their new system in partnership with QNX at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week.
The system was demonstrated in a Mercedes Benz and gave an indication of how mobile technologies could impact cars in the near future. The dark Mercedes sported a massive touch display that completely replaced the German manufacturer's car entertainment system. Qualcomm's Android powered platform is able to offer in car multitasking for driver information as well as gaming, for example.
The car itself was also fitted with a range of sensors and cameras to augment driver information, potentially making driving safer. Critics, however, argue that an immersive car entertainment system will contribute to accident by overwhelming and distracting drivers.
Apple's iOS has been rebranded as CarPlay, revealing that Ferrari, Mercedes Benz and Volvo are to be the first to build the technology into their vehicles. The iOS system was originally announced at Apple's WWDC conference in 2013, aimed at connecting iPhones to a vehicle's in-car information and entertainment systems. The rebranding was announced as a way to make it clear that CarPlay was the in-car equivalent to the company's AirPlay technology for living rooms.
The company's virtual assistant technology, Siri, is key to the initiative, acting as an interface for drivers to access their contacts, make calls and listen to voicemails, while also reading out messages and responding to voice commands. Apple's Maps service will also be a key feature, with routes shown on the car's own screen and spoken turn by turn directions.
Digital music is also part of Carplay, including not only iTunes but also Spotify and US service iHeartRadio.
Apple stressed it had safety in mind when designing Carplay with vice president of iPhone and iOS product marketing, Greg Joswiak, commenting, “iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimised distraction.”
The company also has deals with 13 more manufacturers to integrate CarPlay in the future; BMW Group, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor Company, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota Motor Corp.
Google's long awaited in-car solution has been leaked. Dubbed 'Projected Mode', the new interface will ”seamlessly integrate Android smartphones within the vehicle's dashboard,” according to Daimler.
The system will be integrated in the vehicle's head unit, meaning smartphone functions such as play, for example, media content, send messages or receive phone calls can be controlled and displayed through the vehicle's controls in a safe way for the driver.
With all the new car technology out there, who knows what the companies will come up with next?