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Connected cars prove a popular theme at 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas
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Connected cars prove a popular theme at 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas

Posted by Jeremy CowanJanuary 9, 2014

Las Vegas, NV, USA — The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has been notable this year for the number of connected vehicle and automotive announcements. These range from an app that enables drivers connected through the Internet of Things (IoT) to locate and meet their children, to the ability to find a parking space and pay for it directly from your car.

Connected cars

The HERE connected driving solution is being demonstrated by QNX Software Systems, a provider of software platforms for in-car electronics, in partnership with HERE, a Nokia business. The companies have announced a new technology partnership with the goal of enabling personalised, cloud-based location services for the connected car.

As part of this collaboration, QNX Software Systems plans to add support for HERE Auto, an embedded navigation experience, to the QNX CAR™ Platform for Infotainment. The service aims to integrate connectivity with personalised services and precise location awareness to transform cars into powerful connected devices capable of helping drivers make sense of the world around them.

With its foundation in delivering location services in the car, HERE is said to be one of the few companies that can deliver high-quality location services to help automakers to stay ahead of customer demands and allow them to differentiate their connected car services. HERE Auto is an embedded in-car navigation application building on the HERE automotive-grade map, which includes “the freshest data in the market today in 95 countries”. HERE Auto connects to the HERE Cloud to access connected services, including weather, parking availability, traffic, fuel price and payment services, and more. The service is scalable and supports a variety of platforms.

QNX Software Systems plans to support HERE Auto on its QNX CAR Platform for Infotainment, extending the reach of HERE to more cars and drivers around the world. The company has created a partner ecosystem to build vehicle infotainment systems.

“HERE Auto opens the door to an enhanced driving experience that leverages the cloud to make navigation and location services more personalised and convenient,” said Peter McCarthy, director, global partnerships, QNX Software Systems. “We look forward to supporting this solution on the QNX CAR Platform and making it accessible to our automotive customers.”

QNX Software Systems has licensed its software technology for tens of millions of in-vehicle systems worldwide, including 3D navigation systems, multimedia head units, digital instrument clusters, connectivity modules, and hands-free systems. QNX Software Systems Limited, a subsidiary of BlackBerry®, is a vendor of operating systems, development tools, and professional services for connected embedded systems. Audi, Cisco, GE, Lockheed Martin, Siemens and others use QNX technology for vehicle infotainment units, network routers, medical devices, industrial automation systems, security and defence systems, and other mission- or life-critical applications.


PubNub and Ford AppLink show real-time vehicle dispatch app

PubNub is showcasing its winning ‘makeathon’ integration with the Ford AppLink platform at Ford’s booth at CES (North Hall #2222). PubNub was selected as a winner of the VentureBeat and Ford Motor Co. Makeathon for building a real-time dispatch app on PubNub and Ford AppLink.

The app provides real-time location tracking and notification via mobile phone to a car’s dashboard, bringing Internet of Things communication and technology to cars.

“The Internet of Things promises humanity amazing omnipotence over our environment. Access to real-time information from millions of globally connected devices, and the ability to instantly control them becomes possible, but only if these devices can transact information quickly and reliably to each other, to servers, and to end user devices,” said Todd Greene, CEO and founder of PubNub. “PubNub showcases the power and ease-of-use of our Real-Time Network to deliver these kinds of experiences at Ford’s booth at CES with our integration to Ford’s AppLink platform.”

The winning Real-Time Taxi app, developed by PubNub’s Geremy Cohen, is an example of the type of applications made possible with the PubNub Real-Time Network and the Ford AppLink platform.  The app demonstrates how vehicle dispatch requests can be sent directly to the Ford dashboard, allowing the driver to respond with their steering wheel buttons.

This concept is easily extended to a variety of real-time in-car uses; children requesting pick-up from their parents, real-time tracking of a teenage driver by a parent, synchronising groups of friends driving in a caravan on a trip, commercial fleet management, and many more. PubNub manages the critical component of distributing real-time data to, from, and between drivers.

The PubNub Real-Time Network provides the cloud infrastructure and key building blocks for real-time apps that scale globally to any device. PubNub enables real-time experiences like live dashboards and streams, collaboration, second screen synchronisation, machine-to-machine (M2M) signalling and more.

While open source technologies like WebSockets, Socket.io, and SignalR are helping bring awareness of the possibilities of real-time, PubNub’s API delivers scalable, reliable, real-time interactivity across mobile, browser, desktop and server and supports over 50 environments, including iOS, Android and JavaScript. And with traffic distributed across 14 data centres worldwide, PubNub currently powers thousands of real-time apps and streams three million messages per second to over 100 million devices each month.

Voice-activated parking slot discovery and payment launched

Parkopedia, a leading parking information provider, has made several announcements at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas this year. Working with Ford, Parkopedia is launching a voice-activated parking discovery app for Ford SYNC AppLink, said to be a North American first. Using the AppLink interface, Ford drivers around the world will be able to locate available nearby parking spaces and to receive detailed information through simple voice commands, eliminating the need to touch their mobile phone while driving.

The company is also partnering with Jaguar Land Rover,as Bosch SoftTec is to supply JLR with a parking service globally. The integration allows Jaguar and Land Rover drivers to be able to access Parkopedia inside their cars and to find detailed information on over 28 million parking spaces in 40 countries around the world.

Sprylogics International Corp (TSXV: SPY), a technology provider of local mobile search and messaging solutions for consumers and businesses has signed a global agreement to integrate Parkopedia’s parking service into Sprylogics’ Poynt app and Poynt-Enabled SDK (software development kit).

Finally, Parkopedia’s parking service will be pre-installed in Volvo‘s latest Sensus Connect infotainment system (pictured above), which is also to be sold globally. The in-car service will allow drivers not only to find parking but also to pay for it straight from a car — again reported to be a world first. Volvo will be demonstrating the new Park & Pay service live at Ericsson’s booth at CES.

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Jeremy Cowan

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