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Posts Tagged ‘Auto’

Cobra Dash Cams and Detectors at CES

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

Cobra LogoCobra Electronics are well-known for their radar detectors and other automotive products. Here at CES, Cobra won the TWICE Picks Award for one of its flagship units, the CDR 855 BT Drive HD dash cam, so Todd Aune finds out more about the latest devices from Mark Karnes, VP of Marketing at Cobra.

On the table are two relatively new devices from Cobra, the CDR 855BT dash cam and the world’s smallest DSP radar detector, the DSP 9200 BT. Starting with the dash cam, it’s a connected device, pairing via Bluetooth with a smartphone to acquire GPS co-ordinates which are then sync’d with the video footage. On top of this, the dash cam can work with Cobra’s iRadar app on the smartphone to know the location of cameras and provide alerts to the driver. The app is shared with the radar detector, so as the detector finds cameras, these can be reported back to the app and then up to the cloud to keep the camera database up-to-date for everyone through the iRadar Community. That’s pretty neat.

Not to be outdone, the radar detector was a CTA Honoree Award for an Intelligent Vehicle Device. The trick in this radar detector is to use digital signal processing to tell the difference between signals from the new collision avoidance systems and law enforcement speed guns. A range of radar and laser signals are presented to the driver as detected, with both visual and audio warnings, and the unit also benefits from alerts provided from the iRadar app on a connected smartphone.

Both devices are on sale now for US$349 for the radar detection and US$149 for the dash cam.

Todd Aune bridges the technology gap with the The Elder Divide.

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Pioneer Brings CarPlay and Android Auto to the After-Market

Saturday, February 20th, 2016

Pioneer logoPioneer is a brand for well-known for its in-car audio and entertainment systems so it comes as no surprise that the company is bringing a range of after-market units with Apple CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto. Todd and Marlo get a demo of the latest product with Ted Cardenas from Pioneer.

On show here is the freshly-announced Pioneer AVH-4200-NEX, which is one of three products which incorporate both CarPlay and Android Auto. As a result, the display and user interface will take on the persona of the connected device. The in-dash receiver connects to the smartphone using a wired connection as the phones contribute heavily to the running of apps. Plugging in the phones avoids issues with data speeds and keeps the battery charged, though Bluetooth is used in Android Auto for calls.

Voice is heavily used by both the driver to control the NEX and for the system to respond. Voice can be used to compose and listen to text messages, to navigate and to talk to Siri or Google Now. This keeps the need to look at the screen to a minimum and enhances safety.

If your current vehicle’s in-car entertainment system doesn’t support CarPlay or Android Auto, the Pioneer NEX range offers a great way to upgrade to the latest auto technology. Priced at around $700, the AVH-4200-NEX will be available in March.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com and Marlo Anderson rounds up the latest technology news at The Tech Ranch.

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Ford SYNC 3 Drives Choice at CES

Saturday, February 20th, 2016

Ford LogoThe third iteration of Ford’s SYNC in-car communication and entertainment system, SYNC 3, came into the dealer showrooms during 2015 in the latest “2016” vehicles. At CES, further updates were announced with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration available as a user OTA upgrade. Todd and Marlo go for a ride with Kenneth Williams from Ford.

The new SYNC 3 gives choice to consumers, supporting both iOS and Android. SYNC 3 automatically chooses what to launch based on the connected device, so if the phone is an iPhone, then it’s CarPlay, if it’s a Nexus, then Android Auto. The AppLink technology works with over 90 app providers to launch apps from the attached smartphone but display on the SYNC console. Consequently the owner gets the experience that they’re used to on their phone or tablet.

The AppLink protocol is being opened up and made available to other car manufacturers and Toyota is already on board. It’s an interesting move and could be a major benefit to consumers as it creates a standard in the market that app developers can work to.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com and Marlo Anderson rounds up the latest technology news at The Tech Ranch.

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Carloudy Head-Up Display Keeps Eyes Ahead

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

CarloudyHead-up displays (HUD) used to be the preserve of fighter jets and James Bond, but Cognitive AI Technologies wants to bring the technology to an affordable level for everyone through an aftermarket, dash-mounted head-up display. Jamie and Daniel take a look at Carloudy with Javy Kong.

Apparently one-in-four car accidents involves the inappropriate use of cell phones while driving and though some uses are clearly plain stupid, like reading email, there are some genuinely useful apps, such as navigation. To remove the need to look away from the road ahead, Carloudy projects relevant information up onto the windscreen, including directions, speed and fuel consumption. A small unit roughly the size of a paperback book, the Carloudy sits on top of the dash and works in conjunction with a smartphone. Connecting wirelessly via Bluetooth to the phone, Carloudy accepts voice commands to show what the driver wants . With a battery life of around two weeks, there’s no need for extra wiring.

The Carloudy is available for pre-order via Kickstarter and if you get in quick, there are units available from US$179. Usual caveats apply regarding projects on Kickstarter.

Jamie Davis is the host of Health Tech Weekly at HTWeekly.com. He is a nurse, paramedic and health journalist.
Daniel J Lewis dares you to get started in podcasting with The Audacity to Podcast.

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Ford Sync Version 3 comes to CES

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Ford LogoIn times past, cars had heaters and radios. if you were lucky, maybe a cassette player. Getting directions involved winding down the window and asking a passerby. Today’s vehicles have zoned environmental controls, multi-source AV, GPS with maps and drive train telemetry to three decimal places. All this is fantastic but while you’re figuring out the way to San Jose, you may lose sight of the road.

Ford wants its drivers and passengers to have a great journey but to get to their destination safely, and in an unprecedented move, Ford invited customers to their advanced car simulator in Dearborn to help design the next version of their infotainment system. With over 20,000 pieces of feedback, Ford developed SYNC 3 with safety and ease of use front and center. Big touchpoints keep hands on the steering wheel longer and voice commands now produce what the driver wants rather than purely what is said.

Todd chats with Gary from Ford about the company’s approach to the latest iteration of Ford SYNC, which will be available on 2016 model cars.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network

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AAMP Ensures Car Tech Stays Up to Date at CES

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Aamp of AmericaWhile most people get a new smartphone every other year, buying a new car doesn’t happen as quickly. As a result, in-car technology can get out of date fast, particularly with respect to entertainment and communication. Fortunately, AAMP of America is here to help; Todd talks with Jeff Smith to find out what’s hot in auto upgrades.

With over 4,000 dealers, AAMP provide a wide range of after-market upgrades, with rear-view cameras and parking assistance being popular options. To keep up with manufacturer offerings AAMP does its own design and development to make sure its own products match or exceed the OEM products.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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The Cloud Connected Car – Viper’s Smart-Start

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

ViperLogoJust in time for the winter season, Viper’s new Smart-Start brings smartphone power to the rescue ! Remote car starting systems are now tied in with an iPhone app, allowing you to have that car warm and toasty (or air conditioned as needed). Of course, being cloud based, it can control vehicles that are located anywhere within GSM wireless range. Dual systems can provide control of different makes of automobiles, from the same app and account. You can also monitor driving habits of teen drivers, interacting with the GPS system in the unit or clearly show the location of the vehicle if it is stolen. You can program ‘hot spots’ that report if your teenager leaves town or goes into a zone that parents have on their list of concerns. If you return from a flight to a snow covered vehicle, you can start remotely and get vectored directly to the vehicle Fees are $3 per month per vehicle for the basic plan, with units beginning at $300.  TPN Interview by Andy McCaskey, SDRNews and Daniel J. Lewis, The Audacity To Podcast.

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iGrip: Get Your Hold On Most Any Smartphone or GPS

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Universal or Custom

The iGrip Universal holders are designed to work with a wide rand of devices – ipods to full size smartphones, with or without a case.  If you are looking to protect a specific device like Blackberry, Apple or HTC Smartphone, you will want to checkout the PerfektFit Holders .

Cell phone hands-free legislation now in many States!

Over the last decade thirteen different states have implemented some type of hands-free legislation. Plus, iGrip has a selection of automobile GPS units such as TomTom, Magellen, Garmin and other popular units.

Interview by Courtney Wallin of SDRNews for the TechPodcast Network.

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IonRoad: Android Co-Pilot App Monitors Traffic

Friday, January 27th, 2012

A Smart Phone Equals a Smarter Driver

This app from iOnRoad turns your Smartphone into a Personal Driving Assistant. This app (Android now, iOS to come) mounts in the center of your windshield and uses the built in video camera to look at the road ahead. It then computes the closing speed to vehicles or objects ahead and sounds a warning if things are moving too fast.

What does this mean ? It means that there are another pair of ‘eyes” on the road immediately in front of you. Collision warning, lane departure warning, and when you leave the car, a handy feature that allows you to locate your car when you come back after a flight.

Interview by Courtney Wallin of SDRNews for the TechPodcast Network.

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MyLink Radio by Chevy

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Most people today especially teenagers and young adults want to be connected with their music and phones at all times, including when they are in their cars. Often though the cars that have infotainment systems are above the budget they can afford. If you are a fan of the Chevy
brand than you maybe in luck.

In 2012 Chevy is introducing the MyLink Radio for two of their entry level vehicles the Chevy Spark and the Chevy Sonic. The MyLink Radio comes with AM/FM and SirusXM installed. You can connect a Bluetooth enabled smartphone, a USB device or an iPod. Then the music plays directly though your car speakers and you can see what is playing by looking at the MyLink system instead of having to pick up your device. MyLink Radio will also come with the ability to launch Pandora and the Stitcher Radio apps.

The apps themselves will run and be updated through the phone. You can also make calls through the system either by using the touchpad on the screen or buttons on the steering wheel. It also pulls the information from your phone directly on to the device. There is also an option to view slideshows or watch movies through MyLink Radio. Because of safety issues this will only work in when the car is in park.

The MyLink Radio is an optional feature and should be available in June for the Spark and in September for the Sonic. They are considering opening up the API for other developers. This will be a great option for those who want to be connected but can’t afford those vehicle with the full infotainment systems.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central

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