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  1. This isn't the Microbus you are looking. Despite many hoping Volkswagen would introduce a modern version of the iconic 60's van, what we got with the BUDD-e that debut at the Consumer Electronics Show last night is a cross between a Scion xB and a Volkswagen Eurovan. But let us move on because the BUDD-e has something that will be appearing in Volkswagen models in the near future. The BUDD-e is the first vehicle that is built on the Modular Electric Toolkit (or MEB). This new modular platform according to the automaker will have the range, utility, and cost needed to become the primary vehicle for many people. For the BUDD-e, the platform allows a 101-kWh lithium-ion battery pack under the floor to provide the power. Electric motors power the front and rear axles. Volkswagen says the BUDD-e has an overall range of 373 Miles in the New European Driving Cycle, a top speed of 93 MPH, and can be recharged to 80 percent in 15 minutes. Interestingly, Autoweek reports during the presentation, chairman Dr. Herbert Diess said the BUDD-e is rated at 233 Miles by the EPA. No explanation was given to the large disparity between the two ratings. The interior is a showcase of future technologies. The driver faces 12.3-inch Active Info Display screen that displays navigation, trip information, charging information, and entertainment. The steering wheel boasts a touch interface with haptic feedback, allowing the driver to interact with the menus on the Active Info Display. There is a larger 13.3-inch screen in the dash that provides more information for passengers. The pièce de résistance of the BUDD-e concept? A number of the BUDD-e's functions can be operated by gesture control, even the rear sliding doors. Source: Autoweek, Volkswagen Press Release is on Page 2 CES 2016: ELECTRIC VOLKSWAGEN BUDD-e CONCEPT BRINGS THE MICROBUS INTO THE 21ST CENTURY Jan 5, 2016 New Concept showcases new MEB electric platform and offers a glimpse of next-generation connectivity and infotainment concepts First VW based on the new Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB)Features 101 kWh battery that enables up to 373** miles of pure electric range New interfaces signal next-generation display and ergonomic conceptsBUDD-e becomes integral part in the Internet of Things and links Smart Home and Smart Car technology Gesture control 2.0 enables intuitive operation of interior and exterior featuresBold design captures brand’s heritage while providing a hint at future design direction Las Vegas, January 2016 —Building on the momentum from the brand’s first appearance in 2015, Volkswagen is opening a new gateway to the future at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The time machine in this case is a zero-emissions, avant-garde van dubbed BUDD-e. This is the first vehicle based on the all-new Modular Electric Platform (MEB) that is designed specifically for plug-in vehicles. With a range of up to 373 miles coupled with a charismatic, iconic design, this vehicle successfully incorporates Volkswagen’s heritage while providing a glimpse into the brand’s future. Completely and thoroughly networked, BUDD-e is a mobile interface which connects the vehicle with the world around it. With the BUDD-e Volkswagen has developed a vehicle that is more thoroughly connected with its surroundings than any car before it. An integral automotive component in the Internet of Things (IoT), BUDD-e is capable of seamlessly communicating with your Smart Home or office. Featuring next-generation infotainment technologies and offering an advanced new method of operation and information processing, BUDD-e turns travel into a fully interactive, intuitive experience. Utilizing the latest in user interface innovation, touch and gesture control merge seamlessly and result in the removal of switches and buttons inside the cabin, individual displays that blend into large infotainment panels, and digital screens instead of analog mirrors. The convergence of these new, interactive infotainment and operating systems provides a view of potential applications in Volkswagen products in the next decade. MEB: The new architecture for Volkswagen’s electric vehicles With BUDD-e, Volkswagen demonstrates what electric mobility could be like by the year 2019. Volkswagen’s new MEB platform will enable a series production car to have pure electric range that is on par with today’s gasoline-powered cars by the end of the decade. The time required to charge the batteries to 80 percent of capacity is anticipated to be reduced to about 15 minutes by then, marking an operational breakthrough for EVs. BUDD-e is the first concept car developed by the Volkswagen Group that is underpinned by the new Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB). This architecture heralds a fundamental change in electric cars and ushers in a revolution in automotive technology, leaving today’s fossil-fuel powered internal combustion engines and drivetrains in the past. This significant innovation will lead to huge changes in the development of electric-powered Volkswagens in the years to come, from body and interior design, to packaging and drive characteristics. The new platform is designed to have the space for electric drive components and large batteries while maintaining interior space and driving dynamics. MEB will allow for spacious interiors with the smallest possible footprint to enable easy and nimble transportation. In addition to their space, MEB vehicles will offer high levels of functionality and networking thanks to the new vehicle architecture, instrumentation, and operating systems. New and enhanced assistance systems will provide passengers with safer transport. Dynamic performance is, and will remain, a key part of Volkswagen’s DNA, and MEB vehicles will be no exception. With a focus on optimal balance, future VW vehicles based off the platform will offer the kind of agility, strong acceleration and handling that VW customers have come to expect. New battery and electric drive componentry will enable inexpensive access to e-mobility: a much longer purely electric range will allow these vehicles to become the primary transportation in many consumers’ households. The new MEB delivers a drivetrain architecture that is specifically tailored for the integration of compact electric motors and high-performance, highly-efficient batteries. The 101 kWh battery is flat, to save space, and integrated into almost the entire vehicle floor. It powers two electric motors, one to drive each axle. The front and rear motors power all four wheels and enable a top speed of 93 mph. The total range of up to 373 miles is achieved on a full charge, putting the BUDD-e on a level playing field with today’s gasoline-powered cars. Like today’s electric vehicles, the BUDDE-e offers several levels of plugged-in charging with the added benefit of cordless inductive charging. Another benefit of the new MEB is entirely new packaging opportunities, highlighted throughout the BUDD-e concept. One significant enhancement is illustrated by the arrangement of the heating and air conditioning unit. For instance, the innovative new heating and air conditioning unit has been completely integrated in the front end of the car which allows for significantly more available space, improves air quality (thanks to larger and more robust filters), and results in a reduction of fan noise inside the cabin for excellent acoustics. The concept van is 181 inches long, 76.3 inches wide and 72.2 inches high, placing it between two very successful Volkswagen models sold in Europe, the Touran and the Multivan T6. Due to its generous width, relatively long wheelbase (124.1 inches), and very short overhangs (27 inches at the front and 28.9 inches and the rear), the BUDD-e’s proportions are very appealing. Exterior design Inspired by the iconic charm of classic Volkswagen vans, the BUDD-e’s design focuses on the aesthetics of functionality. Practical, clean, innovative, powerful and appealing, the concept has a two-tone color scheme, with its body painted in “Nevada White” below the window edge, and the roof in “Phoenix Copper.” The front end design of the BUDD-e is unmistakably Volkswagen. The area around the VW logo can be backlit by integrated LED modules in a number of different ways, creating an external ambient light that tapers towards the sides, and a narrow stripe that continues all the way around the van. The main headlights, which also use LED technology, are placed high up, while transparent surfaces to the left and right of the headlights house integrated LED indicators that carry into the vehicle’s silhouette. Viewed from the front, the V-shaped design of these styling cues resemble elements from the original Volkswagen Microbus and Beetle, with a futuristic flare that provides an entirely new interpretation of the brand’s design DNA. The van’s silhouette is characterized by a flat and elongated roof line, long windows with glazed A-pillars, 21-inch aluminium-alloy wheels, and light modules that start at the front and reach around the vehicle’s flanks. A narrow LED stripe, which runs all the way round the car, acts as a character line and delivers exterior ambient lighting. The silhouette comes across as especially clean, thanks to an absence of door handles and wing mirrors, as these components have been completely redesigned and replaced by electronic solutions. Flared D-pillars, which also contain the LED strip for the rear lights, accentuate the design further. At the rear, the BUDD-e’s aerodynamic design promotes airflow through the gloss black D-pillars, reducing aerodynamic drag and simultaneously optimizing rear downforce. Its clean and iconic design continues all the way to the rear, with a large tailgate, reminiscent of the original Volkswagen bus. LED taillight strips reach up into the D-pillars, and the circumferential ambient light give BUDD-e a unique design unlike anything on the road. Last but not least, a C-shaped LED signature surrounds the extractable Drop Box. Next generation human-machine interface The interior style of the BUDD-e is characterized by a completely new and innovative human-machine interface—the instrumentation and operating concept of the future. The design is extremely clean and intuitive to use. The technical architecture of the infotainment and control systems, as well as their design, make a quantum leap akin to the jump from flip phones to smartphones or from analog timepieces to smart watches. With BUDD-e’s interface design, Volkswagen eliminates the traditional distinction between the electronic instrument cluster in front of the driver and the center console infotainment system. In a move towards comprehensive digitalization and the individualization of the driver’s workplace, these two areas have been merged to form a single information hub. The idea behind the navigation panel is rooted in the car’s original function: driving. Behind the panel resides a sliding 3D navigation map with graphics, which becomes the matrix of an interactive human-machine interface (HMI). This is accomplished via two physically separate displays that blend into one, both optically and functionally. The first component, Active Info Display, is a freely programmable instrument cluster located in front of the driver; the second is a head unit which was once a separate screen for the infotainment system. Active Info Display captures the conceptual focus on drive information, while the head unit caters to the infotainment needs of all passengers on board. Both of these areas form a united visual and textual environment, as the navigation graphics and the arrangement of media content such as the display of Points of Interest (POI), playlists, apps (App-Connect) and online services (Car-Net) are freely configurable. In addition, the main points and content can also be swapped between the Active Info Display and the head unit. All of BUDD-e’s systems are operated intuitively by gesture control, touchscreen (displays and touch slider) or voice control. The driver can choose between various intuitive control modes (multi-modal interaction). For example, a simple “Hello BUDD-e” activates the vehicle’s voice control. The system also offers completely natural speech interaction. For example, if the driver asks “turn the heat up a bit, please”, the car will respond immediately and appropriately. The system is also able to locate the passenger giving the commands, and react accordingly. If, for instance, someone sitting in the left rear seat says “It’s too hot here”, BUDD-e can immediately lower the temperature in that passenger’s zone. The BUDD-e’s freely programmable instrument cluster is an evolution of the Active Info Display first introduced by Volkswagen in 2015. A 12.3-inch curved display with a surface consisting of three individually configurable sections is centrally positioned, right in front of the driver. Drive, control, consume. In Section I, “Drive”, the center of the Active Info Display, the current travel route is highlighted through a 3D map including buildings and points of interest (POI) as well as navigation instructions. The edges of the navigation image are simultaneously the background of the entire display. In Section II, “Control”, vehicle status and assistance system information is displayed, as well as the current trip data from the on-board computer, left of the Active Info Display. In Section III, “Consume”, infotainment content such as “Audio”, “Messages”, “Calendar” and “Weather” are displayed on the right. This layout, designed to concentrate on the route and primarily for driver use, is “Driving mode”. Alternatively, as previously outlined, there is a “Travel mode”, in which the details of the route are displayed on the head unit instead, allowing route guidance and planning by the passengers. The fuel consumption data (left), speed indicator (middle) and information on the energy reserves and range (right) are always displayed in a constant position at the bottom section of the display. The head unit, the part of the new HMI easily seen and used by front-and rear-seat passengers, is located in the middle of the dashboard. Its 13.3-inch display is linked to the Active Info Display, both graphically and via software. The head unit displays the extended 3D navigation map (including buildings) as a default setting. The top level of its surface consists of freely assignable tiles that are available in two different sizes. Up to eight tiles in total can be arranged next to each other. Through this, passengers can display “Trip data“, “Audio” (playlist/song/cover) or “Messages” in “Driving mode.” “Travel mode” puts the emphasis on graphical representations of travel content. A Home button in the middle of the head unit takes the user straight out of each menu, back to the top level menu. Similar to smartphones, a menu tab is integrated at the top of the screen. Opening this menu permits quick and easy access to key functions and menu items. These include vehicle functions such as opening and closing the hatch or sliding door, and menu items like “Music”, “Places”, “Images”, “Phone”, “Connected Home”, and “Videos.” Information on basic functions such as climate control and seat heating is also shown at the bottom of the display, where the all-important button for switching between different modes also resides. An “inbox“ sited to the right of the display can be used to send passenger content to the head unit. The head unit is fitted with proximity sensors that detect an approaching hand and smoothly switch its screen from display to operating mode, allowing users to scroll through audio playlists and other functionality. Drivers can also toggle from “Driving mode” to “Travel mode” at any given moment. The Active Info Display will continue to focus on specific navigation information, while the representation of the current route is moved to the right onto the head unit, allowing it to correspond to points of interest, which are now shown in greater detail. This functionality makes it easier and more straightforward for anyone on board to locate POIs. Meanwhile, the default displays on the Active Info Display continue to provide the driver with the most important information for the journey. Switching between modes can be done by gesture control, using the Home button, or through the redesigned multifunction steering wheel. e-Mirror. This feature integrates the displays of the digital wing mirrors (e-Mirror). Images come from two external cameras, which feed into multifunction displays. When stationary, the driver and front-seat passenger can also use these panels to open and close the electric doors. The display on the driver’s side is 7.9 inches in size and the front-seat passenger has a 5.9-inch screen. Multifunction steering wheel 3.0. Volkswagen’s new multifunction steering wheel is completely switchless, operating via haptic feedback on its smooth surfaces. Individual functions are activated by pressure, or through a swipe gesture. Touching the surface gives the driver palpable haptic “pre-sensing” feedback, allowing them to localize the function. Upon activation of a function, there is another, stronger haptic reaction, making operation more intuitive than present day solutions. Operation is also no longer limited to the shift paddle, but extends over the entire surface of the operating stack. Raised patterns on the buttons make it easy to find one’s way around the wheel. The driver is also given visual feedback on the selected functions by the Active Info Display. For example, the cover of the song that is currently being played is displayed in the appropriate window. At the same time, icons appear at the edges of the square window—in all four corners. These four icons (scroll up or down, sound and menu) directly match the corresponding directions of the switches on the steering wheel’s operating area, making even the most complex operating sequences simple and intuitive. Functions such as volume control or zooming into the navigation display can alternatively be controlled through a new touch slider. This is a further enhancement of the system presented at CES in 2015 in the Golf R Touch concept. This new stage of development is characterized by higher sensor resolution, clearly noticeable for driver and front-seat passenger alike, due to the system’s optimized precision and performance. This enables the touch slider to recognize not only the number of fingers on the slider, but their motion as well. Gesture control 2.0. Volkswagen has significantly enhanced the gesture control system presented in the Golf R Touch at CES in 2015. In the BUDD-e, experts from the Body Electronics division have incorporated sensor technology already capable of recognizing people as they are approaching the vehicle. For the exterior, this is accomplished through the use of infra-red sensors. An intuitive hand gesture opens the BUDD-e’s sliding door. A simple foot movement of the “Virtual Pedal 3.0” opens the electrically operated tailgate, marking a further development of the “Easy Open” function. The gesture control system inside the BUDD-e’s interior is more intuitive than ever before, with the maximum operating distance having been significantly increased. Cameras are used to register if a passenger in the rear compartment wants to open the sliding door, for instance. Interactive displays and projections also assist the driver and passengers during operation. Gestures are recognized without the gesture control system needing to be explicitly activated—as was the case in the Golf R Touch—making it an integral part of operating procedures. Volkswagen has significantly enhanced the gesture control system presented in the Golf R Touch at CES in 2015. In the BUDD-e, experts from the Body Electronics division have incorporated sensor technology already capable of recognizing people as they are approaching the vehicle. For the exterior, this is accomplished through the use of infra-red sensors. An intuitive hand gesture opens the BUDD-e’s sliding door. A simple foot movement of the “Virtual Pedal 3.0” opens the electrically operated tailgate, marking a further development of the “Easy Open” function. The gesture control system inside the BUDD-e’s interior is more intuitive than ever before, with the maximum operating distance having been significantly increased. Cameras are used to register if a passenger in the rear compartment wants to open the sliding door, for instance. Interactive displays and projections also assist the driver and passengers during operation. Gestures are recognized without the gesture control system needing to be explicitly activated—as was the case in the Golf R Touch—making it an integral part of operating procedures. Personalized light. Volkswagen has demonstrated how the dominant color of the display illumination and matching ambient lighting can be individually adapted using the touch slider in the Golf R Touch concept. Now, this functionality also includes opening/start-up and parking/closing of the new BUDD-e. When the car is opened, cockpit and ambient lighting bring the interior to life: when parked, standby mode is initiated. The ambient lighting system implemented in the BUDD-e is a further development of this system. While the previous application was primarily influenced by the driver and the front-seat passenger, controls now extend to the entire interior of the car. It is the first car in which ambient lighting interacts with the gesture control system, and can also be adjusted to suit the surrounding environment. A car for the Internet of Things Not only does the BUDD-e’s completely new infotainment concept make travelling more interactive and media more tangible, it also creates a link between the car and the outside world. With BUDD-e, passengers will be able to access their homes and workplaces to perform tasks such as controlling the air conditioning, turning lights on or off, or simply looking to see if their kids are home yet. BUDD-e will not only provide a connection to an interconnected world, but create an interactive interface to its surroundings. It is conceivable that in the near future, consumables—such as windshield wiper blades—or other kinds of personal items could not only be ordered from the car, but also delivered to it using a “Drop Box” that is accessible from the outside. The vehicle “reads” an access code to open the Drop Box for authorized parcel delivery services, using a digital key, essentially making the vehicle a mobile mailbox. At home on the road. Most modern day smart home functions are controlled using smartphone apps, produced by various manufacturers. Volkswagen has found a solution that allows users to access smart home functions while remaining focused on the road ahead. With App-Connect—Volkswagen’s advanced smartphone integration platform—the BUDD-e makes it possible to control certain “Connected Home” functions from the car, while driving. In cooperation with Korean electronics firm LG, Volkswagen will show how it is possible to obtain information about a smart fridge from the BUDD-e. It’s also possible to put the whole house into an energy-saving sleep mode while still in the vehicle. In the future, the BUDD-e will also automatically turn on lights in and around the house as soon as it approaches through home net automation. At CES, Volkswagen will demonstrate, together with the German manufacturer Doorbird, how MirrorLink™ can be used in connection with the newly developed Home-Net Viewer. The interface can display images from cameras mounted in and around the house on one of the car’s multiple screens (a function equally conceivable with future Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ applications). If a visitor rings the doorbell at home, a picture of them, taken by the home camera, is sent to the screen of the infotainment system. The functionality even makes it possible to speak to the visitor using the car’s hands-free kit and, if desired, open the door for them. Don’t forget anything. BUDD-e can remind its occupants if they have forgotten anything in the car, via their smart watch and/or smartphone. You can also find things in the car using “Home-Net don’t forget”. Through an inventory list, the driver or passengers can see everything that has been put in the car, and if they are still there. The intelligent “Reminder” also informs when particular items should be remembered. For example, if rain is forecast, BUDD-e will notify the driver if there is an umbrella in the car. Relevant items are fitted with a transmitter (a small sticker) in advance, making it possible for the car to locate them. The “Home-Net don’t forget” app uses an encrypted wireless interface, meaning that it is impossible for the items to be located from outside the car, or by unauthorized users. Smart Gesture. Volkswagen plans to become one of the first manufacturers to integrate gesture control into affordable, mass production cars. BUDD-e demonstrates a broad range of what is possible in the future. Functionality will include in-car control functions which operate certain things at home. A good example of this is the familiar “Easy Open” function, where the BUDD-e can use a laser to project a virtual footprint in front of its hatch. If an authorized user kicks this position, the hatch opens automatically. Opening the door at home will work in the same manner: BUDD-e will project a footprint in front of the door and if the person who lives there puts their foot on it, the door opens—which is very handy if you have your arms full with groceries or children.
  2. It was last January at the Detroit Auto Show when GM surprised everyone with the Chevrolet Bolt concept. Here was an electric vehicle that came with a 200 Mile range and would be affordable. Since then, GM has been hard at work getting a production model ready and at the Consumers Electronic Show tonight, the company unveiled the production Bolt. As we saw in spy shots last month, the production Bolt mostly looks the same as the concept. The front is similar to the Volt with a brushed grille and LED headlights wrapping around the front fenders. Around back, the LED taillights are integrated into the tailgate. The Bolt's interior features seating for five and a large 10.2-inch screen with the latest version of Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system. Interestingly, the Bolt will come with "Gamification" features that will pit Bolt drivers against each other for green driving awards or rankings as a way to improve efficiency. Unfortunately, details about the electric powertrain and expected range are still being kept under wraps. Production of the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt will begin at the end of 2016 at GM's Lake Orion Assembly. Source: Chevrolet Press Release is on Page 2 CHEVROLET INTRODUCES 2017 BOLT EV LAS VEGAS – Chevrolet is introducing the 2017 Bolt EV at the Consumer Electronics Show, fulfilling its promise to offer a long-range, affordable electric vehicle for the masses. The Bolt EV, which will go into production by the end of 2016, will offer more than 200 miles of range on a full charge. It also features advanced connectivity technologies designed to enhance and personalize the driving experience. “It was less than a year ago that we revealed the Bolt EV concept and promised to deliver a long-range electric vehicle attainable by the masses,” GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said. “The Bolt EV is capable of using the latest mobile app technology to enable car sharing, advanced GPS routing and gamification, all designed to enhance the ownership experience now and into the future.” Connectivity Simplifies Ownership Experience The Bolt EV benefits directly from the suggestions and ideas of Volt owners and features technologies that make owning a long-range electric vehicle easy. The Bolt EV’s connectivity innovations will provide smart, personalized solutions for managing the driving experience. For example, in the future an accurate driving range projection will be based on the time of day, typography, weather and the owner’s driving habits. Bluetooth low-energy – designed specifically for the Bolt EV to minimize energy draw – seamlessly connects a smart phone to the car while the owner approaches the vehicle. Many of the Bolt EV’s driver-focused technologies are supported by OnStar 4G LTE, which turns the Bolt EV into a Wi-Fi hotspot, giving owners easier access to apps and services via a high-speed wireless connection. Other connectivity and infotainment features include: 10.2’’ MyLink color touch-screen displayCustomizable, widget-based “flip-board style” operation [*]Rear Camera Mirror Rear-facing camera provides a wide-angle view of the environment behind the vehicle. [*]Surround Vision Provides a bird’s-eye view of what’s around the Bolt EV for improved safety during low-speed driving and when parking. [*]All-New MyChevrolet Mobile App: Combines important owner and vehicle information and functions, such as: Vehicle charge status OnStar Map service Remote start Cabin pre-conditioning Owner’s manual information Dealer service scheduling [*]EV Navigation Mapping EV-specific navigation capability that designs routes to maximize range and provide locations of nearby charging station locations if needed. [*]Gamification In the future, Bolt EV owners will be able to “compete” by comparing driving styles to determine who is driving most efficiently. The Bolt EV will be built at GM’s Orion (Mich.) Assembly facility, near Detroit.
  3. The Consumer Electronics Show in January is looking to be an interesting one for cars. GM will introduce the production version of the Chevrolet Bolt and CEO Mary Barra will do the official keynote. Volkswagen will also be showing a few things at CES, including a new concept car. Volkswagen says the concept "marks the beginning of a new era of affordable long-distance electromobility." A teaser shot of the concept shows an illuminated grille and narrow headlights. Some believe the concept is actually a new Microbus with an EV powerplant. Volkswagen will also reveal some new developments on the infotainment system front. Source: Volkswagen Press Release is on Page 2 Volkswagen at the CES 2016: The Focus is on Networking and Long-Distance Electromobility The starting shot for the Volkswagen brand's future initiative Dr Herbert Diess presents the keynote speech on the eve of the world's largest consumer technology trade show for digital trends and electronics development Wolfsburg, 11 December 2015 – In 2016 Volkswagen is once again represented at the Consumer Electronics Show, CES, which takes place from 6 - 9 January in Las Vegas/USA. Dr Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, will be the keynote speaker on the evening before the show opens its doors. The main focus of his speech will be on the latest developments in electromobility, as well as the next generation of connectivity. Volkswagen will present a completely new concept car at the CES, to illustrate the major changes that the car is set to go through in the next few years. First and foremost the world premiere marks the beginning of a new era of affordable long-distance electromobility. Over and above this, innovative features will demonstrate the benefits to the customer that Volkswagen will be able to deliver in the near future thanks to the increasing interconnectedness of the motor car. As well as that, new display and operating concepts will also be making their debut in Las Vegas. For instance, Volkswagen will give quite a clear glimpse of the latest developments in in-car infotainment that are on the verge of being launched onto the market. This will see innovations such as the Golf R Touch concept car finding their way into Volkswagen's broad product portfolio. The CES has long been considered a reliable barometer of the key trends in digitalisation and consumer electronics. The latest products and services are presented to more than 150,000 trade visitors every January.
  4. We know that Chevrolet is readying the Bolt EV for production that will begin sometime late next year. But we didn't know when or where the production model would be shown. Now we do. The Verge reports that Chevrolet will show off the Bolt at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January. This was revealed by GM executive vice president Mark Reuss during the LA Auto Show. CES is turning out to be a big event for GM. Earlier in the month, CEO Mary Barra was announced to be the keynote speaker for the show. Source: The Verge
  5. Google, Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai, and NVIDIA announced at the Consumer Electronics Show today a new partnership called the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA). The overall goal of the alliance is to help speed up the development of technological innovation in the auto industry by openness, customization, and scale. The alliance will work on bringing the Android operating system from phones and tablets to vehicles, giving automakers a degree of technological development expertise that they haven't had awhile. In return, automakers will be able develop infotainment systems their standards. "Millions of people are already familiar with Android and use it everyday. The expansion of the Android platform into automotive will allow our industry partners to more easily integrate mobile technology into cars and offer drivers a familiar, seamless experience so they can focus on the road," said Sundar Pichai, SVP of Android, Chrome & Apps at Google. Now the OAA says the first vehicles with Android integration are expected by the end of this year. The OAA also says that it will welcome other automakers to join the alliance. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Source: Audi Press Release is on Page 2 Jan 6, 2014 , INGOLSTADT, Germany New roads ahead for Android and the Open Automotive Alliance Tech companies and auto industry leaders join forces to make the connected car a reality starting in 2014 Extending the success of the Android™ ecosystem, which has seen over one billion devices activated to date, a coalition of auto and technology companies announced today a new industry alliance aimed at bringing the Android platform to a device that’s always been mobile: the car. Audi, GM, Google, Honda, Hyundai and NVIDIA have joined together to form the Open Automotive Alliance™ (OAA), a global alliance of technology and auto industry leaders committed to bringing the Android platform to cars starting in 2014. The OAA is dedicated to a common platform that will drive innovation, and make technology in the car safer and more intuitive for everyone. The OAA is aimed at accelerating auto innovation with an approach that offers openness, customization and scale, key tenets that have already made Android a familiar part of millions of people’s lives. This open development model and common platform will allow automakers to more easily bring cutting-edge technology to their drivers, and create new opportunities for developers to deliver powerful experiences for drivers and passengers in a safe and scalable way. “The worlds of consumer and automotive technologies have never been more closely aligned, and this alliance will only pave the way for faster innovation,” said Ricky Hudi, Head of Electrics/Electronics Development at AUDI AG. “Working toward a common ecosystems benefits driver safety above all.” ”Partnering with Google and the OAA on an ecosystem that spans across vehicles and handheld mobile devices furthers our mission to bring vehicles into our owners digital lives and their digital lives into their vehicles,” said Mary Chan, President of General Motors’ Global Connected Consumer unit. “We see huge opportunities for the Android platform paired with OnStar 4G LTE connectivity in future Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles.” "Millions of people are already familiar with Android and use it everyday," said Sundar Pichai, SVP of Android, Chrome & Apps at Google. "The expansion of the Android platform into automotive will allow our industry partners to more easily integrate mobile technology into cars and offer drivers a familiar, seamless experience so they can focus on the road." "We are very pleased to join this alliance with Google as a founding member because Honda is committed to providing the very best connected-car experience to our customers," said Yoshiharu Yamamoto, president, CEO and director of Honda R&D Co., Ltd. "The Honda team is looking forward to collaborating with Google and all OAA members to help advance the safety, value and ease of use of connected-car technologies." “We are excited to announce that our customers using Android will soon be able to enjoy the continuous user experience in their Hyundai and Kia vehicles.” said Dr. Woong-Chul Yang, Vice Chairman of R&D, Hyundai Motor Group. “By introducing the latest IT technologies safely and securely throughout our full range of vehicles, we continually strive to provide the highest levels of convenience and to enhance the in-vehicle experience.” "The car is the ultimate mobile computer. With onboard supercomputing chips, futuristic cars of our dreams will no longer be science fiction," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive officer, NVIDIA. "The OAA will enable the car industry to bring these amazing cars to market faster." OAA members share a vision for the connected car, and bringing these open standards of innovation to the market will help extend people’s mobile experience seamlessly to another platform they already know and love. Timing from each automaker will vary, but you can expect to see the first cars with Android integration by the end of this year. The OAA invites other automotive technology companies to join in this endeavor. Learn more at openautoalliance.net
  6. The dream of the autonomous car on public roads could be closer than many of us think. Ford's CEO Mark Fields told analysts and reporters on the eve of the Consumer Electronics Show that he could see an automaker release a self-driving vehicle to the public within five years. “Fully autonomous vehicles are a real possibility,” said Fields. “Probably, in the next five years, you’ll see somebody introduce autonomous vehicles.” Audi demonstrated how far we have come in self-driving tech by having an Audi A7 equipped with the latest tech to drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas on its own. The vehicle was able to do 560 mile trip with no problem. But while technology is here, there are still a number of obstacles that automakers have to overcome with self-driving cars, such as laws and insurance details. Source: Bloomberg
  7. The past few years have seen Consumer Electronics Show (CES) become a stage for automakers and suppliers to show off new technologies and even vehicles. Alongside the Chevrolet Volt sneak peek, GM also announced three new technologies for their vehicles. First up is Chevrolet announcing a new piece of tech that will be able to predict and notify drivers when certain components need some attention. This is possible by the OnStar 4G LTE system that newer Chevrolet vehicles are being shipped with. Sensors in the vehicle will send data to GM where servers will be able to predict when a part will fail and notify the owner via email, text message, in-vehicle alerts or through the OnStar RemoteLink smartphone app. “This is a new chapter in our pursuit to provide customers with convenience and the best overall service in the industry. Using our innovative OnStar 4G LTE connectivity platform, we can actively monitor vehicle component health and notify our customers if covered vehicle components need attention. Nobody else in the industry is offering this,” said Alicia Boler-Davis, General Motors senior vice president of Global Connected Customer Experience. The system will be available in Chevrolet vehicles in the 2016 model year. For the time being, the system will only be able to battery, starter motor and fuel pump; though the company is planning to add more parts in the future. Along with this change, GM also announced that its OnStar RemoteLink app will get the ability to send a monthly report to owners, outlining key details such as the vehicle’s tire pressure, oil life, and other key maintenance information. Next, OnStar announced AtYourService. This feature allows drivers to find local deals and make connections with merchants from their car. Launching this year in the U.S. and Canada, AtYourService has teamed up with the likes Dunkin’ Donuts, Priceline.com, RetailMeNot.com, and Entertainment Book to provide deals and information. If a driver using OnStar asks for directions to a point of interest and it has applicable deal or connection to one of its partners, an OnStar advisor can send the info right to the vehicle. “On the heels of our 4G LTE connectivity launch last year, OnStar will continually roll out powerful, simple ways to bring daily-relevant connected vehicle features like AtYourService to complement our foundation of safety and security technology. We will continue to innovate in ways that make our customers’ time on the road more efficient and more convenient,” said Mark Lloyd, consumer online officer for OnStar. The last announcement is for a new service that will track your driving driving habits during a 90 day span. After 90 days, OnStar will send feedback about how you drive and how you can become a safer driver. If you happen to have Progressive as your insurance provider, you can send that information to lower your insurance rate. Now the important item about this system is that you have the choice to opt in. "The driver assessment is meant to help people better understand how they drive and give them feedback on how to be better, smarter drivers. This is the first time we can use actual driving behavior to deliver valuable important feedback to customers who want this information. This new service truly shows the power of the connected car. The beauty of this program is that control is in the hands of the customer. If they wish to participate, we’ll inform them of their driving behavior and then they’re able to choose if they want to share their information with Progressive,” said Greg Ross, director of Business Development and Alliances, Global Connected Consumer Experience, General Motors. Source: General Motors Press Releases on Page 2 Chevrolet Opens New Chapter for Driver Assurance Customers will soon drive vehicles that can predict future service needs DETROIT – Chevrolet is using advanced connected vehicle technology to give customers an unprecedented level of assurance in their vehicles later this year. This industry-leading prognostic technology can predict and notify drivers when certain components need attention – in many cases before vehicle performance is impacted. The predictive technology is initially focused on the battery, starter motor and fuel pump, all critical to starting and keeping a vehicle running. Additional vehicle parts and components are expected to be added in future model years. “This is a new chapter in our pursuit to provide customers with convenience and the best overall service in the industry,” said Alicia Boler-Davis, General Motors senior vice president, Global Connected Customer Experience. “Using our innovative OnStar 4G LTE connectivity platform, we can actively monitor vehicle component health and notify our customers if covered vehicle components need attention. Nobody else in the industry is offering this.” Building on the 15-year history of connected vehicle technology through OnStar, the prognostic service relies on OnStar 4G LTE to provide data streams from sensors within the vehicle. When a customer has enrolled their properly equipped vehicle in this service, the data is sent to OnStar’s secure servers and proprietary algorithms are applied to assess whether certain conditions could impact vehicle performance. When indicated, notifications are sent to the customer via email, text message, in-vehicle alerts or through the OnStar RemoteLink smartphone app. This service is expected to be available on select 2016 Chevrolet Equinox, Tahoe, Suburban, Corvette, Silverado and Silverado HD models equipped with certain powertrains, followed by more Chevrolet vehicles throughout the 2016 model year. Prognostic capability is the latest advancement in a suite of services that will keep Chevrolet customers informed from the first day of ownership through many years into the future. Another Advancement in Vehicle Diagnostics Chevrolet customers with an active OnStar connection today can monitor tire pressure, oil life and other key data points via the OnStar RemoteLink smartphone app or through a monthly diagnostic email sent from the vehicle. In 2016, Chevrolet is adding a new capability, which allows customers to check these key data points continuously, without having to wait for their monthly email. Keeping a vehicle’s tires filled to the recommended pressure and keeping vital systems well-maintained can lower fuel costs and extend a vehicle’s life. Together, Chevrolet’s advanced diagnostic and prognostic capabilities will keep owners more informed and empowered to make every trip confidently through years of ownership. OnStar AtYourService Brings Commerce to Connected Cars Offers hotel booking and delivers incentives from restaurants and retailers DETROIT – At the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show, OnStar will preview AtYourService, a commerce and engagement offering that connects drivers with retailers and merchants on their drive, providing information, convenience and money-saving values tied to their specific destinations. In addition, OnStar advisors can now help locate hotels and book reservations. AtYourService will roll out in the U.S. and Canada, where OnStar annually receives more than 35 million requests for directions and supports more than 53 million mobile app interactions. Building on these direct connections and adding more daily relevance for subscribers, OnStar has signed initial relationships with partners like Dunkin’ Donuts and Priceline.com. Digital coupon providers RetailMeNot and Entertainment Book will supply retail and shopping coupons. Parkopedia will serve data for parking nationwide, and Audiobooks.com will supply e-book content to drivers on the road. When a driver requests directions to a point of interest that has an applicable deal or connection to one of its partners, the OnStar advisor can send the special offer from that merchant. “On the heels of our 4G LTE connectivity launch last year, OnStar will continually roll out powerful, simple ways to bring daily-relevant connected vehicle features like AtYourService to complement our foundation of safety and security technology,” said Mark Lloyd, consumer online officer for OnStar. “We will continue to innovate in ways that make our customers’ time on the road more efficient and more convenient.” Said Scott Hudler, vice president, Global Consumer Engagement for Dunkin’ Donuts: “We can’t think of a more exciting and targeted way to connect with our guests than when they are in their vehicles looking for a Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant. We’ll bring value to GM drivers while driving those consumers to our stores with instant incentives.” Also beginning in early 2015, active subscribers with the full-service plan will be able to book a hotel through an OnStar advisor. Partnering with Priceline.com, OnStar advisors can provide information on availability, cost, amenities, and ratings, then book a hotel reservation and send directions to the vehicle. Subscribers can give advisors the general location where they would like to stay and advisors can select from Priceline’s participating hotels in that area. After booking a hotel, customers receive an email confirmation of their reservation. The service provides a simple way to find on-the-go accommodations while drivers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. In a pilot program, nine out of 10 subscribers said they would book their last-minute hotel needs through OnStar again. “We were seeing a growing segment of our business, with Priceline users making same-day reservations for hotels while driving in their cars,” said Randy Schartner, president of The Priceline Partner Network. “Making Priceline hotels available to drivers through OnStar in a safe and secure way is great way for Priceline consumers and GM drivers to become one and the same.” This new service will continue to grow over time with new capabilities and more partnerships. “By delivering relevant connections, interactions, offers and services based on our subscribers’ needs, we are laying the foundation for a truly cohesive experience,” said OnStar’s Lloyd. ”Our hope is that OnStar AtYourService will help transform the way businesses and consumers interact in connected vehicles.” OnStar to Offer Driving Feedback; Customers can Seek Insurance Discounts Progressive® Insurance to offer discounts for consenting driver data use DETROIT – Beginning this summer, OnStar will offer customers the opportunity to sign up for a new service that can tell them how well they drive and provide some customers an opportunity to seek discounts from Progressive Insurance. The new connected vehicle service will allow OnStar customers a chance to enroll in a program that provides a detailed driving assessment at the end of a 90-day evaluation period. The assessment, provided only to OnStar customers who sign up for this service, will reveal how the customer performed in important driving metrics, comparing that customer against an aggregate of other anonymous enrolled customers. Driving tips will be provided by OnStar based on a customer’s individual assessment characteristics. After the assessment, some customers can choose to share their driving data and evaluation information with Progressive through its Snapshot® program, potentially leading to discounted insurance offers. This information sharing will be entirely voluntary following advanced consent from customers. “The driver assessment is meant to help people better understand how they drive and give them feedback on how to be better, smarter drivers,” said Greg Ross, director, Business Development and Alliances, Global Connected Consumer Experience, General Motors. “This is the first time we can use actual driving behavior to deliver valuable important feedback to customers who want this information. This new service truly shows the power of the connected car. “The beauty of this program is that control is in the hands of the customer,” said Ross. “If they wish to participate, we’ll inform them of their driving behavior and then they’re able to choose if they want to share their information with Progressive.” Progressive® Insurance is the first insurance company that will use OnStar data to evaluate actual driving behavior, subject to explicit customer consent, to offer driving-based insurance discounts. “We are looking beyond traditional expectations of car makers and insurance providers, toward helping people be smarter drivers,” said Dave Pratt, general manager of usage-based insurance at Progressive. “Providing drivers with feedback benefits consumers by making them more aware of their driving behavior, saving them money and keeping the roads safer. This program makes it easier than ever for consumers to take advantage of the latest in-car technology and the leading usage-based insurance program.” The smart driver assessment program is expected to be available for all 2016 GM models, most 2015 models, and select 2013 and 2014 models, starting this summer. The program is only expected to be available for U.S. drivers at this time. OnStar customers currently are able to receive low mileage discount offers through other insurance companies. These low mileage programs, however, do not require the collection or use of driver assessment data.
  8. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com January 8, 2013 Eight months after Google became the first company to be licensed by the state of Nevada to test autonomous vehicles on public roads, Audi becomes the first automaker to be licensed. The German automaker is no stranger to autonomous vehicles. In 2010, a specially-built TTS took on the Pikes Peak Climb, finishing the course in 27 minutes. Audi will use its license to continue developing and refining its autonomous system, which the automaker equates to auto-pilot system on a plane. Audi's vision for the system would have the driver allowing the vehicle to perform mundane tasks like stop-and-go traffic and parking, while still letting the driver have control when needed. Source: Audi William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Nevada grants Audi the first automaker permit to operate autonomous vehicles on public roads • Audi gets second-ever license from the state to test Audi piloted driving • Audi piloted driving and parking technology will be a focus at 2013 CES • Audi has been an autonomous driving pioneer through work by its Electronics Research Lab in Silicon Valley and Stanford University The State of Nevada issued to Audi only the second license allowing the testing of autonomous vehicles on the state's public roads. This makes Audi the first automotive original equipment manufacturer to obtain this special permit. The first license went to technology giant Google. Audi has been at the forefront of autonomous driving research. Among the early highlights was the 2010 achievement of the Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak research car on the legendary Pikes Peak Hill Climb course in Colorado. That Audi research car, developed jointly by the Volkswagen Group Electronics Research Lab in Silicon Valley and Stanford University, autonomously completed the 156-turn, 12.42-mile Pikes Peak circuit in just 27 minutes. Today, Audi defines autonomous driving capabilities in terms of piloted parking and piloted driving. The term "piloted" is used advisedly, as Audi envisions motorists enjoying the convenience of allowing the car to handle mundane stop-and-go driving conditions, for example, while still being able to take control of the car when needed. In this way, the technology is similar to auto-pilot systems found on jetliners. Likewise, autonomous, or piloted parking, would let future Audi models park safely without a driver at the wheel in in tight parking spaces. Audi will provide updates on strategies involving its Audi piloted driving and piloted parking technologies at the Audi booth during the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show Jan. 8-11, 2013.
  9. We know that Chevrolet is readying the Bolt EV for production that will begin sometime late next year. But we didn't know when or where the production model would be shown. Now we do. The Verge reports that Chevrolet will show off the Bolt at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January. This was revealed by GM executive vice president Mark Reuss during the LA Auto Show. CES is turning out to be a big event for GM. Earlier in the month, CEO Mary Barra was announced to be the keynote speaker for the show. Source: The Verge View full article
  10. The Consumer Electronics Show in January is looking to be an interesting one for cars. GM will introduce the production version of the Chevrolet Bolt and CEO Mary Barra will do the official keynote. Volkswagen will also be showing a few things at CES, including a new concept car. Volkswagen says the concept "marks the beginning of a new era of affordable long-distance electromobility." A teaser shot of the concept shows an illuminated grille and narrow headlights. Some believe the concept is actually a new Microbus with an EV powerplant. Volkswagen will also reveal some new developments on the infotainment system front. Source: Volkswagen Press Release is on Page 2 Volkswagen at the CES 2016: The Focus is on Networking and Long-Distance Electromobility The starting shot for the Volkswagen brand's future initiative Dr Herbert Diess presents the keynote speech on the eve of the world's largest consumer technology trade show for digital trends and electronics development Wolfsburg, 11 December 2015 – In 2016 Volkswagen is once again represented at the Consumer Electronics Show, CES, which takes place from 6 - 9 January in Las Vegas/USA. Dr Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, will be the keynote speaker on the evening before the show opens its doors. The main focus of his speech will be on the latest developments in electromobility, as well as the next generation of connectivity. Volkswagen will present a completely new concept car at the CES, to illustrate the major changes that the car is set to go through in the next few years. First and foremost the world premiere marks the beginning of a new era of affordable long-distance electromobility. Over and above this, innovative features will demonstrate the benefits to the customer that Volkswagen will be able to deliver in the near future thanks to the increasing interconnectedness of the motor car. As well as that, new display and operating concepts will also be making their debut in Las Vegas. For instance, Volkswagen will give quite a clear glimpse of the latest developments in in-car infotainment that are on the verge of being launched onto the market. This will see innovations such as the Golf R Touch concept car finding their way into Volkswagen's broad product portfolio. The CES has long been considered a reliable barometer of the key trends in digitalisation and consumer electronics. The latest products and services are presented to more than 150,000 trade visitors every January. View full article
  11. The dream of the autonomous car on public roads could be closer than many of us think. Ford's CEO Mark Fields told analysts and reporters on the eve of the Consumer Electronics Show that he could see an automaker release a self-driving vehicle to the public within five years. “Fully autonomous vehicles are a real possibility,” said Fields. “Probably, in the next five years, you’ll see somebody introduce autonomous vehicles.” Audi demonstrated how far we have come in self-driving tech by having an Audi A7 equipped with the latest tech to drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas on its own. The vehicle was able to do 560 mile trip with no problem. But while technology is here, there are still a number of obstacles that automakers have to overcome with self-driving cars, such as laws and insurance details. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  12. The past few years have seen Consumer Electronics Show (CES) become a stage for automakers and suppliers to show off new technologies and even vehicles. Alongside the Chevrolet Volt sneak peek, GM also announced three new technologies for their vehicles. First up is Chevrolet announcing a new piece of tech that will be able to predict and notify drivers when certain components need some attention. This is possible by the OnStar 4G LTE system that newer Chevrolet vehicles are being shipped with. Sensors in the vehicle will send data to GM where servers will be able to predict when a part will fail and notify the owner via email, text message, in-vehicle alerts or through the OnStar RemoteLink smartphone app. “This is a new chapter in our pursuit to provide customers with convenience and the best overall service in the industry. Using our innovative OnStar 4G LTE connectivity platform, we can actively monitor vehicle component health and notify our customers if covered vehicle components need attention. Nobody else in the industry is offering this,” said Alicia Boler-Davis, General Motors senior vice president of Global Connected Customer Experience. The system will be available in Chevrolet vehicles in the 2016 model year. For the time being, the system will only be able to battery, starter motor and fuel pump; though the company is planning to add more parts in the future. Along with this change, GM also announced that its OnStar RemoteLink app will get the ability to send a monthly report to owners, outlining key details such as the vehicle’s tire pressure, oil life, and other key maintenance information. Next, OnStar announced AtYourService. This feature allows drivers to find local deals and make connections with merchants from their car. Launching this year in the U.S. and Canada, AtYourService has teamed up with the likes Dunkin’ Donuts, Priceline.com, RetailMeNot.com, and Entertainment Book to provide deals and information. If a driver using OnStar asks for directions to a point of interest and it has applicable deal or connection to one of its partners, an OnStar advisor can send the info right to the vehicle. “On the heels of our 4G LTE connectivity launch last year, OnStar will continually roll out powerful, simple ways to bring daily-relevant connected vehicle features like AtYourService to complement our foundation of safety and security technology. We will continue to innovate in ways that make our customers’ time on the road more efficient and more convenient,” said Mark Lloyd, consumer online officer for OnStar. The last announcement is for a new service that will track your driving driving habits during a 90 day span. After 90 days, OnStar will send feedback about how you drive and how you can become a safer driver. If you happen to have Progressive as your insurance provider, you can send that information to lower your insurance rate. Now the important item about this system is that you have the choice to opt in. "The driver assessment is meant to help people better understand how they drive and give them feedback on how to be better, smarter drivers. This is the first time we can use actual driving behavior to deliver valuable important feedback to customers who want this information. This new service truly shows the power of the connected car. The beauty of this program is that control is in the hands of the customer. If they wish to participate, we’ll inform them of their driving behavior and then they’re able to choose if they want to share their information with Progressive,” said Greg Ross, director of Business Development and Alliances, Global Connected Consumer Experience, General Motors. Source: General Motors Press Releases on Page 2 Chevrolet Opens New Chapter for Driver Assurance Customers will soon drive vehicles that can predict future service needs DETROIT – Chevrolet is using advanced connected vehicle technology to give customers an unprecedented level of assurance in their vehicles later this year. This industry-leading prognostic technology can predict and notify drivers when certain components need attention – in many cases before vehicle performance is impacted. The predictive technology is initially focused on the battery, starter motor and fuel pump, all critical to starting and keeping a vehicle running. Additional vehicle parts and components are expected to be added in future model years. “This is a new chapter in our pursuit to provide customers with convenience and the best overall service in the industry,” said Alicia Boler-Davis, General Motors senior vice president, Global Connected Customer Experience. “Using our innovative OnStar 4G LTE connectivity platform, we can actively monitor vehicle component health and notify our customers if covered vehicle components need attention. Nobody else in the industry is offering this.” Building on the 15-year history of connected vehicle technology through OnStar, the prognostic service relies on OnStar 4G LTE to provide data streams from sensors within the vehicle. When a customer has enrolled their properly equipped vehicle in this service, the data is sent to OnStar’s secure servers and proprietary algorithms are applied to assess whether certain conditions could impact vehicle performance. When indicated, notifications are sent to the customer via email, text message, in-vehicle alerts or through the OnStar RemoteLink smartphone app. This service is expected to be available on select 2016 Chevrolet Equinox, Tahoe, Suburban, Corvette, Silverado and Silverado HD models equipped with certain powertrains, followed by more Chevrolet vehicles throughout the 2016 model year. Prognostic capability is the latest advancement in a suite of services that will keep Chevrolet customers informed from the first day of ownership through many years into the future. Another Advancement in Vehicle Diagnostics Chevrolet customers with an active OnStar connection today can monitor tire pressure, oil life and other key data points via the OnStar RemoteLink smartphone app or through a monthly diagnostic email sent from the vehicle. In 2016, Chevrolet is adding a new capability, which allows customers to check these key data points continuously, without having to wait for their monthly email. Keeping a vehicle’s tires filled to the recommended pressure and keeping vital systems well-maintained can lower fuel costs and extend a vehicle’s life. Together, Chevrolet’s advanced diagnostic and prognostic capabilities will keep owners more informed and empowered to make every trip confidently through years of ownership. OnStar AtYourService Brings Commerce to Connected Cars Offers hotel booking and delivers incentives from restaurants and retailers DETROIT – At the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show, OnStar will preview AtYourService, a commerce and engagement offering that connects drivers with retailers and merchants on their drive, providing information, convenience and money-saving values tied to their specific destinations. In addition, OnStar advisors can now help locate hotels and book reservations. AtYourService will roll out in the U.S. and Canada, where OnStar annually receives more than 35 million requests for directions and supports more than 53 million mobile app interactions. Building on these direct connections and adding more daily relevance for subscribers, OnStar has signed initial relationships with partners like Dunkin’ Donuts and Priceline.com. Digital coupon providers RetailMeNot and Entertainment Book will supply retail and shopping coupons. Parkopedia will serve data for parking nationwide, and Audiobooks.com will supply e-book content to drivers on the road. When a driver requests directions to a point of interest that has an applicable deal or connection to one of its partners, the OnStar advisor can send the special offer from that merchant. “On the heels of our 4G LTE connectivity launch last year, OnStar will continually roll out powerful, simple ways to bring daily-relevant connected vehicle features like AtYourService to complement our foundation of safety and security technology,” said Mark Lloyd, consumer online officer for OnStar. “We will continue to innovate in ways that make our customers’ time on the road more efficient and more convenient.” Said Scott Hudler, vice president, Global Consumer Engagement for Dunkin’ Donuts: “We can’t think of a more exciting and targeted way to connect with our guests than when they are in their vehicles looking for a Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant. We’ll bring value to GM drivers while driving those consumers to our stores with instant incentives.” Also beginning in early 2015, active subscribers with the full-service plan will be able to book a hotel through an OnStar advisor. Partnering with Priceline.com, OnStar advisors can provide information on availability, cost, amenities, and ratings, then book a hotel reservation and send directions to the vehicle. Subscribers can give advisors the general location where they would like to stay and advisors can select from Priceline’s participating hotels in that area. After booking a hotel, customers receive an email confirmation of their reservation. The service provides a simple way to find on-the-go accommodations while drivers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. In a pilot program, nine out of 10 subscribers said they would book their last-minute hotel needs through OnStar again. “We were seeing a growing segment of our business, with Priceline users making same-day reservations for hotels while driving in their cars,” said Randy Schartner, president of The Priceline Partner Network. “Making Priceline hotels available to drivers through OnStar in a safe and secure way is great way for Priceline consumers and GM drivers to become one and the same.” This new service will continue to grow over time with new capabilities and more partnerships. “By delivering relevant connections, interactions, offers and services based on our subscribers’ needs, we are laying the foundation for a truly cohesive experience,” said OnStar’s Lloyd. ”Our hope is that OnStar AtYourService will help transform the way businesses and consumers interact in connected vehicles.” OnStar to Offer Driving Feedback; Customers can Seek Insurance Discounts Progressive® Insurance to offer discounts for consenting driver data use DETROIT – Beginning this summer, OnStar will offer customers the opportunity to sign up for a new service that can tell them how well they drive and provide some customers an opportunity to seek discounts from Progressive Insurance. The new connected vehicle service will allow OnStar customers a chance to enroll in a program that provides a detailed driving assessment at the end of a 90-day evaluation period. The assessment, provided only to OnStar customers who sign up for this service, will reveal how the customer performed in important driving metrics, comparing that customer against an aggregate of other anonymous enrolled customers. Driving tips will be provided by OnStar based on a customer’s individual assessment characteristics. After the assessment, some customers can choose to share their driving data and evaluation information with Progressive through its Snapshot® program, potentially leading to discounted insurance offers. This information sharing will be entirely voluntary following advanced consent from customers. “The driver assessment is meant to help people better understand how they drive and give them feedback on how to be better, smarter drivers,” said Greg Ross, director, Business Development and Alliances, Global Connected Consumer Experience, General Motors. “This is the first time we can use actual driving behavior to deliver valuable important feedback to customers who want this information. This new service truly shows the power of the connected car. “The beauty of this program is that control is in the hands of the customer,” said Ross. “If they wish to participate, we’ll inform them of their driving behavior and then they’re able to choose if they want to share their information with Progressive.” Progressive® Insurance is the first insurance company that will use OnStar data to evaluate actual driving behavior, subject to explicit customer consent, to offer driving-based insurance discounts. “We are looking beyond traditional expectations of car makers and insurance providers, toward helping people be smarter drivers,” said Dave Pratt, general manager of usage-based insurance at Progressive. “Providing drivers with feedback benefits consumers by making them more aware of their driving behavior, saving them money and keeping the roads safer. This program makes it easier than ever for consumers to take advantage of the latest in-car technology and the leading usage-based insurance program.” The smart driver assessment program is expected to be available for all 2016 GM models, most 2015 models, and select 2013 and 2014 models, starting this summer. The program is only expected to be available for U.S. drivers at this time. OnStar customers currently are able to receive low mileage discount offers through other insurance companies. These low mileage programs, however, do not require the collection or use of driver assessment data. View full article
  13. It was last January at the Detroit Auto Show when GM surprised everyone with the Chevrolet Bolt concept. Here was an electric vehicle that came with a 200 Mile range and would be affordable. Since then, GM has been hard at work getting a production model ready and at the Consumers Electronic Show tonight, the company unveiled the production Bolt. As we saw in spy shots last month, the production Bolt mostly looks the same as the concept. The front is similar to the Volt with a brushed grille and LED headlights wrapping around the front fenders. Around back, the LED taillights are integrated into the tailgate. The Bolt's interior features seating for five and a large 10.2-inch screen with the latest version of Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system. Interestingly, the Bolt will come with "Gamification" features that will pit Bolt drivers against each other for green driving awards or rankings as a way to improve efficiency. Unfortunately, details about the electric powertrain and expected range are still being kept under wraps. Production of the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt will begin at the end of 2016 at GM's Lake Orion Assembly. Source: Chevrolet Press Release is on Page 2 CHEVROLET INTRODUCES 2017 BOLT EV LAS VEGAS – Chevrolet is introducing the 2017 Bolt EV at the Consumer Electronics Show, fulfilling its promise to offer a long-range, affordable electric vehicle for the masses. The Bolt EV, which will go into production by the end of 2016, will offer more than 200 miles of range on a full charge. It also features advanced connectivity technologies designed to enhance and personalize the driving experience. “It was less than a year ago that we revealed the Bolt EV concept and promised to deliver a long-range electric vehicle attainable by the masses,” GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said. “The Bolt EV is capable of using the latest mobile app technology to enable car sharing, advanced GPS routing and gamification, all designed to enhance the ownership experience now and into the future.” Connectivity Simplifies Ownership Experience The Bolt EV benefits directly from the suggestions and ideas of Volt owners and features technologies that make owning a long-range electric vehicle easy. The Bolt EV’s connectivity innovations will provide smart, personalized solutions for managing the driving experience. For example, in the future an accurate driving range projection will be based on the time of day, typography, weather and the owner’s driving habits. Bluetooth low-energy – designed specifically for the Bolt EV to minimize energy draw – seamlessly connects a smart phone to the car while the owner approaches the vehicle. Many of the Bolt EV’s driver-focused technologies are supported by OnStar 4G LTE, which turns the Bolt EV into a Wi-Fi hotspot, giving owners easier access to apps and services via a high-speed wireless connection. Other connectivity and infotainment features include: 10.2’’ MyLink color touch-screen displayCustomizable, widget-based “flip-board style” operation [*]Rear Camera Mirror Rear-facing camera provides a wide-angle view of the environment behind the vehicle. [*]Surround Vision Provides a bird’s-eye view of what’s around the Bolt EV for improved safety during low-speed driving and when parking. [*]All-New MyChevrolet Mobile App: Combines important owner and vehicle information and functions, such as: Vehicle charge status OnStar Map service Remote start Cabin pre-conditioning Owner’s manual information Dealer service scheduling [*]EV Navigation Mapping EV-specific navigation capability that designs routes to maximize range and provide locations of nearby charging station locations if needed. [*]Gamification In the future, Bolt EV owners will be able to “compete” by comparing driving styles to determine who is driving most efficiently. The Bolt EV will be built at GM’s Orion (Mich.) Assembly facility, near Detroit. View full article
  14. This isn't the Microbus you are looking. Despite many hoping Volkswagen would introduce a modern version of the iconic 60's van, what we got with the BUDD-e that debut at the Consumer Electronics Show last night is a cross between a Scion xB and a Volkswagen Eurovan. But let us move on because the BUDD-e has something that will be appearing in Volkswagen models in the near future. The BUDD-e is the first vehicle that is built on the Modular Electric Toolkit (or MEB). This new modular platform according to the automaker will have the range, utility, and cost needed to become the primary vehicle for many people. For the BUDD-e, the platform allows a 101-kWh lithium-ion battery pack under the floor to provide the power. Electric motors power the front and rear axles. Volkswagen says the BUDD-e has an overall range of 373 Miles in the New European Driving Cycle, a top speed of 93 MPH, and can be recharged to 80 percent in 15 minutes. Interestingly, Autoweek reports during the presentation, chairman Dr. Herbert Diess said the BUDD-e is rated at 233 Miles by the EPA. No explanation was given to the large disparity between the two ratings. The interior is a showcase of future technologies. The driver faces 12.3-inch Active Info Display screen that displays navigation, trip information, charging information, and entertainment. The steering wheel boasts a touch interface with haptic feedback, allowing the driver to interact with the menus on the Active Info Display. There is a larger 13.3-inch screen in the dash that provides more information for passengers. The pièce de résistance of the BUDD-e concept? A number of the BUDD-e's functions can be operated by gesture control, even the rear sliding doors. Source: Autoweek, Volkswagen Press Release is on Page 2 CES 2016: ELECTRIC VOLKSWAGEN BUDD-e CONCEPT BRINGS THE MICROBUS INTO THE 21ST CENTURY Jan 5, 2016 New Concept showcases new MEB electric platform and offers a glimpse of next-generation connectivity and infotainment concepts First VW based on the new Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB)Features 101 kWh battery that enables up to 373** miles of pure electric range New interfaces signal next-generation display and ergonomic conceptsBUDD-e becomes integral part in the Internet of Things and links Smart Home and Smart Car technology Gesture control 2.0 enables intuitive operation of interior and exterior featuresBold design captures brand’s heritage while providing a hint at future design direction Las Vegas, January 2016 —Building on the momentum from the brand’s first appearance in 2015, Volkswagen is opening a new gateway to the future at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The time machine in this case is a zero-emissions, avant-garde van dubbed BUDD-e. This is the first vehicle based on the all-new Modular Electric Platform (MEB) that is designed specifically for plug-in vehicles. With a range of up to 373 miles coupled with a charismatic, iconic design, this vehicle successfully incorporates Volkswagen’s heritage while providing a glimpse into the brand’s future. Completely and thoroughly networked, BUDD-e is a mobile interface which connects the vehicle with the world around it. With the BUDD-e Volkswagen has developed a vehicle that is more thoroughly connected with its surroundings than any car before it. An integral automotive component in the Internet of Things (IoT), BUDD-e is capable of seamlessly communicating with your Smart Home or office. Featuring next-generation infotainment technologies and offering an advanced new method of operation and information processing, BUDD-e turns travel into a fully interactive, intuitive experience. Utilizing the latest in user interface innovation, touch and gesture control merge seamlessly and result in the removal of switches and buttons inside the cabin, individual displays that blend into large infotainment panels, and digital screens instead of analog mirrors. The convergence of these new, interactive infotainment and operating systems provides a view of potential applications in Volkswagen products in the next decade. MEB: The new architecture for Volkswagen’s electric vehicles With BUDD-e, Volkswagen demonstrates what electric mobility could be like by the year 2019. Volkswagen’s new MEB platform will enable a series production car to have pure electric range that is on par with today’s gasoline-powered cars by the end of the decade. The time required to charge the batteries to 80 percent of capacity is anticipated to be reduced to about 15 minutes by then, marking an operational breakthrough for EVs. BUDD-e is the first concept car developed by the Volkswagen Group that is underpinned by the new Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB). This architecture heralds a fundamental change in electric cars and ushers in a revolution in automotive technology, leaving today’s fossil-fuel powered internal combustion engines and drivetrains in the past. This significant innovation will lead to huge changes in the development of electric-powered Volkswagens in the years to come, from body and interior design, to packaging and drive characteristics. The new platform is designed to have the space for electric drive components and large batteries while maintaining interior space and driving dynamics. MEB will allow for spacious interiors with the smallest possible footprint to enable easy and nimble transportation. In addition to their space, MEB vehicles will offer high levels of functionality and networking thanks to the new vehicle architecture, instrumentation, and operating systems. New and enhanced assistance systems will provide passengers with safer transport. Dynamic performance is, and will remain, a key part of Volkswagen’s DNA, and MEB vehicles will be no exception. With a focus on optimal balance, future VW vehicles based off the platform will offer the kind of agility, strong acceleration and handling that VW customers have come to expect. New battery and electric drive componentry will enable inexpensive access to e-mobility: a much longer purely electric range will allow these vehicles to become the primary transportation in many consumers’ households. The new MEB delivers a drivetrain architecture that is specifically tailored for the integration of compact electric motors and high-performance, highly-efficient batteries. The 101 kWh battery is flat, to save space, and integrated into almost the entire vehicle floor. It powers two electric motors, one to drive each axle. The front and rear motors power all four wheels and enable a top speed of 93 mph. The total range of up to 373 miles is achieved on a full charge, putting the BUDD-e on a level playing field with today’s gasoline-powered cars. Like today’s electric vehicles, the BUDDE-e offers several levels of plugged-in charging with the added benefit of cordless inductive charging. Another benefit of the new MEB is entirely new packaging opportunities, highlighted throughout the BUDD-e concept. One significant enhancement is illustrated by the arrangement of the heating and air conditioning unit. For instance, the innovative new heating and air conditioning unit has been completely integrated in the front end of the car which allows for significantly more available space, improves air quality (thanks to larger and more robust filters), and results in a reduction of fan noise inside the cabin for excellent acoustics. The concept van is 181 inches long, 76.3 inches wide and 72.2 inches high, placing it between two very successful Volkswagen models sold in Europe, the Touran and the Multivan T6. Due to its generous width, relatively long wheelbase (124.1 inches), and very short overhangs (27 inches at the front and 28.9 inches and the rear), the BUDD-e’s proportions are very appealing. Exterior design Inspired by the iconic charm of classic Volkswagen vans, the BUDD-e’s design focuses on the aesthetics of functionality. Practical, clean, innovative, powerful and appealing, the concept has a two-tone color scheme, with its body painted in “Nevada White” below the window edge, and the roof in “Phoenix Copper.” The front end design of the BUDD-e is unmistakably Volkswagen. The area around the VW logo can be backlit by integrated LED modules in a number of different ways, creating an external ambient light that tapers towards the sides, and a narrow stripe that continues all the way around the van. The main headlights, which also use LED technology, are placed high up, while transparent surfaces to the left and right of the headlights house integrated LED indicators that carry into the vehicle’s silhouette. Viewed from the front, the V-shaped design of these styling cues resemble elements from the original Volkswagen Microbus and Beetle, with a futuristic flare that provides an entirely new interpretation of the brand’s design DNA. The van’s silhouette is characterized by a flat and elongated roof line, long windows with glazed A-pillars, 21-inch aluminium-alloy wheels, and light modules that start at the front and reach around the vehicle’s flanks. A narrow LED stripe, which runs all the way round the car, acts as a character line and delivers exterior ambient lighting. The silhouette comes across as especially clean, thanks to an absence of door handles and wing mirrors, as these components have been completely redesigned and replaced by electronic solutions. Flared D-pillars, which also contain the LED strip for the rear lights, accentuate the design further. At the rear, the BUDD-e’s aerodynamic design promotes airflow through the gloss black D-pillars, reducing aerodynamic drag and simultaneously optimizing rear downforce. Its clean and iconic design continues all the way to the rear, with a large tailgate, reminiscent of the original Volkswagen bus. LED taillight strips reach up into the D-pillars, and the circumferential ambient light give BUDD-e a unique design unlike anything on the road. Last but not least, a C-shaped LED signature surrounds the extractable Drop Box. Next generation human-machine interface The interior style of the BUDD-e is characterized by a completely new and innovative human-machine interface—the instrumentation and operating concept of the future. The design is extremely clean and intuitive to use. The technical architecture of the infotainment and control systems, as well as their design, make a quantum leap akin to the jump from flip phones to smartphones or from analog timepieces to smart watches. With BUDD-e’s interface design, Volkswagen eliminates the traditional distinction between the electronic instrument cluster in front of the driver and the center console infotainment system. In a move towards comprehensive digitalization and the individualization of the driver’s workplace, these two areas have been merged to form a single information hub. The idea behind the navigation panel is rooted in the car’s original function: driving. Behind the panel resides a sliding 3D navigation map with graphics, which becomes the matrix of an interactive human-machine interface (HMI). This is accomplished via two physically separate displays that blend into one, both optically and functionally. The first component, Active Info Display, is a freely programmable instrument cluster located in front of the driver; the second is a head unit which was once a separate screen for the infotainment system. Active Info Display captures the conceptual focus on drive information, while the head unit caters to the infotainment needs of all passengers on board. Both of these areas form a united visual and textual environment, as the navigation graphics and the arrangement of media content such as the display of Points of Interest (POI), playlists, apps (App-Connect) and online services (Car-Net) are freely configurable. In addition, the main points and content can also be swapped between the Active Info Display and the head unit. All of BUDD-e’s systems are operated intuitively by gesture control, touchscreen (displays and touch slider) or voice control. The driver can choose between various intuitive control modes (multi-modal interaction). For example, a simple “Hello BUDD-e” activates the vehicle’s voice control. The system also offers completely natural speech interaction. For example, if the driver asks “turn the heat up a bit, please”, the car will respond immediately and appropriately. The system is also able to locate the passenger giving the commands, and react accordingly. If, for instance, someone sitting in the left rear seat says “It’s too hot here”, BUDD-e can immediately lower the temperature in that passenger’s zone. The BUDD-e’s freely programmable instrument cluster is an evolution of the Active Info Display first introduced by Volkswagen in 2015. A 12.3-inch curved display with a surface consisting of three individually configurable sections is centrally positioned, right in front of the driver. Drive, control, consume. In Section I, “Drive”, the center of the Active Info Display, the current travel route is highlighted through a 3D map including buildings and points of interest (POI) as well as navigation instructions. The edges of the navigation image are simultaneously the background of the entire display. In Section II, “Control”, vehicle status and assistance system information is displayed, as well as the current trip data from the on-board computer, left of the Active Info Display. In Section III, “Consume”, infotainment content such as “Audio”, “Messages”, “Calendar” and “Weather” are displayed on the right. This layout, designed to concentrate on the route and primarily for driver use, is “Driving mode”. Alternatively, as previously outlined, there is a “Travel mode”, in which the details of the route are displayed on the head unit instead, allowing route guidance and planning by the passengers. The fuel consumption data (left), speed indicator (middle) and information on the energy reserves and range (right) are always displayed in a constant position at the bottom section of the display. The head unit, the part of the new HMI easily seen and used by front-and rear-seat passengers, is located in the middle of the dashboard. Its 13.3-inch display is linked to the Active Info Display, both graphically and via software. The head unit displays the extended 3D navigation map (including buildings) as a default setting. The top level of its surface consists of freely assignable tiles that are available in two different sizes. Up to eight tiles in total can be arranged next to each other. Through this, passengers can display “Trip data“, “Audio” (playlist/song/cover) or “Messages” in “Driving mode.” “Travel mode” puts the emphasis on graphical representations of travel content. A Home button in the middle of the head unit takes the user straight out of each menu, back to the top level menu. Similar to smartphones, a menu tab is integrated at the top of the screen. Opening this menu permits quick and easy access to key functions and menu items. These include vehicle functions such as opening and closing the hatch or sliding door, and menu items like “Music”, “Places”, “Images”, “Phone”, “Connected Home”, and “Videos.” Information on basic functions such as climate control and seat heating is also shown at the bottom of the display, where the all-important button for switching between different modes also resides. An “inbox“ sited to the right of the display can be used to send passenger content to the head unit. The head unit is fitted with proximity sensors that detect an approaching hand and smoothly switch its screen from display to operating mode, allowing users to scroll through audio playlists and other functionality. Drivers can also toggle from “Driving mode” to “Travel mode” at any given moment. The Active Info Display will continue to focus on specific navigation information, while the representation of the current route is moved to the right onto the head unit, allowing it to correspond to points of interest, which are now shown in greater detail. This functionality makes it easier and more straightforward for anyone on board to locate POIs. Meanwhile, the default displays on the Active Info Display continue to provide the driver with the most important information for the journey. Switching between modes can be done by gesture control, using the Home button, or through the redesigned multifunction steering wheel. e-Mirror. This feature integrates the displays of the digital wing mirrors (e-Mirror). Images come from two external cameras, which feed into multifunction displays. When stationary, the driver and front-seat passenger can also use these panels to open and close the electric doors. The display on the driver’s side is 7.9 inches in size and the front-seat passenger has a 5.9-inch screen. Multifunction steering wheel 3.0. Volkswagen’s new multifunction steering wheel is completely switchless, operating via haptic feedback on its smooth surfaces. Individual functions are activated by pressure, or through a swipe gesture. Touching the surface gives the driver palpable haptic “pre-sensing” feedback, allowing them to localize the function. Upon activation of a function, there is another, stronger haptic reaction, making operation more intuitive than present day solutions. Operation is also no longer limited to the shift paddle, but extends over the entire surface of the operating stack. Raised patterns on the buttons make it easy to find one’s way around the wheel. The driver is also given visual feedback on the selected functions by the Active Info Display. For example, the cover of the song that is currently being played is displayed in the appropriate window. At the same time, icons appear at the edges of the square window—in all four corners. These four icons (scroll up or down, sound and menu) directly match the corresponding directions of the switches on the steering wheel’s operating area, making even the most complex operating sequences simple and intuitive. Functions such as volume control or zooming into the navigation display can alternatively be controlled through a new touch slider. This is a further enhancement of the system presented at CES in 2015 in the Golf R Touch concept. This new stage of development is characterized by higher sensor resolution, clearly noticeable for driver and front-seat passenger alike, due to the system’s optimized precision and performance. This enables the touch slider to recognize not only the number of fingers on the slider, but their motion as well. Gesture control 2.0. Volkswagen has significantly enhanced the gesture control system presented in the Golf R Touch at CES in 2015. In the BUDD-e, experts from the Body Electronics division have incorporated sensor technology already capable of recognizing people as they are approaching the vehicle. For the exterior, this is accomplished through the use of infra-red sensors. An intuitive hand gesture opens the BUDD-e’s sliding door. A simple foot movement of the “Virtual Pedal 3.0” opens the electrically operated tailgate, marking a further development of the “Easy Open” function. The gesture control system inside the BUDD-e’s interior is more intuitive than ever before, with the maximum operating distance having been significantly increased. Cameras are used to register if a passenger in the rear compartment wants to open the sliding door, for instance. Interactive displays and projections also assist the driver and passengers during operation. Gestures are recognized without the gesture control system needing to be explicitly activated—as was the case in the Golf R Touch—making it an integral part of operating procedures. Volkswagen has significantly enhanced the gesture control system presented in the Golf R Touch at CES in 2015. In the BUDD-e, experts from the Body Electronics division have incorporated sensor technology already capable of recognizing people as they are approaching the vehicle. For the exterior, this is accomplished through the use of infra-red sensors. An intuitive hand gesture opens the BUDD-e’s sliding door. A simple foot movement of the “Virtual Pedal 3.0” opens the electrically operated tailgate, marking a further development of the “Easy Open” function. The gesture control system inside the BUDD-e’s interior is more intuitive than ever before, with the maximum operating distance having been significantly increased. Cameras are used to register if a passenger in the rear compartment wants to open the sliding door, for instance. Interactive displays and projections also assist the driver and passengers during operation. Gestures are recognized without the gesture control system needing to be explicitly activated—as was the case in the Golf R Touch—making it an integral part of operating procedures. Personalized light. Volkswagen has demonstrated how the dominant color of the display illumination and matching ambient lighting can be individually adapted using the touch slider in the Golf R Touch concept. Now, this functionality also includes opening/start-up and parking/closing of the new BUDD-e. When the car is opened, cockpit and ambient lighting bring the interior to life: when parked, standby mode is initiated. The ambient lighting system implemented in the BUDD-e is a further development of this system. While the previous application was primarily influenced by the driver and the front-seat passenger, controls now extend to the entire interior of the car. It is the first car in which ambient lighting interacts with the gesture control system, and can also be adjusted to suit the surrounding environment. A car for the Internet of Things Not only does the BUDD-e’s completely new infotainment concept make travelling more interactive and media more tangible, it also creates a link between the car and the outside world. With BUDD-e, passengers will be able to access their homes and workplaces to perform tasks such as controlling the air conditioning, turning lights on or off, or simply looking to see if their kids are home yet. BUDD-e will not only provide a connection to an interconnected world, but create an interactive interface to its surroundings. It is conceivable that in the near future, consumables—such as windshield wiper blades—or other kinds of personal items could not only be ordered from the car, but also delivered to it using a “Drop Box” that is accessible from the outside. The vehicle “reads” an access code to open the Drop Box for authorized parcel delivery services, using a digital key, essentially making the vehicle a mobile mailbox. At home on the road. Most modern day smart home functions are controlled using smartphone apps, produced by various manufacturers. Volkswagen has found a solution that allows users to access smart home functions while remaining focused on the road ahead. With App-Connect—Volkswagen’s advanced smartphone integration platform—the BUDD-e makes it possible to control certain “Connected Home” functions from the car, while driving. In cooperation with Korean electronics firm LG, Volkswagen will show how it is possible to obtain information about a smart fridge from the BUDD-e. It’s also possible to put the whole house into an energy-saving sleep mode while still in the vehicle. In the future, the BUDD-e will also automatically turn on lights in and around the house as soon as it approaches through home net automation. At CES, Volkswagen will demonstrate, together with the German manufacturer Doorbird, how MirrorLink™ can be used in connection with the newly developed Home-Net Viewer. The interface can display images from cameras mounted in and around the house on one of the car’s multiple screens (a function equally conceivable with future Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ applications). If a visitor rings the doorbell at home, a picture of them, taken by the home camera, is sent to the screen of the infotainment system. The functionality even makes it possible to speak to the visitor using the car’s hands-free kit and, if desired, open the door for them. Don’t forget anything. BUDD-e can remind its occupants if they have forgotten anything in the car, via their smart watch and/or smartphone. You can also find things in the car using “Home-Net don’t forget”. Through an inventory list, the driver or passengers can see everything that has been put in the car, and if they are still there. The intelligent “Reminder” also informs when particular items should be remembered. For example, if rain is forecast, BUDD-e will notify the driver if there is an umbrella in the car. Relevant items are fitted with a transmitter (a small sticker) in advance, making it possible for the car to locate them. The “Home-Net don’t forget” app uses an encrypted wireless interface, meaning that it is impossible for the items to be located from outside the car, or by unauthorized users. Smart Gesture. Volkswagen plans to become one of the first manufacturers to integrate gesture control into affordable, mass production cars. BUDD-e demonstrates a broad range of what is possible in the future. Functionality will include in-car control functions which operate certain things at home. A good example of this is the familiar “Easy Open” function, where the BUDD-e can use a laser to project a virtual footprint in front of its hatch. If an authorized user kicks this position, the hatch opens automatically. Opening the door at home will work in the same manner: BUDD-e will project a footprint in front of the door and if the person who lives there puts their foot on it, the door opens—which is very handy if you have your arms full with groceries or children. View full article
  15. Google, Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai, and NVIDIA announced at the Consumer Electronics Show today a new partnership called the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA). The overall goal of the alliance is to help speed up the development of technological innovation in the auto industry by openness, customization, and scale. The alliance will work on bringing the Android operating system from phones and tablets to vehicles, giving automakers a degree of technological development expertise that they haven't had awhile. In return, automakers will be able develop infotainment systems their standards. "Millions of people are already familiar with Android and use it everyday. The expansion of the Android platform into automotive will allow our industry partners to more easily integrate mobile technology into cars and offer drivers a familiar, seamless experience so they can focus on the road," said Sundar Pichai, SVP of Android, Chrome & Apps at Google. Now the OAA says the first vehicles with Android integration are expected by the end of this year. The OAA also says that it will welcome other automakers to join the alliance. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Source: Audi Press Release is on Page 2 Jan 6, 2014 , INGOLSTADT, Germany New roads ahead for Android and the Open Automotive Alliance Tech companies and auto industry leaders join forces to make the connected car a reality starting in 2014 Extending the success of the Android™ ecosystem, which has seen over one billion devices activated to date, a coalition of auto and technology companies announced today a new industry alliance aimed at bringing the Android platform to a device that’s always been mobile: the car. Audi, GM, Google, Honda, Hyundai and NVIDIA have joined together to form the Open Automotive Alliance™ (OAA), a global alliance of technology and auto industry leaders committed to bringing the Android platform to cars starting in 2014. The OAA is dedicated to a common platform that will drive innovation, and make technology in the car safer and more intuitive for everyone. The OAA is aimed at accelerating auto innovation with an approach that offers openness, customization and scale, key tenets that have already made Android a familiar part of millions of people’s lives. This open development model and common platform will allow automakers to more easily bring cutting-edge technology to their drivers, and create new opportunities for developers to deliver powerful experiences for drivers and passengers in a safe and scalable way. “The worlds of consumer and automotive technologies have never been more closely aligned, and this alliance will only pave the way for faster innovation,” said Ricky Hudi, Head of Electrics/Electronics Development at AUDI AG. “Working toward a common ecosystems benefits driver safety above all.” ”Partnering with Google and the OAA on an ecosystem that spans across vehicles and handheld mobile devices furthers our mission to bring vehicles into our owners digital lives and their digital lives into their vehicles,” said Mary Chan, President of General Motors’ Global Connected Consumer unit. “We see huge opportunities for the Android platform paired with OnStar 4G LTE connectivity in future Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles.” "Millions of people are already familiar with Android and use it everyday," said Sundar Pichai, SVP of Android, Chrome & Apps at Google. "The expansion of the Android platform into automotive will allow our industry partners to more easily integrate mobile technology into cars and offer drivers a familiar, seamless experience so they can focus on the road." "We are very pleased to join this alliance with Google as a founding member because Honda is committed to providing the very best connected-car experience to our customers," said Yoshiharu Yamamoto, president, CEO and director of Honda R&D Co., Ltd. "The Honda team is looking forward to collaborating with Google and all OAA members to help advance the safety, value and ease of use of connected-car technologies." “We are excited to announce that our customers using Android will soon be able to enjoy the continuous user experience in their Hyundai and Kia vehicles.” said Dr. Woong-Chul Yang, Vice Chairman of R&D, Hyundai Motor Group. “By introducing the latest IT technologies safely and securely throughout our full range of vehicles, we continually strive to provide the highest levels of convenience and to enhance the in-vehicle experience.” "The car is the ultimate mobile computer. With onboard supercomputing chips, futuristic cars of our dreams will no longer be science fiction," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive officer, NVIDIA. "The OAA will enable the car industry to bring these amazing cars to market faster." OAA members share a vision for the connected car, and bringing these open standards of innovation to the market will help extend people’s mobile experience seamlessly to another platform they already know and love. Timing from each automaker will vary, but you can expect to see the first cars with Android integration by the end of this year. The OAA invites other automotive technology companies to join in this endeavor. Learn more at openautoalliance.net View full article
  16. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com January 8, 2013 Eight months after Google became the first company to be licensed by the state of Nevada to test autonomous vehicles on public roads, Audi becomes the first automaker to be licensed. The German automaker is no stranger to autonomous vehicles. In 2010, a specially-built TTS took on the Pikes Peak Climb, finishing the course in 27 minutes. Audi will use its license to continue developing and refining its autonomous system, which the automaker equates to auto-pilot system on a plane. Audi's vision for the system would have the driver allowing the vehicle to perform mundane tasks like stop-and-go traffic and parking, while still letting the driver have control when needed. Source: Audi William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Nevada grants Audi the first automaker permit to operate autonomous vehicles on public roads • Audi gets second-ever license from the state to test Audi piloted driving • Audi piloted driving and parking technology will be a focus at 2013 CES • Audi has been an autonomous driving pioneer through work by its Electronics Research Lab in Silicon Valley and Stanford University The State of Nevada issued to Audi only the second license allowing the testing of autonomous vehicles on the state's public roads. This makes Audi the first automotive original equipment manufacturer to obtain this special permit. The first license went to technology giant Google. Audi has been at the forefront of autonomous driving research. Among the early highlights was the 2010 achievement of the Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak research car on the legendary Pikes Peak Hill Climb course in Colorado. That Audi research car, developed jointly by the Volkswagen Group Electronics Research Lab in Silicon Valley and Stanford University, autonomously completed the 156-turn, 12.42-mile Pikes Peak circuit in just 27 minutes. Today, Audi defines autonomous driving capabilities in terms of piloted parking and piloted driving. The term "piloted" is used advisedly, as Audi envisions motorists enjoying the convenience of allowing the car to handle mundane stop-and-go driving conditions, for example, while still being able to take control of the car when needed. In this way, the technology is similar to auto-pilot systems found on jetliners. Likewise, autonomous, or piloted parking, would let future Audi models park safely without a driver at the wheel in in tight parking spaces. Audi will provide updates on strategies involving its Audi piloted driving and piloted parking technologies at the Audi booth during the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show Jan. 8-11, 2013. View full article

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