Smart Enterprise Magazine

Volume 7, Number 1, 2013

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IT helps automakers achieve the vision of vehicles that are fully connected and safe. IMAGE: ISTOCK | By Tom Farre an autonomous car, a self-driving vehicle that transforms a car or truck into ���transportation as a service.��� Today���s car buyers increasingly seek infotainment systems that combine digital entertainment with weather reports, GPS data and other useful, location-based information. The key for manufacturers is to create innovative content and services that can be consumed while drivers safely keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Beyond radio, today���s vehicles add audio and video from a wide range of devices and formats, including CD players, smartphones, DVDs, MP3s, iTunes and the cloud. The latest thing is connectivity. It can be provided through embedded cellular telematics, as in GM���s familiar OnStar system, or by tethering a smartphone to the head unit, as Ford does in its voice-activated Sync system, offered in partnership with Microsoft. ���Most major brands support both solutions,��� notes Phil Magney, Director and Senior Analyst at research firm IHS Automotive, ���because vehicle connectivity is so critical to today���s consumer.��� Nissan recently introduced the ConnectSM infotainment system in its latest Altima model. ConnectSM gives the driver and passengers access to local search and send-to-car destination navigation from Google. Even better, they can use their Bluetooth phones without needing a smartphone or data plan. ConnectSM also offers Internet radio from Pandora. Nissan���s Infiniti division will soon introduce a twin display system, powered by Intel���s Atom processor, to deliver infotainment to both the driver and passengers. And by 2020, predicts Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, the company will expand its adoption of accident-avoiding intervention technologies, electric vehicle-charging reservations, and a music player that adapts to the listener���s mood. Several other carmakers are working to connect auto passengers��� smartphones and tablets, via either Bluetooth or USB, to add functions to the vehicle���s core systems. Ford���s Sync AppLink enables mobile apps to connect and essentially become part of the vehicle. For example, Allergy Alert, an iPhone app, can be used to inform allergy and asthma sufferers in the car of the pollen count outside and at their destination. ���We want to change the paradigm that in-car connectivity systems such as SYNC can only be used for information and entertainment purposes,��� says Gary Strumolo, Global Manager of Ford Research and Innovation. ���We���re attempting to create a car that cares.��� As early as 1996, GM���s OnStar demonstrated how telematics could improve driver safety, security and convenience. Today���s safety advances continue that trend by adding advanced driver 2013 ��� Smart Enterprise 29

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