Smartphone Gateway Connectivity via USB

November 3, 2017


An earlier post about over the air updates via the smartphone discussed the need for in-vehicle systems to open a secure connection to the cloud, via the smartphone, to verify the integrity and authenticity of software updates. This post examines how to achieve the same result with a USB connection, describes the standard USB connectivity options between smartphone and in-vehicle head-units, and discusses the difficulties of obtaining internet connectivity out of the box with those approaches.

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The Path to the Future of Connected Cars: Over the Air and Through the Phone

July 6, 2017

Thanks to the proliferation of mobile phones, connected consumer electronics devices and cloud-based software, consumers have come to expect automatic, seamless over-the-air (OTA) updates that don’t disrupt their device usage.  As today’s cars become more and more technologically advanced, rolling off the line with up to 100 computers and millions of lines of code, it is now possible to update vehicles the same way we update our phones.  For car makers, the ability to push out OTA updates to their customers decreases maintenance, saves money by reducing recalls and increases customer satisfaction. Despite these advantages, most cars on the road today don’t yet have this capability, and drivers who want to update their automotive software have to either bring their vehicle into the dealership or download software to a thumb drive. The high-end models (led by Tesla) that do come with OTA capabilities use built-in modems, adding hardware and on-going cellular data expense to the vehicle.  While it may seem that the majority of drivers on the road will miss out on seamless OTA updates in the short-term unless they upgrade to the latest and greatest luxury sedan, there is in fact a simple and elegant solution that doesn’t require a built-in device, a solution that every driver already carries around in their hand everyday: the ubiquitous and versatile smartphone.

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Is Software Finally "Eating" the Car?

June 8, 2017

In 2011, Silicon Valley luminary Marc Andreesen famously wrote that “software is eating the world,” a sentiment one would have been hard-pressed to argue against even six years ago. We may say “cloud computing” instead of simply “software” these days, but there is no denying the effects of technological transformation, as once-strong brick and mortar mainstays like Blockbuster, Borders, and the neighborhood record store have fallen like so many bowling pins to the onslaught of digital bulwarks Amazon, Netflix, Apple et al.

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Radio Revolution

May 30, 2017

For over 50 years, the radio experience in cars has remained virtually unchanged. The simple thrill of turning a dial to a set frequency and magically receiving audio through the cabin speakers was thoroughly satisfying for generations of drivers. But this is a new era, and smartphones and internet radio have transformed listener expectations. It should come as no surprise that the once static in-car radio experience is being transformed by new apps that provide a richer UI with album art, metadata, and the ability to filter and search for specific stations or genres.

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Electric Vehicle Range Estimation using Maps

May 12, 2017


As any electric car owner knows, it is important for every electric vehicle (EV) to properly and accurately display remaining driving range based on the current battery charge. The number of EV charge stations is growing, but until they are as ubiquitous as gas stations, drivers will experience “range anxiety” and EV dynamic range estimation will remain important.

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Vehicle Data and the Connected Driver

March 29, 2017

Initially connecting the phone to the car has been about displaying content from phone into vehicle.  With Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android focused on extending mobile content to the car, they are missing the real value of connecting the car and smartphone:  Driver Centric Data.

With the growth of vehicle centric APIs providing greater access to the vehicle data, the number of possible solutions expands to include vehicle health, diagnostics, roadside assistance, automatic crash notification, etc. combining the best of both vehicle and the smartphone services.  By combining both open vehicle APIs with the personalization of the smartphone, connected drivers can enjoy a personalized experience with remote climate control, smart radio and dynamic media.

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Bridging the Gap – Automotive Hardware in a Software World

March 14, 2017

With the emergence of the Connected Car, ADAS, and Self-Driving Cars, OEMs are asking one important question: How do we solve the paradox of a piece of hardware that will exist for 10 years in an industry where the preferred features and technologies of our users evolve every 3 years? According to SimilarWeb, nearly 60% of web traffic is coming from mobile browsers, so the odds are that you are holding the answer in your hand right now.

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How driver behavior analytics help insurance and fleet management companies

February 24, 2017

HERE and Abalta have partnered to provide Fleet and Insurance companies a better way to accurately capture and measure driver behavior.  To read more about the how we are partnering for enhanced driver behavior, please click on this link Here 360 

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