Google’s Self-Driving Car Faces New California DMV Rules

California’s DMV requires — in new rules which will take effect September 16 — that, when necessary, a driver must be able to take “immediate physical control” of any vehicle on public roads. This process has traditionally involved a steering wheel and brake and accelerator pedals, which could be a setback for Google’s self-driving car, that does not include these parts. While Google said that it will add them for testing purposes, it is unclear what the company will do in the future. Continue reading Google’s Self-Driving Car Faces New California DMV Rules

VocalIQ and GM to Make Vehicle Voice Control More Intuitive

VocalIQ, a UK-based company that works on software to enable voice control of devices, is collaborating with General Motors to take vehicle voice control to the next level. The intuitive system would learn the driver’s vocabulary and intentions to create more precise responses, without the need for specific wording. The dialogue management system would be integrated into the car’s dashboard navigation. GM’s Israel-based Advanced Technical Center is overseeing the development. Continue reading VocalIQ and GM to Make Vehicle Voice Control More Intuitive

Google I/O: The Future is All About the Android Mobile OS

During yesterday’s keynote event at Google I/O, the company unleashed its Android Everywhere strategy and a slew of related announcements. Google envisions us taking the more contextually aware Android mobile OS from place to place through every part of our lives, including our televisions, laptops, vehicles, bodies and workplaces. Major announcements unveiled details regarding Android L (5.0), Android Wear, Android Auto, Android TV, and integrating Android applications into Chromebooks. Continue reading Google I/O: The Future is All About the Android Mobile OS

Startups Use New Technologies to Wirelessly Charge Phones

Energous and Witricity have developed new ways to charge smartphones, tablets and other small devices without needing wires to plug them into an outlet. Energous’ WattUp technology allows users to recharge phones in special cases or receivers that can pick up signals from a transmitter that is plugged in more than 10 feet away. Toyota and TDK are already planning to utilize Witricity’s wireless charging technology in upcoming hybrid and electric cars, and car batteries. Continue reading Startups Use New Technologies to Wirelessly Charge Phones

Mobile Apps and Infotainment for Cars Shifting into High Gear

Earlier this week, we reported that GM is getting ready to release more than 30 new vehicles equipped with built-in 4G LTE service provided by AT&T. A number of new models from various automakers are also looking to become rolling Wi-Fi hot spots this year as car and app makers make the long-awaited push into new software and communications links. New models will feature dashboard electronics that make it easier to access smartphone apps for traffic, weather, news, entertainment and more. Continue reading Mobile Apps and Infotainment for Cars Shifting into High Gear

GM Scheduled to Launch Cars Equipped with 4G LTE Service

General Motors released prices for its first vehicles equipped with built-in LTE 4G, essentially turning the cars into rolling Wi-Fi hot spots. The automaker will launch its 2015 models in the next month, and plans to release more than 30 new vehicles with LTE broadband connectivity, as well as numerous new communications, safety, and navigation services. The communications service will be provided by AT&T, and the cars will come with a free, three-month trial with three gigabytes of data. Continue reading GM Scheduled to Launch Cars Equipped with 4G LTE Service

Organic Battery Could Lead to More Affordable Electric Cars

Power Japan Plus has developed an organic battery using cotton’s carbon fiber, which the startup claims will generate more power than a lithium-ion battery and can charge up to 20 times faster. The company also says that its battery can be charged thousands of times without losing energy capacity (unlike lithium-ion batteries). Power Japan Plus envisions the technology enabling more affordable, long-range electric vehicles that can be charged in minutes and travel hundreds of miles. Continue reading Organic Battery Could Lead to More Affordable Electric Cars

Google Aims to Steal Cloud Services Top Spot from Amazon

Amazon pioneered the idea of cloud services that allow individuals to build websites and other apps without using their own hardware. Google has also offered these services, but is repositioning itself to create a larger business out of cloud services. The IT market that spans hardware and software used to operate businesses is worth $600 billion, and cloud services have the potential to take a major share. Google is hoping to make its cloud service business even larger than its enormous ad business. Continue reading Google Aims to Steal Cloud Services Top Spot from Amazon

Android Wear: Google’s Move to Become Key Name in Wearables

Google announced its first operating system for wearable technology yesterday. Android Wear will initially be introduced in smartwatches to feature Google Now reminders, fitness trackers, app notifications from smartphones, and voice capabilities that offer interaction with multiple screens. The company is working with Android partners such as Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung. LG’s upcoming G Watch and Motorola’s Moto 360, for example, will be two early smartwatches featuring the OS. Continue reading Android Wear: Google’s Move to Become Key Name in Wearables

Foxconn and Former Android Exec Rubin Are Talking Robotics

Foxconn executives have been in talks about robotics with former Android executive Andy Rubin, specifically to discuss new robotic technologies and speed up deployment of robots in its factories. Rubin asked Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou to help integrate a tech company that’s being acquired by Google, which last year acquired eight other robotics companies. In the meeting, Gou was said to have expressed excitement over automation technologies demonstrated by Rubin. Continue reading Foxconn and Former Android Exec Rubin Are Talking Robotics

Gracenote Plans to Collaborate on Internet Radio Platform

The Tribune Company-owned digital music data service Gracenote is making headway on an Internet radio program that would let other companies and brands use its technology for their own music apps. The technology behind Gracenote — Rhythm — could be used for radio services by consumer brands and car companies, especially those in other countries where Pandora is not available. Tribune acquired Gracenote last month for $170 million. Continue reading Gracenote Plans to Collaborate on Internet Radio Platform

Young Car Buyers Are Influenced More by Price Than New Tech

While automobile manufacturers are increasingly integrating new infotainment and connected technologies to vehicles, younger buyers remain more concerned with economics than the latest tech advancements. The majority of this target market often cannot afford to spend extra money for new features. The most important factors in choosing a car for young buyers tends to be fuel economy and price. Many young buyers are purchasing used cars, rather than new models with updated technology. Continue reading Young Car Buyers Are Influenced More by Price Than New Tech

Samsung Could Unveil Google Glass Competitor in September

Unnamed sources at Samsung suggest the company is developing a Google Glass competitor, currently named Galaxy Glass, that could possibly debut at September’s IFA trade show in Berlin. Google Glass is expected to be commercially available the latter half of this year. According to a Samsung official: “It will be interesting to see which companies get better stakes in the race for smart glasses. Players definitely want to enjoy a ‘first-mover’ advantage in this new and highly lucrative market.” Continue reading Samsung Could Unveil Google Glass Competitor in September

ETC Presents the 2014 CES Final Report: Executive Summary

During the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, held January 6-10 in Las Vegas, ETC tracked the keynote addresses, evolving industry trends and product demos relevant to our member companies. More than 105 original stories and a regularly updated Flickr stream were made available on ETCentric and via daily email alerts. We’ve prepared an excerpt of the Executive Summary from ETC’s CES Final Report, a document which is prepared as an exclusive benefit for ETC’s Gold and Platinum members. Continue reading ETC Presents the 2014 CES Final Report: Executive Summary

Gamification: Samsung App Rewards Drivers for Not Texting

A new app from Samsung was developed with the intention of keeping drivers off their phones while behind the wheel. Startling statistics indicate that text messaging while driving makes you 23 times more likely to get in an accident. More startling yet is that more than 77 percent of young American adults believe they’re able to text while safely driving. To combat that, Samsung’s new Android app, “Eyes on the Road,” turns not texting into a game with tangible rewards for safe driving. Continue reading Gamification: Samsung App Rewards Drivers for Not Texting