GM to Feature Google Apps and Voice Assistant in Vehicles

General Motors, the largest U.S. automaker by sales, plans to build Google’s apps into its vehicles’ touchscreen displays. Beginning with model year 2022, GM brands Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC will feature Google Maps, Google Assistant and the Google Play app store, accessible on the vehicles’ dashboard displays. Today’s car buyers have expressed interest in an experience similar to what is available with their mobile devices, but not all automobile integration has proven satisfying. The automaker aims to create a more positive experience, with plans to eventually make infotainment systems powered by Android available on millions of its vehicles sold worldwide. Continue reading GM to Feature Google Apps and Voice Assistant in Vehicles

Amazon Launches In-Car Delivery, Testing Privacy Boundaries

Amazon is rolling out an in-car delivery service that allows its delivery drivers to deposit packages in the trunks of specific vehicles. That’s similar to the feature introduced last year that lets drivers drop off packages inside customers’ homes. Taking another step into its customers’ lives is a risky move in an atmosphere where privacy concerns are paramount. Still, Amazon vice president of delivery technology Peter Larsen says customers “love features like keyless guest access” and that “in-car delivery … gives customers that same peace of mind.” Continue reading Amazon Launches In-Car Delivery, Testing Privacy Boundaries

GM Close to Commercial Version of Autonomous Chevy Bolt

GM is showing off its latest autonomous vehicles, battery-powered Chevrolet Bolts, to investment analysts in San Francisco. Up until now, the car manufacturer has been reluctant to subject the cars it’s developed through its Cruise Automation subsidiary to scrutiny, but now wants to signal that it’s getting closer to a real product. In fact, GM president Daniel Ammann revealed that the driverless cars will be ready for consumers in “quarters, not years.” GM also aims to launch a driverless taxi fleet by 2019. Continue reading GM Close to Commercial Version of Autonomous Chevy Bolt

NAB 2017: Unreal Engine Promotes its Partner Collaborations

Epic’s Unreal Engine is best known as a game engine, but general manager Marc Petit introduced the company’s enterprise division, which focuses on everything but games. This was Unreal Engine’s first-ever NAB, but for Petit, who worked many years at Softimage and attended numerous NABs, the meeting of the digital image and the game engine was more than symbolic. He used the press conference to showcase the work of several media and entertainment partners, including VizRT, The Future Group, House of Moves and Ross Video. Continue reading NAB 2017: Unreal Engine Promotes its Partner Collaborations

Epic Games Demos Real-Time Effects for New Branded Short

In “The Human Race,” a short produced by visual effects house The Mill for Chevrolet, the automaker’s new 2017 Camaro ZL races a futuristic Chevy concept car, one driven by a racecar driver and the other by artificial intelligence. This short premiered at the Game Developers Conference to showcase how the car was created via real-time rendering, with the help of the Unreal game engine. Unreal maker Epic Games CTO Kim Libreri demonstrated how aspects of the movie could be changed in real-time, while it was playing. Continue reading Epic Games Demos Real-Time Effects for New Branded Short

CES: Mobility, Connection and Intelligence Drive Automotive

Nowhere at CES does more applied innovation come together than in the North Hall automotive exhibits. That is not something that could have been said just a few years ago when the hall was more about sound systems and aftermarket gizmos. The car is now a rolling precursor of the connected/IoT future, redefined mobility, and even the development of smart cities. GM and VW keynotes will showcase new electric cars and two companies, Faraday Future and Rinspeed, promise dazzling concepts, including one with a drone landing pad.

Continue reading CES: Mobility, Connection and Intelligence Drive Automotive

Numerous Smart Devices May Now Be Secretly Recording Users

Consumers criticized Samsung for recording users through its smart TVs and sending the data to a third party, but other companies reportedly take a similar approach. Many of the audio recordings come from devices with voice recognition, like LG’s smart TVs or Amazon Echo. Such recording of unknowing users is not limited to the living room. Automobiles from companies such as GM and Chevrolet can record and send information about a driver’s speed, location, and their route to work. Continue reading Numerous Smart Devices May Now Be Secretly Recording Users

Vessel: Former Hulu CEO Launches New Video Sharing Site

Subscription-based, video sharing website Vessel launched yesterday in beta. Developed by former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, Vessel aims to change the business of online video by offering a $2.99-per-month service that features exclusive early access to professional Web video. Additionally, Vessel will offer creators (such as online personality Connor Franta or fashion video blogger Ingrid Nilsen) 70 percent of ad revenue and 60 percent of subscription revenue. By comparison, YouTube generally offers 55 percent of ad revenue. Continue reading Vessel: Former Hulu CEO Launches New Video Sharing Site

Startups Are Paying Consumers for Permission to Track Data

Instead of tracking consumers’ personal data without their consent, a few companies are beginning to experiement with a new model of paying people directly for permission to track activity on their social media accounts and their credit cards. Datacoup, for example, pays consumers $8 a month for access to their personal data. For $100 a month, participants in ZQ Intelligence’s program agree to be tracked on their devices and answer questions about their consumer behavior. Continue reading Startups Are Paying Consumers for Permission to Track Data

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

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

Branded Video Content Migrates from TV to Online Platforms

At the 2014 NewFronts presentations, online video content providers revealed that product placement will play a larger role in video content. Just as TV shows feature certain brands, online videos may soon have integrated brands in their story lines. The practice, known as branded entertainment, may provide a new source of revenue for video content providers with original programming. Also, viewers typically find branded entertainment less obtrusive than traditional video ads. Continue reading Branded Video Content Migrates from TV to Online Platforms

Connected Cars: Chevrolet Drives OnStar 4G LTE with AT&T

Underscoring Detroit’s determination to be a player in the connected consumer space, General Motors announced that OnStar 4G LTE will be factory-enabled in the majority of its 2015 Chevrolet models including the Corvette and Impala, hitting the market this summer. The move sees GM expanding its relationship with OnStar connectivity partner AT&T and simultaneously mounting a developer outreach program to fuel the Chevrolet AppShop. Continue reading Connected Cars: Chevrolet Drives OnStar 4G LTE with AT&T

Smartphones Merging with Cars Creating Connected Vehicles

Many cars made today are embedded with new technologies, which are leading to partnerships between auto manufacturers and wireless companies. These agreements are resulting in vehicles with always-on, fast wireless connectivity, providing the groundwork for new services, such as smartphones integrating with cars, and perhaps car-to-car communication. But with new forms of connectivity come new distractions and potential dangers. Continue reading Smartphones Merging with Cars Creating Connected Vehicles

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