Manufacturers Committed to Developing Autonomous Vehicles

If CES is any indication, Google now has plenty of new competitors in the race to develop driverless cars. For example, Toyota is building an artificial intelligence company to work on the technology necessary for automated driving and Ford is increasing its testing of self-driving Ford Fusion sedans. Meanwhile, General Motors has partnered with Israeli company Mobileye NV to begin installing a camera on cars that will help collect data to create the detailed maps needed to make autonomous driving possible. Continue reading Manufacturers Committed to Developing Autonomous Vehicles

GM Invests $500 Million in Lyft and Partners on New Initiatives

Ride-hailing service Lyft announced yesterday that General Motors recently invested $500 million in the San Francisco-based startup. The investment represents half of Lyft’s latest venture financing round, which values the company at $4.5 billion. GM and Lyft will work together to develop an on-demand network of autonomous vehicles, taking on companies such as Google, Tesla and Uber in the process. In addition, the two companies are planning short-term car rental hubs that would provide work opportunities for potential Lyft drivers who do not have their own vehicles. Continue reading GM Invests $500 Million in Lyft and Partners on New Initiatives

CES: Keynotes by Netflix, Intel, IBM, YouTube, and Others

CES keynote presentations by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and YouTube’s chief business officer Robert Kyncl highlight the increasing importance of entertainment to the vast consumer technology market. The scheduling of Netflix as the opening session, a time slot usually occupied by hardware companies, helps to underscore the Consumer Technology Association’s expanding universe of products and services. So, too, does the presence of two auto manufacturers, GM and VW, and tech giants Intel and IBM. Samsung is the lone hardware keynote. Continue reading CES: Keynotes by Netflix, Intel, IBM, YouTube, and Others

Viacom Marries Madison Ave. and Silicon Valley for Better Ads

Viacom is introducing a new strategy involving the use of big data to optimize the placement of ads. Initially known as Project Gemini (after an early NASA human spaceflight program), and now called Vantage, Viacom’s new big data capabilities were created by data scientists and other technologists hired away from Microsoft and elsewhere. As Viacom leverages Silicon Valley technology in an effort to capture Madison Avenue dollars, competitors are ramping up similar big data strategies. Continue reading Viacom Marries Madison Ave. and Silicon Valley for Better Ads

Should We Expect a Fiat-Apple Partnership in the Near Future?

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne recently commented that he would be open to the possibility of developing a partnership between his auto company and one of the major tech companies. Apple, which has already begun the process of developing an electric car, seems like a logical fit for such a partnership. During Apple’s most recent annual shareholder meeting, CEO Tim Cook was reportedly urged by investors to explore the idea of partnering with Tesla Motors. Continue reading Should We Expect a Fiat-Apple Partnership in the Near Future?

J.D. Power: Drivers Want More Car Tech, Frustrated by Problems

A recent study by market research firm J.D. Power revealed that automobile owners are seemingly unsatisfied with the communication systems in their vehicles. Technologies that have been included in cars to assist drivers, such as Bluetooth and voice recognition systems, have become the cause of many car owners’ greatest frustrations. With communication systems becoming more prevalent, J.D. Power is paying close attention to the types of problems drivers are experiencing with technology in their cars. Continue reading J.D. Power: Drivers Want More Car Tech, Frustrated by Problems

Google and Apple Dashboard Systems May Arrive in Cars Soon

Google and Apple have been developing dashboard systems that would allow drivers to power the center screen of their automobile with the use of a smartphone. The systems have been designed to make driving safer for cellphone users. While neither company has confirmed when these dashboards would be available, there is speculation that they will arrive soon. More than two dozen car makers have reportedly agreed to support Google’s Android Auto, Apple’s CarPlay, or both systems. Continue reading Google and Apple Dashboard Systems May Arrive in Cars Soon

HUD Tech Turns Your Car Windshield into a Computer Screen

This year’s Detroit Auto Show showcased a number of vehicles equipped with heads-up-display (HUD) technology that allows drivers to view their speed, range and directions while driving without having to take their eyes off the road. The HUD projections are displayed at the bottom of the windshield in a driver’s line of sight. The HUD technology, which is already available in some Toyota, Mazda and Hyundai models, is expected to become available from additional automakers in the near future. Continue reading HUD Tech Turns Your Car Windshield into a Computer Screen

CES Keynotes to Go Well Beyond Typical Hardware and Devices

The showpiece keynote sessions at the 2015 International CES underscore the scope of industry and breadth of innovation gathering in Las Vegas January 5-9. Of this year’s four featured keynote speakers, two represent leading automobile manufacturers, one is the CEO of a leading tech giant, and only Samsung’s Boo-Keun Yon, opening the show on Monday night at the Venetian’s Palazzo Ballroom, represents what would be considered a typical CES keynote highlighting consumer electronics devices. Continue reading CES Keynotes to Go Well Beyond Typical Hardware and Devices

Alibaba Raises $21.8 Billion in IPO: Ready to Take On Google

The Alibaba Group, China’s leading e-commerce operator, raised nearly $21.8 billion in its initial stock sale yesterday. While not the biggest initial public offering to-date, Alibaba did have one of the strongest stock sales on record, surpassing those for Facebook and General Motors. When it begins trading today on the New York Stock Exchange, it is poised to become one of the world’s most impressive Internet powerhouses, a compelling blend of Amazon, eBay, Google and other tech giants. Continue reading Alibaba Raises $21.8 Billion in IPO: Ready to Take On Google

Ford and GM are Sued for Devices that Enable Music Copying

The Alliance of Artists & Recording Companies has filed a lawsuit against Ford, General Motors and two tech companies that made devices for digitally copying music from CDs to hard drives. The lawsuit is based on the 1992 Audio Home Recording Act, which provides royalties to record companies from the sale of music copying devices. The Alliance contends that Ford and GM installed these devices without paying any royalties, and is now seeking unpaid royalties and damages. Continue reading Ford and GM are Sued for Devices that Enable Music Copying

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 Drives Past Auto Manufacturers in Vehicle Automation

Most major automakers are developing more automated driving systems. Some of the features, such as cruise control that adjusts to the speeds of surrounding cars, blind spot radar and other collision avoidance systems, are already available. The push to deliver automated cars reflects the differences of automakers and Silicon Valley tech companies. Established car companies typically take a more incremental tactic than Silicon Valley, taking into account decades of manufacturing experience. Continue reading Google Drives Past Auto Manufacturers in Vehicle Automation

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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