Thursday, December 12, 2013

Herbal masculí millora és un dels més reeixits

Desenvolupar una polla gran dins d'un mitjà normal és una activitat que moltes persones volen aconseguir avui dia simplement perquè milloren en poques divisions . Preferiblement , como aumentar o penis la seva forma ideal per ampliar el penis vostè ha d'augmentar les dimensions del tot, així com correctament encara que la cura d'altres temes , també . Figuren en aquesta llista és una varietat de la millor explicació de per què la millora masculí normal està entre els més bons per a cada un, no importa el que el seu principal problema pot ser .

Si el principal problema és l'ejaculació precoç o potser pobres , o potser mala conducta sexual, la seva millora masculina normal pot ajudar a impulsar les dimensions de la flacciditat , així com acoblar usant tendó ampliar i augmentar les dimensions del penis , pel que pot tenir sang addicional . Això pot, en conseqüència , crear la seva massa muscular ordinador més potent , també .

Aquests tipus de teixit muscular són de fet responsables de nombroses facetes del seu penis . Així que , si vostè decideix millorar els consumidors , és possible gaudir dels beneficis dins Tens l'oportunitat per tal de romandre més temps durant el coit , per exemple , i també a trobar més poderosos orgasmes sexuals quan vostè està en què . La libido es posa molt millor , també . S'aplica igual que el benestar del penis .

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Squeezing into a tight spot

Paul Leroux
No doubt about it, autonomous and semi-autonomous cars will present a variety of legal and ethical challenges. But they'll also offer many benefits — some of which will be pleasantly surprising.

Take parking, for example. Cars are getting wider, but parking spaces generally aren't. So how do you squeeze into a tight spot and then step out of your car without slamming your door into the car next to you? Well, what if you didn't have to be in the car? This new video from Ford tells all...

This technology is cool, especially for aging drivers who can't crane their necks as well as they used to. Still, some gotchas come to mind. For instance, other drivers might get peeved if you momentarily leave your car on the road so you can park it remotely. Also, what if you squeeze your car into a tight parking spot just inches away from driver's door of the adjacent car — but that car doesn't support remote-controlled parking? How will the driver get back into his or her vehicle?

That said, these problems can be avoided with a little common sense on the part of the user. And I'll bet you dimes to donuts that this new technology from Ford can negotiate parking spaces more adroitly than most motorists. Which means that, eventually, we'll all have vehicles with fewer bumps, scuffs, and scratches. I could live with that.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A sound approach to creating a quieter ride

Tina Jeffrey
Add sound to reduce noise levels inside the car. Yup, you read that right. And while it may seem counterintuitive, it’s precisely what automakers are doing to provide a better in-car experience. Let’s be clear: I’m not talking about playing a video of SpongeBob SquarePants on the rear-seat entertainment system to keep noisy kids quiet — although I can personally attest to the effectiveness of this method. Rather, I’m referring to deliberately synthesized sound played over a vehicle’s car speakers to cancel unwanted low-frequency engine tones in the passenger compartment, yielding a quieter and more pleasant ride.

So why is this even needed? It comes down to fuel economy. Automakers are continually looking at ways to reduce fuel consumption through techniques such as variable cylinder management (reducing the number of cylinders in operation under light engine load) and operating the engine at lower RPM. Some automakers are even cutting back on passive damping materials to decrease vehicle weight. These approaches do indeed reduce consumption, but they also result in more engine noise permeating the vehicle cabin, creating a noisier ride for occupants. To address the problem, noise vibration and harshness engineers (OEM engineers responsible for characterizing and improving sound quality in vehicles) are using innovative sound technologies such as active noise control (ANC).

Automotive ANC technology is analogous to the technology used in noise-cancelling headphones but is more difficult to implement, as developers must optimize the system based on the unique acoustic characteristics of the cabin interior. An ANC system must be able to function alongside a variety of other audio processing tasks such as audio playback, voice recognition, and hands-free communication.

The QNX Acoustics for Active Noise Control solution uses realtime engine data and sampled microphone data from the cabin to construct the “anti-noise” signal played over the car speakers.

So how does ANC work?
According to the principle of superposition, sound waves will travel and reflect off glass, the dash, and other surfaces inside the car; interfere with each other; and yield a resultant wave of greater or lower amplitude to the original wave. The result varies according to where in the passenger compartment the signal is measured. At some locations, the waves will “add” (constructive interference); at other locations, the waves will “subtract” or cancel each other (destructive interference). Systems must be tuned and calibrated to ensure optimal performance at driver and passenger listening positions (aka “sweet spots”).

To reduce offending low-frequency engine tones (typically <150 Hz), an ANC system typically requires real-time engine data (including RPM) in addition to signals from the cabin microphones. The ANC system then synthesizes and emits “anti-noise” signals that are directly proportional but inverted to the original offending engine tones, via the car’s speakers. The net effect is a reduction of the offending tones.

According to the superposition principle of sound waves, a noise signal and an anti-noise signal will cancel each other if the signals are 180 degrees out of phase. Image adapted from Wikipedia.

Achieving optimal performance for these in-vehicle systems is complex, and here’s why. First off, there are multiple sources of sound inside a car — some desirable and some not. These include the infotainment system, conversation between vehicle occupants, the engine, road, wind, and structural vibrations from air intake valves or the exhaust. Also, every car interior has unique acoustic characteristics. The location and position of seats; the position, number, and type of speakers and microphones; and the materials used inside the cabin all play a role in how an ANC system performs.

To be truly effective, an ANC solution must adapt quickly to changes in vehicle cabin acoustics that result from changes in acceleration and deceleration, windows opening and closing, changes in passenger seat positions, and temperature changes. The solution must also be robust; it shouldn’t become unstable or degrade the audio quality inside the cabin should, for example, a microphone stop working.

The solution for every vehicle model must be calibrated and tuned to achieve optimal performance. Besides the vehicle model, engine noise characteristics, and number and arrangement of speakers and microphones, the embedded platform being used also plays a role when tuning the system. System tuning can, with conventional solutions, take months to reach optimal performance levels. Consequently, solutions that ease and accelerate the tuning process, and that integrate seamlessly into a customer’s application, are highly desirable.

Automotive ANC solutions — then and now
Most existing ANC systems for engine noise require a dedicated hardware control module. But automakers are beginning to realize that it’s more cost effective to integrate ANC into existing vehicle hardware systems, such as the infotainment head unit. This level of integration facilitates cooperation between different audio processing tasks, such as managing a hands-free call and reducing noise in the cabin.

Earlier today, QNX announced the availability of a brand new software product that targets ANC for engine tone reduction in passenger vehicles. It’s a flexible, software-based solution that can be ported to floating or fixed-point DSPs or application processors, including ARM, SHARC, and x86, and it supports systems with or without an OS. A host application that executes on the vehicle’s head unit or audio amplifier manages ANC through the library’s API calls. As a result, the host application can fully integrate ANC functionality with its other audio tasks and control the entire acoustic processing chain.

Eliminating BOM costs
The upshot is that the QNX ANC solution can match or supersede the performance of a dedicated hardware module — and we have the benchmarks to show it. Let me leave you with some of the highlights of the QNX Acoustics for Active Noise Control solution:

  • Significantly better performance than dedicated hardware solutions — The QNX solution can provide up to 9dB of reduction at the driver’s head position compared to 5dB for a comparative hardware solution in the same vehicle under the same conditions.
  • Significant BOM cost savings — Eliminates the cost of a dedicated hardware module.
  • Flexible and configurable — Can be integrated into the application processor or DSP of an existing infotainment system or audio amplifier, and can run on systems with or without an OS, giving automakers implementation choices. Also supports up to 6 microphone and 6 speaker-channel configurations.
  • Faster time to market — Speeds development by shortening tuning efforts from many months to weeks. Also, a specialized team of QNX acoustic engineers can provide software support, consulting, calibration, and system tuning.

For the full skinny on QNX Acoustics for Active Noise Control, visit the QNX website.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Honda-made Activa I This Year Information

Lets talk about an additional smash hit off Honda's steady. Following the extremely effective Activa as well as Dio, Activa we will be the facelifted type of their Activa. 1st glance at the identify provides the feeling it is an electrical motor scooter. However it is not really. Actually, this is a small type of the initial Activa along with a average gasoline motor scooter.

As the Activa is an accomplished household motor scooter, their Activa we is an accomplished individual motor scooter. This means it's intended for an individual ferrying off aim the in order to type B throughout the day. It's ideal for an individual who cannot wish to bring trains and buses and will not need the trouble of the automobile within the visitors.

Establish, design and finished

The appearance is actually younger as well as clean. Their design is actually cool as well as contemporary using smooth traces. Because all of the aluminous solar panels were substituted for synthetic your it's much lighter versus Activa through seven kilograms. Their Activa we is an accomplished womanly searching item particularly due to the thin layout traces. Nevertheless, their quality as well as completing fits the initial Activa's criteria.

Drive as well as managing

For 100cc motor scooter it is crucial become agile inside each day visitors. Particularly because it is labeled being a 'individual scooter'. Their Activa we will accomplish this rather effectively. Additionally, because it is seven kilograms much lighter, traveling this particular motor scooter isn't exhausting event, despite an entire time. Their speed normally great and is installed using HMSI's mix bust program.

Their suspension system is a little unsatisfying although. Whether or not it will be the exact same 1 installed in the Activa, their drive about this motor scooter gets really live whenever roadways full of potholes. Their decrease in the extra weight may be the reason for the difficult suspension system.

Braking system experience good although. The newest mix braking system program (CBS) helps make the stopping length significantly smaller. It doesn't change the extra weight towards buttocks in the eventuality of a brief braking system.

Overall Performance

Their Activa we strikes a high accelerate concerning ninety km/h that is really applaudable. Moreover it seems to stay steady in higher rates and will not coggle, supplied the canon powershot a495 doesn't have buffeted through crosswinds. Within the town their motor scooter provides a distance concerning sixty km/litre as well as on their interstate seventy-four km/litre. The figures are extremely significant.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Purchasing Utilized Automobiles Online

With many choices concerning simple tips to acquisition nowadays, purchasing utilized vehicles nowadays is much more stressful than ever before. Regardless of whether you want to acquisition in a car dealership, online, or perhaps by way of a personal vendor using a list within a nearby report, there are lots of possibilities towards customer nowadays. For those who have a particular design in your mind, right down to the precise cut degree, cost, plus shade, online may be the best choice. Although it is a little difficult, it is possible to probably discover what you are interested in for a type of auto web sites.

Clearly, purchasing utilized vehicles online presents many dangers that you might not need to deal with when purchasing from the car dealership or perhaps from the personal vendor in the city. First, you need to concentrate your quest nearby. Even though this might limitation your choices, purchasing a car of any sort has become a funding, so you should ensure that you can get and find out that it in-person. There must be multiple automobiles available in a case of a couple of hours to drive. You dont want to danger investing in a car 1000 kilometers out in order to get it breakdown on your own trip house.

Its also wise to be aware of the car you may be buying inside and outside. Do so wherever you may be purchasing the car. Perform just as much researching as you possibly can towards car that you would like for before you decide to invest in giving more than anything. Be aware of coupons that appear also best that you stay real, simply because they will probably stay. When purchasing whatever utilized vehicles, you have to be certain it's completely examined before you purchase. Examine that it your self the greatest to. If you do not recognize something regarding vehicles, search for apparent items like damage upon furniture, and look to check out the way the car seems in your road test. You must get an unbiased document from the auto technician too. the technical issue does not essential equivalent "don't buy," however it must at the minimum bring about their automobile's cost.

In several ways, when buying utilized vehicles online, you ought to be using exact same safeguards that you'd bring anyplace. First and foremost, do not fork over anything unless you can see the vehicle your self. It needs to examined in advance, and simply be careful prior to giving more than all of your cash.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How To Shop For Used Auto Parts

Used car components are a good, pocket friendly alternative when your budget is limited. Additionally, it proves a worthwhile option if you're considering a replacement in the near future. While there is no harm in buying used auto parts, the question of concern is how to shop for them.

Given below are tips to buy used auto parts. Also learn the different places, online and local sources, where you can look for them.

Tip 1# Product specifications

Whether you opt for brand new or second-hand components, there are certain product specifications you have to take note of. This includes the vehicle make, model, the year of manufacture and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). An auto part that does not fit is no good. The Vehicle Identification Number is a very important requirement to find a best fit. We would also advise carrying the old part for comparison as you shop for the necessary items.

Tip 2# List the parts you need

Examine your vehicle to identify the specific part that needs replacement. If the part to be replaced is an electronic or mechanical one, such as an alternator, brake rotors or starters, we would advise against the use of second-hand components.

Tip 3# Head to the nearest junkyard sale

Junkyards are one of the most convenient sources for used auto parts. The local newspapers usually advertise the nearest junkyard sales. There are different ways to trade parts at a junkyard sale. Sellers exchange parts for money. The second method of dealing is exchange the defective component for an operational one. The dealers require you to maintain a deposit until you hand over the defective part. They repair and resell the defective part at a later date. At junkyard sales, you can procure substantial quality products at highly discounted prices. However, there are certain precautions you need to take when shopping at junkyard sales. Take care to ensure that the dealer does not pass inferior quality, poor condition auto parts.

Tip 4# Swap Meets

Vehicle owners can also give swap meets a try. Vendors at swap meets specialize in auto parts for specific makes and models. At swap meets you can guarantee you will get quality products. The other advantage of shopping here is greater price negotiation.

Tip 5# Online Websites

The online market for used auto parts is growing rapidly. Websites team up with vendors of second-hand parts. They list multiple products of the same model giving you a greater selection to choose from. It also enables a better price comparison. The internet is a good source to find components for vintage vehicles. The only drawback of purchasing auto parts online is they cannot be physically examined. Beware of duplicate products manufactured at local markets. They may be dirt cheap but are neither reliable nor durable.

Tip 6# Ask for a return policy

This becomes a necessity especially when you shop online. You may unconsciously order a wrong product or a wrong fit. Therefore, before placing the order, inquire if the dealer will exchange it for you should such a situation arise.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Distracted driving — the stats are alarming

I was driving to work the other day when I heard something on the radio that almost made me drop my smartphone. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) announced that, for the first time, deaths attributable to driver distraction outnumber those caused by impaired driving. So far this year, on roads patrolled by the OPP, distraction has led to 47 deaths, while impaired driving has led to 32.

This stat drives home the need for dramatically better head-unit integration of services that drivers would otherwise use their phones to access. This isn't anything new to QNX. We've been working with our partners to provide all the necessary elements to enable this integration through technologies such as HTML5, Qt, iPod out, MirrorLink, and Bluetooth. All these technologies can help create systems that minimize driver distraction but they represent only part of the solution. Pushing buttons on your head unit, combined with smart HMI design, does help, but it's not a panacea.

To truly help drivers keep their eyes on the road we have to minimize the time they spend looking at the infotainment display. Multi-modal HMIs built from the ground up with the assumption that high-quality speech recognition and text-to-speech are available will drastically change the way drivers interact with their infotainment systems. For instance, such HMIs could read your texts and emails aloud to you; they could even let you dictate responses at the appropriate time. But really, the possibilities are endless. And on the topic of talking to your car, we're constantly working with our partners to enrich the speech capabilities of the QNX CAR Platform. But more on that in an upcoming post.

By the way, I wasn't really using my smartphone while I was driving. That's illegal here. Not to mention incredibly dumb.

Monday, September 16, 2013

How to Maximize Efficiency When Hauling Loads

Hauling heavy loads to and from destinations relies heavily on good logistical management. Being able to maximize efficiency - improving profits and cutting out unnecessary expenses - is key to the success of haulage firms around the world. These tips ought to help you do just that:

Keep track of all revenues and expenses

An up-to-date accounting log that reflects all money flowing into and out of your business is one of the most important things for your haulage business. An accurate log allows you not just to spot areas of your firm that bleed money but also allows you to make an educated guess as to how much money you can expect to earn (or lose) over a 12-month period. This will allow you to determine if it will be a good idea to finance more trucks to handle additional heavy haulage loads or whether you will need to minimize spending to better weather fluctuations in the market. All the efficiency tricks out there won't matter if you are not even aware of how money moves in your business.

Keep vehicle cargo as low as possible

Wind drag can be a significant petrol-eater, especially for large lorries carrying tons and tons. Stacking cargo too high increases this drag, which means that your vehicles will eat up more petrol as they make their rounds. The costs may not be dramatic at first glance but will definitely add up over time, which is why few hauliers regularly carry tall and wide loads that stick out of the vehicle frame. Only stack cargo up high when you have no other choice, but otherwise try to keep it as low as possible.

Plan low-traffic routes

This provides two distinct benefits. One, your transport vehicles will get to their destinations faster and two, you reduce the amount of time they spend idling in traffic. Lorries that drop off faster will allow you to plan out more haulage return cargo, which in turn will increase overall profits. Reducing idle time in traffic is also a major fuel saver as well. It takes a lot less energy to keep an already moving heavy truck going forward but a lot more to get it started once it stops dead in the middle of the road. This is also why it is more effective to instruct your drivers to maintain a measured driving pace instead of aggressively accelerating all the time.

Seminar: managing the growing amount of software in cars

It’s no secret that the amount of software in automobiles is growing rapidly — as is the challenge of maintaining it reliably and efficiently. At QNX Software Systems we focus on areas like infotainment, telematics, clusters, and ADAS, but our long-term FOTA partner, Red Bend Software, takes a more holistic view, working with companies like Vector Informatik to extend FOTA all the way down to ECUs.

To help automakers and tier one suppliers manage their software deployments more efficiently, Red Bend is hosting a seminar Friday September 27 at the Westin Southfield Detroit. Speakers will include representatives from Strategy Analytics, Texas Instruments, and Vector, not to mention our own Andy Gryc. You can register on the Red Bend website.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

New Mercedes-Benz Concept S-Class Coupé sports QNX-powered infotainment system

Paul Leroux
All-digital instrument cluster and head unit based on QNX CAR Platform

Did you ever lay your eyes on something and say, “Now, that is what I want for Christmas”? Well, I just said it — in response to a set of wheels. But holy turbochargers, what wheels! Not to mention everything else.

If you’re wondering what fueled this sudden rush of automotive desire, here’s a glimpse:

And here’s a bird’s-eye view:

And here’s a peak at the oh-so-gorgeous interior:

All images copyright Daimler AG

Mercedes-Benz took the wraps off this car, the new Concept S-Class Coupé, earlier this week. And just a few minutes ago, QNX and Mercedes revealed that the car’s infotainment system is based on the QNX CAR Platform.

This isn’t the first time QNX and Mercedes-Benz have worked together. Besides providing the OS for various Mercedes infotainment systems, the QNX automotive team has worked with Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America since the early 2000s, providing the group with advanced technologies for the specification and prototyping of next-generation vehicle electronics. The infotainment system in the Concept S-Class Coupé is the latest — and arguably coolest — product of this long collaboration.

The Concept S-Class Coupé also packs a serious power plant: a 449 hp Biturbo V8 with peak torque of 516 lb-ft. And it offers driver-assistance technologies that are, quite literally, forward looking. Here is a sampling of what's inside:

  • Two 12.3-inch displays
  • Touchscreen showing four world clocks
  • Stereo camera offering 3D view of the area in front of the car
  • "6DVision" to detect the position and movement of objects in front of the car
  • Variety of assistance systems to monitor surrounding traffic

I’m only touching the surface here. For more details on the car, visit the Mercedes-Benz website. And before you go, check out the press release that QNX issued this morning.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Why doesn’t my navigation system understand me?

A story where big is good, but small is even better.

Yoshiki Chubachi
My wife and I are about to go shopping in a nearby town. So I get into my car, turn the key, and set the destination from POIs on the navigation system. The route calculation starts and gives me today’s route. But somehow, I feel a sense of doubt every time this route comes up on the system...

Route calculation in navigation uses Dijkstra's algorithm, invented by Edsger Dijkstra in 1956 to determine the shortest path in a graph. To save calculation time, navigation systems use two directional searches: one as the starting point and the other as the destination point. The data scheme that navigation systems use to represent maps consists of nodes, links, and attributes. Typically, a node represents a street intersection; a link represents the stretch of road, or connection, between two nodes; and attributes consist of properties such as street name, street addresses, and speed limit (see diagram).

Features of a map database. From Wikipedia.
As you may guess, it can take a long time to calculate the shortest path from all of the routes available. The problem is, automakers typically impose stringent requirements on timing. For example, I know of an automaker that expected the route from Hokkaido (in northern Japan) to Kyushu (in southern Japan) to be calculated in just a few seconds.

To address this issue, a system can use a variety of approaches. For instance, it can store map data hierarchically, where the highest class consists of major highways. To choose a route between two points, the system follows the hierarchical order, from high to low. Another approach is to use precalculated data, prepared by the navigation supplier. These examples offer only a glimpse of the complexity and magnitude of the problems faced by navigation system vendors.

An encouraging trend
Big data is the hot topic in the navigation world. One source of this data is mobile phones, which provide floating car data (current speed, current location, travel direction, etc.) that can be used by digital instrument clusters and other telematics components. A system that could benefit from such data is VICS (Vehicle Information and Communication System), a traffic-information standard used in Japan and supported by Japanese navigation systems. Currently, VICS broadcasts information updates only every 5 minutes because of the bandwidth limitations of the FM sub-band that it uses. As a result, a navigation system will sometimes indicate that no traffic jam exists, even though digital traffic signs indicate that a jam does indeed exist and that service is limited to the main road. This delay, and the inconvenience it causes, could be addressed with floating car data.

An example of a VICS-enabled system in which traffic congestion, alternate routes, and other information is overlaid on the navigation map. Source: VICS

During the great earthquake disaster in East Japan, Google and automotive OEMs (Honda, Nissan, Toyota) collaborated by using floating car data to provide road availability — a clear demonstration of how can big data can enhance car navigation. Leveraging big data to improve route calculation is an encouraging trend.

Small data: making it personal
Still, a lot can be accomplished with small data; specifically, personalization. I may prefer one route on the weekend, but another route on a rainy day, and yet another route on my wife's birthday. To some extent, a self-learning system could realize this personalization by gauging how frequently I've used a route in the past. But I don’t think that's enough. As of now, I feel that my navigation system doesn't understand me as well as Amazon, which at least seems to know which book I’d like to read! Navigation systems need to learn more about who I am, how well I can drive, and what I like.

Personalization resides on the far side of big data but offers more convenience to the driver. The more a navigation system can learn more about a driver (as in “Oh, this guy has limited driving skills and doesn’t like narrow roads”), the better. It is best to store this data on a server; that way, the driver could benefit even if he or she switches to a different car or navigation system. This can be done using the latest web technologies and machine learning. Currently, navigation systems employ a rule-based algorithm, but it would be interesting to investigate probability-based approaches, such as Bayesian networks.

I’m looking forward to the day when my navigation system can provide a route that suits my personal tastes, skills, and habits. Navigation suppliers may be experiencing threats from the mobile world, including Google and Apple, but I think that returning to the original point of navigation — customer satisfaction — can be achieved by experienced navigation developers.

Yoshiki Chubachi is the automotive business development manager for QNX Software Systems in Japan

Monday, September 9, 2013

QNX and the W3C: setting a new standard

For almost two years, you’ve heard us talk about HTML5 in the car, particularly as it applies to the QNX CAR Platform for Infotainment. And now, we're taking the next step: working with the entire automotive community to develop a standard set of JavaScript APIs for accessing vehicle sensor information.

Andy Gryc (that’s me of course) and Adam Abramski (from Intel and representing GENIVI) are co-chairs in the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Automotive and Web Platform Business Group. Yes, our group name is a mouthful. But the translation is that Adam and I are working with W3C group members to create a standard that everyone can agree on.

Between GENIVI, Tizen, Webinos, and QNX, four different APIs are in use today. So what’s the process? All of these APIs have been submitted to the W3C group members as contributions. Those contributions form the groundwork, creating a baseline for where we need to go. Collectively as a group, we need to merge these four APIs — figure out the commonalities and harmonize the differences to create a new standard that takes the best features of all the proposals.

This effort takes some time, but the group intends to complete a first draft by December this year. Either Tina Jeffrey (my colleague, who’s doing some of the heavy lifting) or myself will be posting our progress here, so keep an eye out for our updates!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

QNX automotive summit in Shanghai: the recap

Guest post from Alan Zhang, technical solutions manager, QNX Software Systems

Alan Zhang
On August 27 the QNX Automotive Summit returned to China, bringing together global automotive leaders in beautiful downtown Shanghai. Despite the morning traffic, by 9:30 a.m. more than 130 delegates from the automotive industry had filled up the Grand Ball Room at Ritz-Carlton, Pudong. The number of delegates exceeded our expectations — our event manager Alison had to ask the hotel for extra chairs!

The theme of the summit was “explore new opportunities in automotive and mobile convergence”. The convergence of the car and the smartphone is becoming a universal topic, but China is a particularly interesting place to discuss this subject: not only is the prevalence of the car relatively new, but the country is already the world’s largest automotive market. Competition is fierce — the leaders gathered at the summit shared their expert insights for winning new and unique automotive opportunities in China.

Mission-critical pedigree: Derek Kuhn
delivers his opening remarks.
The word from Audi, AutoNavi, Foryou, Harman
Derek Kuhn, QNX vice president of sales and marketing, got things rolling with a talk on how our mission-critical pedigree and mobile experience help automotive companies address the challenges of the connected car. Following Derek were Xiaodan Tang of Audi China and Tong Zao of Harman International who shared their views on automotive trends from the OEM and tier one perspectives.

The day before the summit, we hosted a press conference announcing our collaborations with the Chinese companies AutoNavi and Foryou. The press event attracted 37 journalists, all curious to hear about our strategy for China and who in China we are working with (see our recent posts on AutoNavi and Foryou). On the summit day we were honored to have guest speakers from these companies — Yongqi Yang, executive VP of AutoNavi, and Zou Hong, director of product management, Foryou.

Autonomous drive
In China, collaboration with the government and academia is a key topic in the automotive industry. Jin Xu, our global education program manager, and Professor T. John Koo from Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technologies, Chinese Academy of Sciences (SIAT CAS), shared a session titled “Shaping Future Cars in China: Research and Education.” Professor Koo leads research using QNX software at SIAT CAS and has been involved in autonomous drive research since 2003, long before the word ADAS existed. Jin introduced QNX Software Systems’ academic initiatives in China and how we are enabling future automotive engineers.

Global reach, local services
Deploying services and features that are regionally relevant is a key challenge for global automotive companies. Weiyu Liang, our director of engineering services for APAC, spoke on QNX engineering services and how we support local customers. Localization is hugely important for anybody targeting the China market. Our last guest speaker, Suo fei Li of Baidu, provider of the biggest Chinese language search engine, spoke on how Baidu can work with automotive companies as a trusted partner rather than as just a supplier. A Baidu application running on the QNX CAR Platform was also shown at the event along with the latest features included in version 2.1.

Our hardware partners Altera, Elektrobit, Freescale, NVIDIA, Renesas, TI, Xilinx were also on hand, showcasing their latest automotive demos.

A unique combination
Andrew Poliak, our automotive business development director, delivered the closing presentation. Tying together various discussions that happened throughout the day, Andrew’s speech focused on QNX advantages such as platform flexibility, HMI options, advanced acoustic technology, and our unique ability to combine all of the above with functional safety. This all tied into our event theme — enabling automotive customers and giving them competitive edge to seize the new and unique opportunities in China.

Summit at a glance — a pictorial overview from QNX marketing manager Noko Kataoko

So many people were in the room, the camera couldn't fit them all in. Next year, we'll have to invest in a wider lens: ;-)

Taking QNX for a drive. The exhibit hall featured several QNX automotive partners, including Altera, Elektrobit, Freescale, NVIDIA, Renesas, TI, and Xilinx:

The summit included talks from Audi, AutoNavi, Foryou, Harman, QNX, and the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technologies. Speakers included our own Andrew Poliak, who looks like he's discussing the virtues of the QNX logo, but is in fact pointing to his presentation on stage right:

Did I mention there was a draw for a shiny new Nikon camera? Did I mention I didn't win? Did I mention it's because, as a QNX employee, I wasn't allowed to participate? Now don't get me wrong, I'm not bitter, or anything...

Mmm... don't they look good? Besides getting a taste of what's in store for the connected car, attendees got to enjoy some other tastes as well:

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

TI and QNX: driving infotainment forward

Guest post by Robert Tolbert of Texas Instruments Incorporated

Robert Tolbert
My role as a business development and product marketing manager in Texas Instruments’ (TI) automotive infotainment processor business allows me the opportunity to travel the globe, discussing technology with the brightest minds in automotive infotainment.

I've learned that no matter where the discussion begins — replacing the vehicle boot microcontroller in Detroit, choosing between MOST-MLB and Ethernet AVB in Japan, blending FM and DAB radio in Germany, or fire-walling the vehicle CAN bus in Korea — the conversation always loops back to software, or even more pointedly, hardware and software systems. Inevitably, at this point, the customer begins to tense up and I in turn get a chance to relax and explain the value of the well-established relationship between QNX Software Systems and TI.

OEMs and tier one suppliers place an extremely high value on trust, dependability, and commitment to excellence when choosing their partners. Vehicle owners are no different. It is easy for QNX and TI to show OEMs that our longstanding relationship embodies all these attributes.

A matter of trust
Jacinto 6 is designed for advanced 
HMI and navigation, digital and 
analog radio, and multimedia
QNX Software Systems and TI have been working together for more than 10 years, and the longevity of the relationship is based on the premise that industry-leading automotive infotainment processors (i.e. TI’s DRA74x “Jacinto 6”) and industry leading software platforms (i.e. QNX CAR Platform) are somewhat diminished if they aren’t harmonized to take full advantage of all the hardware has to offer.

Once a customer decides to work with QNX Software Systems and TI, they can trust that both companies have spent numerous years and countless hours working together to extract the maximum performance out of the SoC platform. It is easy to see that QNX is there with TI when a new SoC first arrives, working alongside TI’s engineers to get the latest QNX software running on Jacinto within days. OEMs and tier ones can trust that engineers from both companies have collaborated with one another to deliver QNX board support packages on Jacinto with optimized drivers and integrated middleware. This collaboration saves tier one suppliers precious time when doing their own board bring-up or board support package.

Integrated SDR
An example is in order. To accelerate time to market and reduce tier one integration efforts, TI and QNX Software Systems have integrated software defined radio running on the Jacinto C66x DSP into the QNX CAR Platform. This pre-integration step minimizes the amount of effort that tier ones expend when integrating HD and DAB radio functions into their head unit designs.

TI and QNX can build a longstanding relationship with customers by demonstrating the number of products tailored for automotive that both companies have released over the years. Developing automotive products is a strand in the DNA of both companies, not this year’s latest venture.

With trust comes the expectation of dependability, and I expect nothing less when making my own automobile purchasing decisions. I want to know that I can depend on the dealer and the manufacturer when I encounter any issue with my vehicle. I see and hear that same belief when speaking with our customers as they go through their vendor selection process. Customers want to know can they depend on TI and QNX Software Systems to help them solve critical problems during their design cycle. They want to hear how the two companies triage issues together.

Reducing boot time
Recently, TI and QNX Software Systems were tasked by a mutual customer using a DRA62x “Jacinto 5 Eco” platform to reduce the HMI boot time and to display the vehicle splash screen within a very short time frame. Our teams attacked this requirement head on and held various architecture reviews, ultimately restructuring the Jacinto 5 Eco / QNX boot process to have critical elements running in parallel, while taking advantage of the Cortex M3 cores and the QNX microkernel architecture. After careful optimization we achieved a boot time and a splash screen appearance in line with the customer requirements. The customer was extremely pleased with our collaborative efforts.

Timely resolution
TI and QNX Software Systems have an established process for joint debug sessions with customers to aid in timely resolution of issues. Our customer support engineers pull from their vast experience in solving automotive issues, along with the knowledge gained from joint architecture and design reviews. By seeing that TI and QNX know how to solve automotive issues and have shown the propensity to work together over the years, customers quickly realize that they can depend on us.

QNX technology concept car: an
example of what's possible when
you integrate QNX and TI
Finally there is value placed on the commitment to excellence. When someone has a commitment to excellence it is not only visible in their past and present but you can see it in their future as well. Most recently, QNX Software Systems and TI collaborated for a glimpse into the not-so-distant future when QNX unveiled the QNX technology concept car powered by OMAP™ processors and DLP™ technologies.

It doesn’t take OEMs and tier ones long to realize that the attributes vehicle owners demand of them are present in the collaboration between QNX Software Systems and TI. To view more blogs from my team and I, please be sure to check out Behind The Wheel.

I can’t wait to get back on the road again to tell our joint customers our story.

More about Robert
In his current role as product management director for OMAP™ applications processors at TI, Robert is responsible for identifying target markets, defining product roadmaps, and implementing strategic marketing efforts for TI’s industry-proven OMAP applications processors. He also develops promotion and branding activities, and drives business models for OMAP products.

Prior to this role, Robert was the worldwide director for OMAP business development. Through his hard work, the OMAP product line had one of the highest revenue-generating standard products in TI’s portfolio.

Previously, Robert served as an account product marketing and business development engineer for TI’s wireless products. In this role, he managed relationships with key TI customers, worked with the sales team to identify potential business opportunities for TI’s wireless products, negotiated pricing and contracts with customers, and drove execution of product schedules and ramp-to-production activities from a business perspective on custom engagements. He also coordinated communication strategies to the customers and aided in worldwide strategic alignment across multiple TI teams.

In 2008 Robert was honored nationally as the 2008 Black Engineer of the Year for Technical Sales and Marketing by U.S. Black Engineer magazine. He graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Garmin taps QNX technology to create K2 infotainment platform

Complete digital cockpit delivers navigation, diagnostics, streaming media, smartphone integration, and voice recognition

Paul Leroux
This just in: Garmin International has selected the QNX CAR platform to power the Garmin K2, a next-generation infotainment solution for automakers.

Most people are familiar with Garmin's many portable GPS devices, from sports watches to action cameras to PNDs. But the K2 is a different animal altogether — a complete “digital cockpit” that comprises multiple digital displays, on- and off-board voice recognition, smartphone integration, and optional embedded 4G connectivity.

The K2 is designed to give drivers simple, intuitive access to navigation, vehicle diagnostics, streaming media, and realtime Web information. It's also designed with scalability in mind, so automakers can use it to address diverse market requirements and cost targets.

According to Matt Munn, managing director of Garmin’s automotive OEM group, “the QNX CAR platform has played a major role in helping us to achieve our goal of providing both world-class software reliability and flexible access to emerging consumer applications. From the proven stability and performance of the QNX architecture to the company’s worldwide industry recognition, QNX was the logical choice.”

Other key features of the K2 include a 3D-enhanced city model, a predictive services calendar, and remote personalization and control via a web portal or smartphone.

Here's the K2 at a glance:

Source: Garmin

And here's a demo of the system, filmed by Engadget at 2013 CES:

For more information on this announcement, read the press release. And for more on the K2 itself, visit the Garmin blog.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

QNX, AutoNavi collaborate to provide in-car navigation for automakers in China

Map database offers 20 million points of interest

Paul Leroux
This just in: QNX has announced that it is partnering with AutoNavi, a leading provider of digital map content and navigation solutions in China, to integrate AutoNavi’s technology into the QNX CAR platform.

AutoNavi offers a digital map database that covers approximately 3.6 million kilometers of roadway and over 20 million points of interest across China. By supporting this database, the QNX CAR platform will enable automotive companies to create navigation systems optimized for the Chinese market and users.

Said Yongqi Yang, executive vice president of automotive business, AutoNavi, “as a leading global provider of vehicle infotainment software platforms, QNX is not only a technology leader, but also a design concept innovator in enhancing vehicle flexibility — infotainment designs based on the QNX CAR Platform can be quickly customized.”

For more information on this partnership, read the press release. And to learn more about AutoNavi, visit their website.

Leading infotainment supplier in China makes the shift to QNX CAR platform

Paul Leroux
This just in: Foryou General Electronics, a global supplier of in-car infotainment systems, has chosen the QNX CAR platform to develop infotainment and navigation systems for automakers in China.

Said Steven Chen, CTO of Foryou General Electronics, ”we appreciate the modular, pre-integrated approach that the QNX CAR platform offers because it allows us to develop highly reliable, differentiated infotainment solutions for entry-level to high-end vehicles.”

A Foryou infotainment and navigation
system. Source: Foryou
Foryou chose the QNX CAR platform after comprehensive testing of competing infotainment platforms, including open source solutions.

Established in September 2002, Foryou General Electronics is a subsidiary of Foryou Group Ltd., one of the top 100 electronic information enterprises of China. Its products are sold in more than 80 countries and regions worldwide; company sales were more than US$300 million in 2012.

For more information on this announcement, read the press release.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Start Must You Give Consideration To Choosing A Limousine

People don't even think to employ the limousine regularly. Actually, many individuals have by no means been to a webinar kind of transportation. This might be mostly because it is considered a luxurious unique towards deep. Even though this has been so that years back, limos have grown to be ever more popular. It provides a opportunity to love convenience along with your buddies or perhaps family without the need to break your budget. There are several times where you might give consideration to to obtain a limo for rental.

1) Flight terminal exchanges. Travelling both to and from airport is also assigned in order to taxi motorists. This might look their low-cost alternative it is it certainly the essential comfy? Particularly when you're for a lengthy linking trip, you simply need many relaxation on the road home. The majority of people don't recognize is the fact that the limo drive might actually stay less than purchasing the taxi. More taxi cabs iare going to charge a rate per hour regarding pickup truck as well as fall offs. However, many limo businesses only will cost an appartment price to be used of the car. A rate per hour might seem economical however you also need to give consideration to further elements like the level of visitors that you deal with and much more.

2) Artwork the city red-colored. You should look at employ a limousine for evening out for dinner occasionally. Getting a enjoyable evening out for dinner regardless of whether aided by the men and/or women is an activity that will be complete regularly. Rather than car pooling or perhaps with 1 specify motorist, you should look at choosing a limo in order to driver one during the night. Here is a good idea while you almost all reach have some fun without the need to worry regarding who can induce traveling everybody else range in inclusion to the, you reach stay spoiled to a few deluxe that is usually a good subject to savor about sometimes. There are many limo businesses can even possess some bundles which are specifically made for the these teams that includes bubbly scarey within the car and much more.

3) Make sure the security of the kid throughout promenade. More moms and dads might consider choosing a limo website for the promenade a inflated cost. So why do this particular when it's possible to merely fall the children down as well as get them? Nevertheless, keep in mind that here is a specialized evening for the children therefore is awesome to pay for consumers many deluxe making it even more unforgettable. Furthermore, limo businesses employ chauffeurs which have been taught to manage teens which are down for the promenade. Given they might be unable to determine exactly what his or her costs needs to do, nevertheless, their chauffeurs could make sure there is absolutely no minor consuming within the treatment which they reach the location and then leave during the selected occasions.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Panasonic goes global with QNX CAR platform

Paul Leroux
In the automotive market — or any market, for that matter — a product platform must be judged by its flexibility. After all, the whole point of a platform is to help you create multiple products or product lines, each with its own distinguishing features, while reusing as many components as possible. Done right, a platform lets you target multiple price points, multiple consumer segments, and multiple geographies, in the least time and at the least cost. If that doesn’t define flexibility, I don’t know what does.

Which brings me to Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America. They’re an international supplier of infotainment systems — Chevy MyLink and Chrysler Uconnect are just two of their products — and they need this kind of flexibility to deliver localized solutions  to their OEM customers in North America, Europe, and Japan. To help achieve it, they use the QNX CAR platform.

Flexible by design: MyLink supports
a touchscreen, voice commands,
and steering-wheel buttons.
To quote Scott Kirchner, vice president and CTO of Panasonic Automotive Systems, “we wanted a platform that would let us quickly customize our infotainment systems for a variety of markets and customer requirements — the QNX CAR platform, with its modular architecture and support for mobile connectivity standards, provides the inherent flexibility we were looking for.”

That quote comes from a press release issued just a few minutes ago. To read the release in its entirety, visit the QNX website. But before you click, remember also to visit the Chevy website, where you can find out more about the MyLink system. And did I mention? MyLink has been building quite the trophy case, what with the Best of CES 2013 Award it won in January and the CTIA Emerging Technology (E-Tech) Award it won in May.

Chevy MyLink system.
Images: Chevrolet

Thursday, August 8, 2013

From Hollerith to HTML5: the inevitable rise of the programmable car

Paul Leroux
Some people are crazy good at predicting the future. Case in point: Nicola Tesla. In 1909 he proclaimed that "everyone in the world" would one day communicate with wireless handheld devices. At the time, people must have thought he was, well, crazy. But look around you: when's the last time you weren't surrounded by people using wireless handhelds?

Over the years, the auto industry has produced many technology visionaries who share this talent for prognostication. Mind you, visionary is probably the wrong word. Many of these people didn’t simply envision the future; they tried to build it. All too often, however, the technology needed to make their ideas work was still in its infancy — or simply didn't exist yet.

For evidence, consider the ITER AVTO. Introduced in 1930, this dash-mounted navigation system used maps printed on rolls of paper. These maps were connected by a cable to the speedometer and would scroll forward in proportion to the car’s speed. It was all pretty cool, provided you didn’t make a turn — otherwise, quick, change rolls! Basically, a great idea hampered by the tech of its time:

Source: Dieselpunks

For another example, consider these “alarming” glasses, which made their debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1951. The concept was simple: monitor eye movements to determine whether the driver is falling asleep; if so, sound an alarm. Just one problem: to detect eye movement, the glasses used a thin steel wire pressed against the driver’s eyelids. It was another great idea that needed yet-to-be invented technology — in this case, inexpensive (and non-invasive) eye-tracking cameras — to work.

Source: Modern Mechanix blog

And then there’s the 1969 Buick Century Cruiser, an autonomous concept car that used punch cards to program the car’s destination. The driver would insert a card encoded with a destination, and an electronic highway center (whatever that was) would then take over and guide the car to where it was programmed to go.

Source: Car Styling 2.0 

The car was never intended to be sold, of course. To be commercially viable, it would have required technologies that simply weren't available in 1969.

But you know what? I think the Century Cruiser represents a watershed concept: that you can use software to control or enhance a car's behavior. The Century Cruiser may have used Hollerith cards, but it presaged vehicles that, in a few short years, would use programming languages like C to control ECUs and anti-lock brakes. From there, it was only a matter of time before cars would use software technologies like HTML5 to deliver everything from weather reports to smartphone integration. The software path was set, even if no one realized it yet.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Controlled openness

Paul Leroux
The title of this post sounds like a contradiction in terms. But you know what? It captures the predicament faced by every automaker today.

On the one hand, automakers need to convince mobile developers that it's worthwhile to create apps for the car. They also need to make the process of creating and monetizing car apps as easy and open as possible. Otherwise, why would a developer spend time developing a car app when a phone app could reach many more customers? (About 60 million cars shipped in 2012, compared to more than 545 million smartphones — and most of those cars can't host apps.)

On the other hand, apps can't run willy-nilly in the car. For safety's sake, automakers must impose control on when specific apps can be used, and the apps themselves must be designed or modified to minimize distraction, possibly in accordance with government-mandated rules and guidelines. That may sound like an imposition on developers, but not really. After all, developers want to create apps that will prove popular with consumers, and consumers will be far more interested in apps that can be used while the car is moving — apps that, for safety reasons, can be used only when the car is stopped will hold less appeal.

But enough from me. Recently, my colleague Andy Gryc caught up with Thilo Koslowski, VP Distinguished Analyst at Gartner, and they discussed the notion of controlled openness for the car — along with how HTML5 fits into the picture. The cameras were rolling, so grab some popcorn, dim the lights, and check it out:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

DevCon5 recap: building apps for cars

Tina Jeffrey
Last week I had the pleasure of presenting at the DevCon5 HTML5 & Mobile App Developers Conference, held at New York University in the heart of NYC. The conference was abuzz with the latest and greatest web technologies for a variety of markets, including gaming, TV, enterprise, mobile, retail, and automotive.

The recurring theme throughout the event was that HTML5 is mainstream. Even though HTML5 still requires some ripening as a technology, it is definitely the burgeoning choice for app developers who wish to get their apps onto as many platforms as possible, quickly and cost effectively. And when a developer is confronted with a situation where HTML5 falls short (perhaps a feature that isn’t yet available), then hybrid is always an option. At the end of the day, user experience is king, and developers need to design and ship apps that offer a great experience and keep users engaged, regardless of the technology used.

Mainstream mobile device platforms all have web browsers to support HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. And there’s definitely no shortage of mobile web development frameworks to build consumer and enterprise apps that look and perform like native programs. Many of these frameworks were discussed at the conference, including jQuery Mobile, Dojo Mobile, Sencha Touch, and Angular JS. Terry Ryan of Adobe walked through building a PhoneGap app and discussed how the PhoneGap Build tool lets programmers upload their code to a cloud compiler and automatically generate apps for every supported platform — very cool.

My colleague Rich Balsewich, senior enterprise developer at BlackBerry, hit a homerun with his presentation on the multiple paths to building apps. He walked us through developing an HTML5 app from end to end, and covered future features and platforms, including the automobile. A special shout-out to Rich for plugging my session “The Power of HTML5 in the Automobile” held later that afternoon.

My talk provided app developers with some insight into creating apps for the car, and discussed the success factors that will enable automakers to leverage mobile development — key to achieving a rich, personalized, connected user experience. Let me summarize with the salient points:

What’s needed

What we're doing about it

The automotive community wants apps, and HTML5 provides a common app platform for infotainment systems. We’ve implemented an HTML5 application framework in the QNX CAR Platform for Infotainment.
Automotive companies must leverage the broad mobile developer ecosystem to bring differentiated automotive apps and services to the car. We’re helping by getting the word out and by building a cloud-based app repository that will enable qualified app partners to get their apps in front of automotive companies. We plan to roll out this repository with the release of the QNX CAR Platform 2.1 in the fall.
The developer community needs standardized automotive APIs. We’re co-chairing the W3C Automotive and Web Platform Business Group, which has a mandate to create a draft specification of a vehicle data API. We’re also designing the QNX CAR Platform APIs to be Apache Cordova-compliant.
Automotive platform vendors must supply tools that enable app developers to build and test their apps. We plan to release the QNX CAR Platform 2.1 with open, accessible tooling to make it easy for developers to test their apps in a software-only environment.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

C3 recap: The future of the connected car

UPDATE: CE Week has uploaded audio and video of the C3 panels that Derek covers in this post. To hear what experts from companies like AT&T, BMW, Delphi, GM, and QNX see on the horizon for the connected car, visit the Connected Car Conference website — Ed.

Derek Kuhn
“Automotive has always been a wellspring of technology and innovation.” Those ten words, spoken by Doug Newcomb, car technology consultant and conference chair — and occasional QNX blog contributor — brought the Connected Car Conference (C3) to a successful close. The conference, co-located with CEA’s CE Week in New York City, featured panels on issues and trends for the connected car: big data, the future of radio, driver distraction, and more.

I was honored to sit on a panel that included executives from General Motors, AT&T Emerging Devices, and Audiovox, and that tackled the question on the minds of everyone in the industry: how can cars keep pace with consumer electronics? Traditionally, the speed of car development has trailed consumer devices, but with consumers looking at their cars as another connected gadget, the industry is working to bring technology into the car faster, while still providing a safe, reliable experience. As GM’s Tim Nixon put it, “we want to make the car better from the day you drive it off the lot.”

Striking a balance
Tim’s comment touches on something we frequently discuss — the significance of over-the-air (OTA) updates in ensuring that a car always has the latest technology. In fact, my colleague, Tina Jeffrey, just wrote a blog post on the topic; it's worth a read. Another point that came up is the need to balance security with consumers’ desire for cutting-edge technology. As I pointed out, not all infotainment systems are created equal — security shouldn’t be an afterthought in the pursuit of the latest and greatest tech. Rather, it should be deeply engrained in each step of the software development process. At the same time, consumer choice also has to be balanced with what OEMs are comfortable with.

Driving big data
John Quain of the NYT hosts the big data panel.
Photo: Doug Newcomb
John Quain of the New York Times hosted a panel on big data, which was full of insights on how data is being used to connect drivers and their cars. In response to the question, “how can big data in automotive save lives?” Delphi’s Doug Welk commented that, while data on crashes was abundant and readily available, data on near misses — which is even more important to understanding how to prevent accidents — is scant. Telenav’s Niall Berkey pointed out something that my colleague Andrew Poliak often discusses: the importance of the car as a sensor. For instance, by using information on how a driver is behaving, a car could activate assisted-driving technologies to reduce the likelihood of an accident.

Dealing with distraction
During the “Dealing with Driver Distraction” panel, representatives from the Auto Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Nuance, NVIDIA, and Pioneer spoke on how the industry is working to curb distraction. Gloria Bergquist of the Auto Alliance stated that the concern is nothing new; when car radios were first introduced in the middle of the last century, industry watchers claimed that drivers’ attention would be diverted by the novelty.

Gloria also drew from her organization’s recent report, which showed that most drivers overestimate how well they can handle distractions and think that it’s other drivers who can’t cope. Erik Clauson of Nuance discussed how voice recognition technologies — like the QNX intent framework — can play a large role in decreasing the cognitive load of drivers. Dave Anderson of NVIDIA defended skeumorphism — a design aesthetic that has received much criticism as of late — as a way to increase the intuitiveness of user interfaces and therefore decrease distraction. For example, digital instrument clusters that look like conventional (and familiar) analog instruments can enhance the driving experience.

Continuing the conversation
The day ended with a networking reception — a unique opportunity to pick the brains of the some of the industry’s thought leaders and observers. While I got to spend only a short time in New York for the event, I am look forward to next year when we can continue this conversation on the industry’s challenges and innovations.

Monday, July 8, 2013

UN agencies take major step towards international standards for driver distraction

June 27 marked a historic event in Geneva, Switzerland — an event that could ultimately lead to internationally harmonized vehicle regulations and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) standards to address driver distraction.

The event was a workshop titled "Intelligent transport systems in emerging markets — drivers for safe and sustainable growth". The title may sound innocuous, but don’t let that fool you. It only touches the surface of what was really going on.

So what, exactly, made this event so important? It was the first joint meeting of the United Nations (UN) agencies that deal with automotive regulations and ICT standards/radio spectrum allocation: the UNECE World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (UNECE WP.29) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), respectively. During the opening of the workshop, Eva Molnar (director, UNECE Transport Division) and Malcolm Johnson (director, ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau) spoke about the historic significance of this event and how they hoped it would be the beginning of a close collaboration.

This is big news. The possibility of vehicle regulations by the UNECE WP.29 may force automakers to work with the ITU, which has been working to develop comprehensive, internationally agreed standards to address driver distraction caused by mobile devices and other ICTs. Previous attempts such as the ITU-T Focus Group on Driver Distraction (FG Distraction) have had only limited success at engaging the automotive industry. See the FG Distraction reports for more information on the current state of such comprehensive standards.

Not if, but when
Regulation of ICTs could also occur. Strictly speaking, ITU-T Recommendations are non-binding, but they can become mandatory if referenced in a regulation by a national authority such as the FCC in the US. Increasing pressure to regulate use of ICTs in vehicles and the likely harmonization of ITU-T Recommendations with UNECE WP.29 vehicle regulations make regulations based on ITU-T Recommendations a real possibility.

Regulation of automotive and ICT equipment used by drivers isn’t a question of "if", but of "when". That said, many paths could lead to such regulation, some better than others. For example, authorities could jump the gun and issue regulations before good solutions are in place — and actually make the situation worse. With that in mind, let's hope that the step taken on June 27 is the first of many down a path that leads us to internationally harmonized standards and regulations that truly address unsafe driver interaction with ICTs.