Newsletter for client use
V O L U M E 1 , I S S U E 1 O C O T B E R 2 0 0 9
Voice Recognition - Critical feature
Voice recognition systems for automobiles have tures that make use of voice control continues to
been around for a while, but only recently has the grow, cognitive load may also become an issue.
Voice 1 (Continued on page 2)
technology begun to be truly useful. In the past,
many people became frustrated with inaccuracies
and functional errors in voice-based systems and in
many cases chose not to use the feature at all. Re-
cent product offerings have improved significantly,
thanks to new technologies from companies like
- What to Expect
Nuance and IBM. When done correctly, voice con-
OEM Platform 2 trol helps to minimize the distraction of looking for
Integration is the right knob or button. As the number of fea-
What to expect at 2010 Consumer Electronics Show
Will the OEMs continue to open the car’s interior to the plethora of consumer devices? Will Ford again domi-
The Future of 3 nate the device connectivity scene, with new upgrades to Ford SYNC? Alan Mulally will again give a keynote
Telematics is and announce the expansion of the Service Delivery Network and new partnerships. Many who follow CES,
Safety to be held January 7-10th 2010 in Las Vegas, (www.cesweb.org) are thinking that there will be no new con-
sumer electronics breakthroughs this year. But Steve Ballmer in a recent CNET interview , pointed to energy
Windows 5 and health care as areas to look for innovation: ―People like to talk about productivity improvements and in-
Penetrates novation that we need to see in the health industry, that we need to see in the energy industry.‖
We agree with Steve. The new areas to watch at CES are energy
AutoTechInsider 5 and health related . This is an exciting time for automotive elec-
tronics, much opportunity for ―convergence‖ as most CE devices
are now connected devices, affordable and importantly more robust
(i.e. easier to use and reliable). We should again see innovation in
the user interface (e.g. HMI) as well as new automotive, energy
and health related software applications.
AutoTechInsider LLC is always delighted by what we learn by
attending CES!! As a service to our customers, we are making the
following offer— our CES 2010 report to our existing clients for
the discounted price of $349 available until December 15, 2009.
For this affordable price, we will include our 2009 Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA)
report. The SEMA show (www.sema.org) will be held November 3rd in Las Vegas and will reveal new eco-
friendly products, as well as new business models for accessorizing vehicles. We will again issue an extensive
report - a full narrative, photos and analysis based on a walk through the show - on both SEMA and CES.
I think you will agree this is a value! We hope you will take advantage of this limited time offer. These are
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V1.1 this value to our clients.
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Voice Technology—continued from page 1
Real driving events must take precedence over using the features that tend to be voice controlled. Therefore drivers can lose track of
where they are in the process of selecting a song or finding a contact when a driving event that requires 100% of their attention inter-
rupts them. Complicated menu systems and features that require many steps can contribute to this problem. Effectively using visual
and haptic feedback with voice control can minimize cognitive load by helping the driver return to what they were doing without hav-
ing to remember where they were in the process. On Wednesday, September 30 th, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called dis-
tracted driving a serious epidemic and stated that more than 5,800 motorists are killed each year because of accidents attributed to a
distracted driver. In recent weeks a number of other leaders and reporters have commented on the seriousness of distracted driving and
have specifically identified ―texting while driving‖ as one of the biggest problems.
While a number of automotive OEMS have recently introduced voice controlled solutions, Ford has had significant success in their
voice based control of features in SYNC, and has specifically noted that SYNC’s hands-free text to speech solution for texting allevi-
ates the distraction problem. While there are a few complaints about SYNC, for the most part people seem quite happy with the func-
tionality and are impressed with the system’s ability to recognize the names of people in their contact list and songs in their iPod. Peo-
ple with navigation systems or central information displays also like the fact that the visual feedback they receive correlates with the
In the end, consumers will choose who the best system based not only on who offers the most useful and desirable features, but also on
who delivers the best experience through effective correlation of voice, visual and haptic HMI solutions.
OEM Platform Integration is Key
Recently, quite a few authors have published articles projecting the future of
breadth of automotive Telematics. Some think the key is in the development of the right
Telematics ECU and faster 4G networks. Others believe regulations that
Telematics mandate features like E-Call will pave the way to pervasive automotive con-
nectivity. The argument that makes the most sense is based on automotive Blue & Me Center Stack
features will be OEMs choosing to significantly increase the level of integration of Telematics
platforms in automotive electrical architectures. Without this level of integra-
very limited.” tion, the breadth of Telematics features will be very limited.
Telematics platforms can offer many benefits for the OEM, including serving
as wireless communication servers, integration points for new quick cycle features, center stack
HMI controllers, and gateways for configuring or testing other vehicle modules. Also, the cost
these platforms is fairly expensive for merely enabling hands-free phone and MP3 player func-
tionality. Increasing the breadth of their function within the vehicle can help amortize the cost
of implementation and will provide the level of interaction with other vehicle systems that will
also enable a broader set of Telematics-based features.
Ford Focus with SYNC
Michigan – Where you come to Prove-Out New Technology!
As a former product design engineer, Dave McNamara always wanted to ―characterize‖ a new technology and ―test drive‖ the
product under real life conditions. Customer satisfaction is a result of a robust design that accounts for the stringent operating con-
ditions of automotive applications – environmental, electromagnetic, power modes, etc. Automotive applications are demanding, a
mutual excusive combination of high performance, high reliability, small size and affordability. It takes a significant "market time/
experience" to produce a product that meets ALL of these requirements
As well stated in the recent September Paul Hansen report, OEMs, because of the significant cut backs, are relying on suppliers to
―do the engineering work‖. Ideally, according to Paul Hansen, these suppliers must have local expertise and test resources readily
available to their OEM customers. Fortunately, suppliers and OEMS now have local resources for testing of complex active safety
and cooperative driving systems. Please see the article ―The Future of Telematics is Safety‖ in this newsletter.
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The various test resources available in Michigan are:
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Connected Vehicle Proving Center now part of the University Of Michigan Dearborn
Michigan International Speedway
Michigan Test bed in the Novi area, an extensive area of over 75 highway and arterial center lane-miles of road-
way equipped with 52 Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) roadside equipment (RSE) units.
The Michigan Test Bed (MTB) is of special interest! This test bed is available today to automotive suppliers and third party
developers of IntelliDriveSM applications. As described by the US Department of Transportation website:
―Intellidrive is a suite of technologies and applications that use wireless communications to provide connectivity that can de-
liver transformational safety, mobility, and environmental improvements in surface transportation. Intellidrive applications
with and among vehicles
between vehicles and the roadway infrastructure
among vehicles, infrastructure, and wireless devices (consumer electronics, such as cell phones and PDAs) that
are carried by drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists‖
The MTB was recently used to conduct a wide range of proof-of-concept testing, sponsored by the USDOT – V2I applications,
such as in-vehicle signage, probe data collection, dynamic navigation, ePayment, and key V2V safety enablers (e.g. heart beat).
This test bed has been made available to all developers (automotive, pubic transportation, government agencies, etc.) to provide
a robust and secure test environment to conduct their own research and development. More information on how to access the
MTB can be obtained through the USDOT website. On this site you can find the documentation associated with scheduling
and using the MTB. Also, please contact the author, Dave McNamara, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
He is very familiar with the test bed and its capabilities, as the former Applications Project Manager under contract to the US-
DOT through the Vehicle Information Initiative Consortium (VIIC). Note: VII is now called Intellidrive. The VIIC is the Auto-
motive OEM industry-led consortium. Dave is
interested in determining the needs of the auto-
motive community and plans to share my find-
ings, as appropriate, with the USDOT.
The MTB is a great resource since developers
can bring their own vehicles with DSRC on-
board equipment into the test bed to try with
established roadside equipment and network
services. Developers are able to subscribe to
existing network services to test their systems
and/or applications with the infrastructure (RSEs
and network services). Dave would like to hear
from you as to your plans for testing, when you
might test, any needed enhancements and any
ideas on how you might use the MTB. Once
again, Michigan is the place to come to test and
is providing the needed development environ-
ment with established infrastructure.
The Future of Telematics is Safety
A few years ago, Dave McNamara wrote about the resurgence of Telematics. In that May 2007 article, he made the case for a re-
newed interest in connectivity with affordable solutions available on all vehicles. This is what Ford now calls ―democratization‖ of
feature content. In the early days, the business model was as a ―value added service‖ as a revenue source. Today we recognize the
importance of Telematics and vehicle connectivity as important Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools for improved
customer satisfaction. As the success of Ford SYNC has taught us – connectivity sells cars.
Ford SYNC is the example of the correct business model - a focus on vehicle sales. Also, expensive ―luxury‖ car features should
be made available and affordable on mid-range vehicles. The Ford announcement of a lower cost $1196 Adaptive Cruise Control
is a more recent example that affordable electronic technology has become a reality. As further evidence of this trend, recent JD
Powers market research indicates a wide range of vehicle technologies are now in the affordability range of $300-500 or 2-4 per-
cent of the vehicle list price.
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The features that have gained our interest in the last several years, i.e. emerged to be of value are:
- Active cornering headlamps - $300 - Portable Navigation - $400
- Blind spot detection - $500 - Wireless Connectivity - $250 Note: Ford SYNC is $395
- Lane Departure - $500 - Rear View Camera - $450
- Back-up Assist - $300 - Premium Sound - $500
Thanks to Ford SYNC and the integration of Assist 911, emergency messaging is available to all of us through our cell phones. The
market will soon decide which is a better solution, a built-in cellular transceiver, albeit more powerful and robust or the ―brought-in‖
cell phone, your data plan and therefore affordable. Telematics in its ―resurgence‖ has become affordable, and having a focus on
features (e.g. connectivity) that sell cars.
We can broadly define Telematics or Information and Communications Technology (ICT), as ―two-way communications‖ between
the vehicle and infrastructure. Broadcast communications, such as Satellite/HD radio and Mobile TV protocols (ASTC) will bring
our entertainment to our vehicles. Internet or Web 2.0 based applications, such as ―internet radio‖ are to be seen in the future because
of the need for a ―robust‖ or reliable connection. Automotive applications are demanding, a mutual excusive combination of high
performance, high reliability, small size and affordability. It takes a significant "market time/experience" to produce a product that
meets ALL of these requirements. For example, high-cost high-bandwidth Internet (e.g. $50-60/month data plans) as well as per-
formance issues (e.g. high latencies) will require OEMs/suppliers to validate a strong pull from consumers.
Consumers will need to experience these applications on ―smart phones‖ before OEMs commit to building the internet into the car,
i.e. ―democratization‖ or high volume. For example, Ford SYNC has it right, bring the Internet to the car, ―plug-in‖ your ―smart
The new opportunity for Telematics or ICT, “two-way communications” built into the car is safety. Robust and secure wireless
protocols, such as Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) or IEEE 802.11p will usher in new vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V)
safety features (i.e. that are time sensitive or require low latency) to include:
Electronic Brake Lamp as collision warning to eliminate rear-end collisions
Okay to pass to avoid head-on collisions
Intersection safety – left turn advisory
Emergency vehicle approaching
These applications require robust and secure ―radio‖ technology. Cellular is not well suited for these demanding applications. Once
again Europe is leading the way, as they did with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with a focus on ―cooperative systems‖. In Europe,
ACC has not only become a collision warning/mitigation system, but a means to ―cooperative driving‖ or platooning. Volvo City
Driving is an example of this kind of system. In the future, on-board sensors such as radar, cameras and accelerometers, as needed
for stability systems, are integrated with V2V for cooperative driving. Cooperative driving is faster and safer driving: ―city driving‖
at higher speeds than current congested speeds, use of limited-access (gated) high-occupancy lanes, and ultimately high speed lanes
between city centers. High occupancy and complex-dangerous intersections will be deployed first as the public safety priority. This
is not quite autonomous driving, a term the military will adopt for their various missions.
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Windows Penetrates the Automotive Market
In our June 2009 Telematics Update report, we exam- seat entertainment and internet connectivity and
ined the possibilities of what a Fiat owned Chrysler Fiat doesn’t, they will either have to abandon the
might do in the area of infotainment/Telematics. The features for Chrysler products or develop them
main question was about whether or not they will aban- on the Blue & Me platform. If
don one of their systems, and if so which one? … Blue Chrysler products begin to offer a
& Me (based on Windows for Automotive) or uconnect solution based on Fiat’s Blue &
(recently based on a Hughes Telematics solution). Me then Ford, Chrysler, Fiat,
Hyundai and Kia will all be offer-
The recent parting of ways between Chrysler and ing infotainment/Telematics plat-
Hughes Telematics may be one indication of the deci- forms based on Microsoft’s Win-
sion. However, since Chrysler has been offering rear dows for Automotive.
Consumers desire full control of their vehicles, because driving should be fun! As we know, a mega trend is the growth of cities as
populations shift, which increases congestion and pollution. A 20 mph increase in mobility produces a 40% reduction in pollution.
Will the US Government follow Europe’s lead and make these cooperative systems mandatory—a strategy to increase mobility as
well as improve safety? For example, will NHTSA make V2V applications part of the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to
encourage OEMs to build safer vehicles and consumers to buy them?
These cooperative systems for improved safety and mobility will require significant system engineering and affordable sensor tech-
nology. Today’s radar-based systems are not affordable and ACC penetration is not expected to achieve more than a 10-15% pene-
tration into 2014MY, even though we will see stop-and-go ACC on many luxury models. There is an opportunity in the 2014-
2016MY timeframe for an affordable V2V solution, because of the low cost of radios and high accuracy GPS (augmented). Today
GPS is embedded in many products because of $10-20 chip sets. In a similar manner, V2V radios based on RF CMOS technology
(now on cell phones) will eventually have costs in the $150-200 range. Can radar sensor technology compete with a low cost wire-
less sensor integrated with GPS? Can wireless/GPS make accurate time-to-collision measurements, as can radar?
In conclusion, Telematics as defined as “two-way communications” built into the car provides compelling safety, as well as mobility
features. But safety is the priority. Several issues, as previously discussed, remain before ―democratization‖, or wide spread adop-
tion is realized:
1. The business model for wide spread adoption, ―democratization‖ is needed!
2. The role of government in facilitating deployment new cooperative driving or active safety systems. Will the US Gov-
ernment actively facilitate deployment??
3. Affordability of autonomous sensors (e.g. radar based). Will Telematics based safety systems (e.g. V2V) have a role in
making these systems affordable as well as more capable?? How will V2V be integrated with existing autonomous
The automobile industry is profoundly affected by adjacent industries that produce
AutoTechInsider, LLC the technologies that are involved, directly or indirectly, in the production of a
vehicle. Since the percentage of a given vehicle's cost related to
electronics, software, networking solutions, and related services continues to grow,
Email:email@example.com we are most interested in these technology areas. Based own our extensive ex-
perience in the automotive industry, we cover major events and produce insightful
reports on the technologies, the companies, and the trends that we believe will
have a significant impact in the near future.
Disclaimers—All information gathering was done in compliance with the ethical standards of the Society of
Insights For The Automotive Industry Competitive Intelligence Professionals and within the provisions of the US Economic Espionage Act of 1996.
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