Honda, AT&T introduce smart solutions for drivers’ convenience

Honda, AT&T introduce smart solutions for drivers’ convenience
The smart vehicle industry appears to be taking off as big players in the industry, including Honda, AT&T and Harman, recently launched initiatives to get more vehicles on the road connected so that drivers can get instant services and also be safer on the road.
 
Many new cars today come with cloud connectivity, diagnostics, security and infotainment. But most vehicles on the road lack connectivity. To address this problem, Harman and AT&T has teamed up to launch a connected car device for vehicle models as old as 1996.
 
The device is called Harman Spark, which is plugged into the diagnostics port beneath the steering wheel. Users also need to download the companion app from App Store or Google Play.
 
Drivers will then get a range of features, including Wi-Fi hotspot, connecting up to eight devices in the car. Since the car is connected, its location and mechanic status are automatically broadcast to service providers that spontaneously provide needed services like emergency roadside assistance, car maintenance reminders and parking reservation. With the app, drivers can make payments easily.
 
Since the vehicle’s location is constantly beamed to the Internet, family members or companies can keep track of the drivers’ whereabouts more easily.

Automatic Labs Launched Similar Solution

 
Siriux XM Holdings, the world’s largest radio company in revenues, also wants to get more vehicles on the road connected. Its subsidiary Automatic Labs’ solution comes with an in-vehicle adapter along with an app to turn most vehicles, model year 1996 or later, into connected ones.
 
"Automatic's service platform offers a major technology boost to just about any vehicle. This enhances the safety and convenience for today's drivers," said Chris Penrose, President of Internet of Things Solutions at AT&T, which partners with Sirius XM as well.
 
"Through our nationwide LTE-M network, our work with Automatic and SiriusXM will bring the benefits of connectivity to even more cars and trucks across the U.S.," Penrose added.
 
Automatic launched the Automatic Dealer Program earlier this month, so that drivers can get all the added services directly from car dealers. Similar to owners of Harman Spark, users get roadside assistance, real-time vehicle location monitoring, vehicle health information, as well as integration with smart home devices. This enables drivers to open garage door, adjust thermostat and turn on house lights on their way home.
 
A new report from Strategy Analytics found that, in general, security features generate higher interest among all in-car smart home features for consumers in the U.S., Western Europe and China. Ability to control lights and garage door has the highest interest overall.

Honda Demonstrated ‘Smart Intersection’

 
When more cars get connected and are able to exchange information with the outside world, the road may well become safer. Earlier this month Honda demonstrated the ‘Smart Intersection’ concept as part of its vehicle-to-everything (V2X) project.
 
Four cameras mounted above the traffic lights at each corner of the intersection capture bird's-eye-view video of surrounding vehicles and pedestrian traffic out to a 300-foot range. Honda's proprietary image processing software then creates a 360-degree image of the intersection that classifies vehicles and other moving objects, such as pedestrians, motorcycles and emergency vehicles, and broadcasts pertinent information to surrounding vehicles via a dedicated short-range communication signal.
 
Each connected vehicle's on-board computer decodes the information and, when necessary, provides both visible and audible alerts to the driver, supporting them to take corrective action to avoid a potential collision.
 
"Honda believes that V2X technology is an essential component of a smarter and safer transportation ecosystem and can play a role in our dream for a zero-collision society," says Ted Klaus, vice president of strategic research at Honda R&D Americas.
 
The company has partnered with the City of Marysville and the State of Ohio as part of the 33 Smart Mobility Corridor project, which seeks to address the limitations of on-board vehicle sensors to overcome traffic collisions at intersections.
 
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