Las Vegas, NV – 2013 Consumer Electronics Show is more than just stereos and computer games. The auto industry and their suppliers are displaying technologies for energy efficiency in the home and the car, and infrastructure connected to the grid. Car companies are embracing app developers, going to their hackathon convention to look for new developers. There are products that needs wires, others are wireless. Some of the following technologies are currently available from automobile manufactures while others are working beta technologies that are coming in the near future.
Last night, on the John Batchelor radio show, we talked about Bosch creating a storage unit that could hold electricity. Today I verified that this storage unit can take electricity from an EV/hybrid battery and store it in her home for use later. If you were in your house during Hurricane Sandy and couldn’t leave you could have 5kwh of stored electricity. You could then hookup your car to the storage battery unit and pull more electricity into your home.
You can set your driver’s seat on most cars nowadays. There is even a memory button that will remember your settings, but that button is attached to the car and anyone can change the settings. Continental is developing a smartphone app to configure your seat temperature, to move the cushion in the seat to the way you like to sit, to set the massaging unit and even remotely start your car. You can take this app to another car and set your seat to the same settings.
Kia’s Mitchell Zarders, put it best, “Currently in-house automobile manufacture software development is a 4 year cycle. Developers work in days.”
Both Ford and GM are allowing 3rd party developers to develop apps for their car – GM announced a new Web site, https://developer.gm.com/, that developers will be able to download the SDK for it’s new app framework. It also demonstrated integration with iHeart Radio, TuneIn, Slacker, and The Weather Channel on the new framework.
Sync AppLink is Ford’s name for the technology that supports app integration in it’s cars. It lets a driver load an app on a smartphone, then control it through the car’s voice activation command.
Opening up the platform to developers could jump-start new features in GM & Ford vehicles. The SDK uses HTML5, an open standard many companies are adopting. This move could give both GM and Ford access to expert developers.
Chrysler has said they are considering allowing developers to create apps for them as well.
At the 2011 New York auto show Aha was live in studio with John Batchelor. At that time AHA was going to be offered in Subaru, Honda, and Acura vehicles. AHA offers 30,000 Internet-based stations in it’s lineup, from music to podcasts to news. At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Porsche, Ford, and Chrysler announced that they will partner with AHA as well.
Kia’s Linux based system has a new service called e-service that allows you to have apps for free and services for free. Chrysler has wifi in their car. Hyundai has something called a haptek button on their steering wheel. It’s a piece of glass that has the feel of a switch. Both Hyundai and Continental are working on the ability to configure your seat from your smartphone. Hyundai can also configure the temperature and audio and remotely send it to the car via smartphone.