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Tech giant Intel has decided to move into the car infotainment market, teaming up with Denso, which recently developed the Entune system in various new Toyota models.
Intel, known for its microprocessors used in most of today’s computers, has created a $100 million investment fund towards the development of new hardware and software for the automotive infotainment market. Initially, the tech giant will focus on developing speech recognition, gesture recognition, and eye tracking.
Along with Entune, Denso has also developed NaviBridge and Arpeggio, infotainment technologies that work alongside today’s smartphones.
A match made in heaven? Perhaps. Both Intel and Denso are well-respected in the tech industry, but other competitors are more established and already have relationships with automakers. Still, we doubt the two heavyweights will have difficulty building those relationships.
The decision to develop this tech is one of the first projects funded by the investment fund, which was announced last month. The fund exists to promote technological innovation in the automotive industry because of the rapidly-growing role computers are playing in new cars.
[Source: Automotive News]
There are a few systems out there that alert you to the fact that you may be too tired to drive and should pull over for a nap or a strong cup of coffee. Denso is going one-step further with a drowsiness level checker that tracks muscle movements over a driver’s face.
The point of this technology is that it will alert the driver that they’re too tired before they fall asleep while on the road. Here’s how it works: there’s a camera that’s installed on the steering column, which is pointed at the driver’s face. This camera feeds the system’s custom software live footage, so it’s constantly updated with the latest information about what your facial features are saying. The system picks up on 17 distinct points on the driver’s face, which are monitored while the vehicle is moving. This lets the system track the movement and level of activity of the driver’s facial muscles.
As soon as the driver starts to get drowsy (ie: constant blinking), the system picks up on this sign. By focusing on muscle movements like this, as well as others, the system gives the driver a fatigue level on a scale of one to six, to alert them to the fact that they should pull over so they don’t fall asleep while behind the wheel.
Are you frustrated with your car’s nav system? Join the club – a new study out by J.D. Power and Associates Reports says that drivers are annoyed with their navigation systems.
Consumers are reporting that they are becoming increasingly frustrated with their in-car navigation and infotainment systems. The problem seems to be complexity of these systems, and drivers think that the systems available aren’t easy to use. Topping the list of complaints is the “Address/street/city not found”, followed by “Difficulty inputting destination,” “Route provided was not direct” and “Difficulty using voice recognition controls.” And instead of making these systems easier to use, manufacturers are adding even more features, such as climate controls.
“Routing the primary function of a navigation system is obviously an issue and will continue to be,” said Andy Bernhard, director at J.D. Power and Associates. “However, for nearly 10 years, the importance of ease of use has been emphasized by owners, and the continued high level of problems in this area begs the question: is the industry listening to how owners want to interact with their system?”
J.D. Power and Associates also ranked the top systems based on consumer satisfaction, and leading the way is the Garmin system that comes with the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300, as well as the Hyundai Mobis that’s found in the Hyundai Genesis Coupe. At the bottom of the list is the Alpine Electronics unit found in a few Mercedes-Benz models, TeleNav in the Lincoln MKX and DENSO in the Toyota RAV4.
If you have GPS or an infotainment system in your vehicle, do you find it too complicated to use? Let us know in the comments section below.
Toyota‘s rush to cut costs amid a rising yen is leading them towards a confrontation with parts suppliers, with the automaker demanding that Japanese parts makers slash costs or face being replaced with overseas companies.
Toyota is still reeling from lost production during March’s tsunami and earthquake, and is estimated to lose $443 million for every 1 yen appreciation against the U.S. dollar. Automotive News reports Toyota telling suppliers that it would source parts from emerging markets if Japanese parts companies like Denso and Aisin fail to provide Toyota with agreeable terms.
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn warned of severe economic consequences should the Japanese government fail to take adequate action against the yen’s rapid rise.
[Source: Automotive News]
Got a couple of minutes to spare while you’re sitting in your cubical wondering when your work day is going to end? Head on over to Denso’s Dare to Dream Sweepstakes for your chance to win $25,000!
There isn’t really any catch to this. Simply fill out a quick form for Denso to collect some marketing data and you’ll have a chance to win the prize. It’s open until September 30th, and a winner will be chosen on or around October 15th (which just so happens to be AutoGuide Editor-in-Chief Colum Wood’s B-Day…. hint, hint). They’ll be presented with the cash prize on PowerBlock TV by a DENSO representative.
So have at it and check out the official press release available after the break.
Tacoma pickup was not included in recent 2.3 million vehicle recall for sticking accelerator pedals
Along with two major recalls, one for Floor Mat Entrapment and another for Sticking Accelerator Pedals, a Federal government committee will investigate whether other models, including the Toyota Tacoma and Prius, might be in need of recalls.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 100 complaints have bee made by Toyota Tacoma owners related to issues of unintended acceleration. The Tacoma, however, uses a Denso pedal assembly and not the CTS Corp. pedal assembly found in the 2.3 million recalled models for Sticking Accelerator Pedals. CTS Corp. is based in Indiana, while Denso pedal assemblies are manufactured in Japan.
The Ministry of Transportation has said it will look at whether the problem of sudden acceleration is electronic and not mechanical.
“What explains the seemingly high number of complaints in NHTSA’s database regarding sudden acceleration in this model?” the committee asked. “Is it Toyota’s opinion that most of these can be explained by driver error, erroneous reporting, or faulty floor mats?”
“Has Toyota examined the possibility that the sudden acceleration problems are not caused by the floor mats or gas pedal in some models, but by problems with the electronic sensors or the computer system which govern the accelerator? Is Toyota confident that the electronics are not involved in this problem?”
Toyota has continually denied that the issue is electronic, saying in a statement that, “After many years of exhaustive testing—by us and other outside agencies—we have found no evidence of a problem with our electronic throttle control system that could have caused unwanted acceleration. Our vehicles go through extensive electromagnetic radiation testing dynamically. We have our own test facility in Japan, we are also building one in Ann Arbor. The testing examines microwave radiation and every other type of magnetic wave and we have never been able to force our systems to fail through any of the tests that are done on them. There are many redundancies and fail safes that are built into our system. If the accelerator pedal and the throttle on the engine don’t match in their communication to each other the throttle returns to an idle position.”
The committee will also look at the 2010 Toyota Prius as a candidate for a recall, after the Japanese Ministry of Transportation asked Toyota to investigate complaints from owners for potentially faulty brakes.
The committee has asked Toyota North American president, Yoshimi Inaba to answer several questions ahead of a Feb 10th hearing, which has been titled, “Toyota Gas Pedals: Is the Public At Risk?”
[Source: Detroit News]