Over the weekend I heard a CBS radio interview with Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, who said one thing that is different with this year’s show in Las Vegas is the strong showing of automakers and automotive suppliers. Five car makers displayed their wares this year compared to near to none a decade ago.
States Shapiro in an interview: “Technology has become more important than horsepower. Consumers are saying, ‘What I have in my home, I want in my car.”
Tech suppliers made a big splash by appearing in car-makes like BMW, Jeep and Audi, showing how their “smart” technologies and mobile processors are transforming driving as we know it. The cockpit has become the next big focus of the Internet of Things (IoT), which basically refers to anything with a sensor and modem. The purpose of these technologies is to keep drivers safe and connected to the outside world.
Some of these technologies are not new to farmers, having been a part of tractor cabs for years. Things like guidance systems that let vehicles drive themselves. Telemetry packages that let you keep track of where your tractors are and their operating status. And 3-D multi-touch display screens that mimic an iPad and let you control many functions of the vehicle. We reported on a lot of those technologies last fall in our farm show report, “Top ag technology of Farm Progress Show 2014.”
Those and other off-road technologies are coming to cars now too to make over-the-road vehicles just as smart.
And then there are some things coming in cars that we haven’t seen in tractors yet. That’s where it gets interesting.
I jumped on the CES website, clicked on “Marketplace” and found five companies that were under the category of “Vehicle Intelligence.” Here are some of those new intelligent vehicle offerings on display at this year’s CES.
Delphi: Automotive technology supplier Delphi showed the Delphi Jeep CES 2015 Demo Vehicle whose cockpit was loaded with technologies that make it safer to communicate with your car. Its new human-machine interface incorporates technologies such as natural voice recognition, hands-free gesturing, eye gaze control and intuitive, responsive touch screens to provide multiple ways for drivers to communicate with their vehicles. Also part of the cockpit: Apple and Android integration and what it says is an “ industry-first,” production grade, high-end infotainment microprocessor.
As stated by Delphi on its website: “With the explosive growth of smart phone ownership, consumers want to be connected to their content and information in a simple, easy and safe way while driving. Delphi’s solution delivers a combination of all key connectivity strategies to ensure all consumers’ needs are met via built-in, brought-in and add-in solutions.”
Bosch: Bosch is showcasing technologies classified as “micromechanics.” It basically refers to the sensors, wireless and onboard data processors that transmit information to the internet and keep the driver connected to the outside world.
As Bosch describes in a news release, “. . . there is practically no limit to what can still be connected via sensors. As a result, things that were free of electronics in the past, such as doors and windows, will be able to transmit data on their status to the internet. In brief, micromechanics make the internet of things possible.”
HERE, provider of navigation products and futuristic mapping, showed how it is providing BMW, NIVIDIA, Continental and Nokia Networks with a “location” cloud. As stated on its website, "We combine highly accurate and fresh maps with cloud technology to enable rich, real-time location experiences in a broad range of connected devices.”
Its technologies can make up a “mobility dashboard” that acts and looks like a gaming console, only smarter, giving you a guided tour of everything that is around you (literally, 360 degrees) in 3D grids. The dashboard can tell you where to park, where to eat, and how to avoid upcoming traffic. The concept is similar to Google Glass, only the glasses are on your car. BMW calls it its new “Intelligent Drive” in-car unit, ready to be synched up with apps for phones, TV and smartwatches. To learn about more futuristic mapping in your car, visit http://360.here.com.
Movimento: The company offers hardware and software products that allow OEMS to connect with your farm vehicles. This category of connectivity is called “vehicle knowledge management,” which allows for remote data transfers using “automated over-the-air” (OTA) technology. Vehicle knowledge management will let your dealer provide software updates, diagnostics, and servicing wirelessly. To learn more about what dealers are up to, visit Movimento’s website.
Valeo: This automotive supplier makes products that allow for what it calls “intuitive driving.” Its website is a must-see, as it takes you through a tour of the technology that is already inside your car. Examples include the “smart faceplate,” hands-free access and start system, guided parking and maneuvering and start-stop idling. You also can get a look at what’s next. How about wearable watches that can open car doors, monitor fuel and guide you to your car.
With the IoT coming to cars, you’ll never have to worry about losing your keys. They’re already on you.
Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to Farm Industry News Now e-newsletter to get the latest news and more straight to your inbox twice weekly.