THE SHOP

March '18

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38 THE SHOP MARCH 2018 Their massive infotainment screen spans from A-pillar to A-pillar (or sea to shining sea, so to speak), with a supplemental dis- play built right into the steering wheel. The vehicle will monitor vital health statistics of the driver, including heart rate, weight and blood pressure. It certainly has the potential to lead to more healthy choices at the drive-through. Among those making massive screens possible is technology from Harman and new parent company Samsung. It is called Digital Cockpit, and it allows automakers to purchase a solution for infotainment custom-fit to their vehicles. Some of the screen technology uses OLED (Organic LED) displays to allow screens to bend or curve and not sit per- fectly flat. Vehicle designers can take advan- tage of these organic shapes. According to Harman, "The Digital Cockpit platform brings an entirely new generation of communication and ergo- nomics inside vehicles, allowing drivers to focus on the road ahead while intuitively and safely inter- acting with their in-car technology. This is made pos- sible through a projection mode for services and apps via a user's smartphone, allowing for increased personalization. A greater IoT ecosystem via cloud technology in the entry-level segment, as well as mid-/ high-level configurations, not only improves connectivity, but helps lower costs and overall vehicle weight." MAKING TODAY'S VEHICLES SAFER Brandmotion is no stranger to integrating innovative safety solutions into legacy vehicles, (those cars already on the road). CEO Jeff Varick, along with the former head of Car Toys sales division Jim Warren, have formed a new organization called Vision Zero Automotive Network. It was introduced at CES to promote car safety technology. It mirrors the Vision Zero government and municipal programs throughout the world to bring the number of traffic-related fatalities and injuries to zero. (See Jared Cohen's column in THE SHOP, December, 2017.) According to a study by the Boston Con- sulting Group, nearly 10,000 deaths could be prevented and more than $250 billion could be saved with greater use of driver assistance technologies. Xavier Mosquet, co-author of the study, states: "Because the vast majority of crashes in the United States are caused by driver error, the lack of adoption of these technologies within the U.S. fleet is a significant missed opportunity. This is especially true considering that ADAS technolo- gies also pave the way for partially and fully autonomous vehicles, which could further reduce crashes—and their cost to society—by 90 percent or more." It will be interesting to see the plans Vision Zero Automotive Network has in store to promote the integration of safety features on vehicles currently on the road. If promoted correctly, our aging vehicle fleet will become a prime opportunity for aftermarket retailers. CAR AUDIO & MORE Wireless Android Auto was the big announcement at CES for a few head unit manufacturers. This means the user can conveniently leave the phone in their pocket or purse and still take advantage of the content. Kenwood and Pioneer give support for Google Assistant—the tech giant's take on Alexa. Tony Mercado, Kenwood's mar- keting manager, notes: "Years ago, making better in-car entertainment was all about adding more features to our radios. Now, consumers determine their experience for the most part in how they curate and access content on their smartphones. Our goal is to extend that experience into the vehicle in a way that is accessible while driving, and expand on it with premium audio and visual components." Ted Cardenas, VP of Pioneer, said the company's future NEX multimedia receivers represent its next major implementation of smartphone connectivity. "Android Auto Wireless provides all the features and functionality of Android Auto with the added convenience and simplicity of a wireless connection," he explains. "Google Assistant, now on Android Auto, lets drivers keep their hands on the wheel and use voice actions to manage tasks while staying focused on the road." Two other head unit manufacturers— Soundstream and BOSS Audio—showed the first Amazon Alexa-enabled aftermarket in-dash receivers. The BOSS LXA5 features a 6.2-inch touchscreen that allows users to integrate Amazon's voice service connecting through Wi-Fi via the user's smartphone data connection. According to BOSS, users will have sim- ilar Alexa functionality in their cars as they 2018 CES REPORT Looking for a BIG dash screen? Byton has you covered. BOSS Audio showcased its Amazon Alexa- enabled aftermarket in-dash receivers. Driver assist technologies are expected to continue to make vehicles safer to operate. Harman's Digital Cockpit allows automakers to purchase a solution for infotainment custom-fit to their vehicles.

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