How the Connected Car will change the Used Car Market

One of the things that the emerging world of big data will make possible is to know detailed history on everything. This will have profound impacts on selling ‘pre-loved’ items in general and used cars in particular. With the US used car market valued at around $400bn annually, this is worth noting.

Today, the used car market is – naturally – keen to know the history of the car. However, the way in which this is communicated is still quite limited: in some places a log book containing service history is the norm, other more sophisticated variants include carfax, which tracks odometer readings and reported crashes or, for example, the national database in Sweden which makes information on a car’s annual inspection available. While these do capture some key points in the story of the car, obviously having the full story rather than a set of snapshots can give a more comprehensive view.

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Control of the In Car experience using SmartDeviceLink

SmartDeviceLink (SDL) is mobile-auto interaction technology which was originally devised by Ford (as an evolution of Applink) but is currently being developed under the auspices of the GENIVI alliance. This is a very interesting technology in the mobile-auto interaction space and we decided to check it out in Carmesh.

While details relating to the technology itself are somewhat in flux and the subject of the discussions within the GENIVI alliance, the basic ideas are reasonably clear. Essentially, SDL comprises of a set of standardized messages which can enable the car and the mobile to exchange state and control information. For example, it’s possible for the mobile to display specific text or images on the car dashboard, control audio playout on the car’s sound system and receive notifications when buttons on the steering wheel are pressed; in future, it should be possible to send specific Points Of Interest from the phone to the car’s navigation system amongst other things.

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Tizen IVI – a breakthrough in on-board units?

Last year, after some years of development, Intel and Samsung announced Tizen OS – an open platform designed to work with a broad spectrum of devices ranging from smartphones to PCs to tablets to in-car systems and TVs. Here, we focus on Tizen IVI, (for In-vehicle infotainment) as it relates to the development work in carmesh.

The Tizen IVI architecture design is driven by requirements coming from automotive industry and via the GENIVI Alliance. Some of the biggest auto makers including BMW, GM, Jaguar Land Rover, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Renault, SAIC Motor have already expressed interest in the platform as open solutions offer much potential in the automotive space.

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Carmesh Implementation Stories (#2): Controlling Android application from Javascript

While working on the first version of carmesh Android application I had some issues with co-ordination between the app and an embedded Webview browser. The issues manifested in an authentication process which had to run in an embedded browser before handing control back to the application.

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Carmesh presents at GDG Dublin

Yesterday I had an opportunity to present Carmesh implementation work and project vision on Connected Car to valuable technical audience at Google Developers Group in Dublin. I also had a chance to listen to two presentations and engage further discussions.

Google Developers Groups are worldwide communities which are interested in technologies provided by Google and ways to leverage them, but in most cases are not Google workers (Googlers). It was my first presentation to such large audience from industry and I find it very valuable.

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The Connected Car: A great space for online advertisers

While searching for information on possible services/apps future drivers would really enjoy getting while in their car, I came across this interesting market research report from Arbitron. The findings are based on a broad-based survey with a total of 1,858 peoples interviewed in the US.  The sample is large enough to reveal some general trends, despite the fact that it not clear whether the sample is representative of drivers distribution across US – some findings do suggest that the sample is heavily concentrated in sub-urban areas where driving is King!

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Heavyweights place their bets in the Connected Car space

The Connected Car space has seen two big announcements in as many days from the biggest names in the IT sector. On Monday, Apple announced iOS in the Car and yesterday Google confirmed the purchase of Waze. Here, we provide some analysis of what this means for the Connected Car.

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Enabling VoIP in Wireless Mesh Networks

The digital services that can be provisioned to the car are many and diverse. Let’s imagine a driver (and passengers) of a car connected to the Internet. Every move of the car is fed back to Internet services such as Yelp, Opentable, GMaps, GoCallendar, etc making received services ever more relevant and frictionless. Clearly, the use-case possibilities are endless and the most important are captured in a previous post. In Carmesh, we believe that VoIP services will have a reasonable future in the car. Besides the traditional VoIP chat services (e.g., Skype, Hangout, etc), there are a plethora of services that could be built around tourisms. An example here is a city guided tours service, where a user receives a voice description of landmarks and point of interests depending on its location and driving direction. It is easy to imagine other rich content that can come with the voice such as detailed maps, videos for in-depth coverage of landmarks, reviews, etc.

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Experimenting with Google Play Services – Activity Recognition

At Google IO this year, Google announced a new Activity Recognition capability for Android as part of the new Google Play services. It is realized as an API which relies on low-power sensors and a machine learning classifier to track users’ activities. We did a little bit of experimentation to test this API to learn how accurate it is and how it can be exploited in the field.

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Location Based Services: Evolution, Future, and Their Vehicular Destiny

Location based services (LBS) are increasingly an essential part of our digital lives. What started as an add-on to help improve Internet services has today become an intrinsic aspect to the delivery of very many services, especially in the mobile context. For example, mobile apps are increasingly using the users’ location to deliver services such as weather, transportation info, traffic, shopping, and many more.

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