Wednesday, 7 March 2012

 Set to debut at the 82nd annual Geneva Motor Show is a new personalized dashboard powered entirely by one’s smartphone. The technology, referred to as “Dock+Go,” is a joint effort between Harman, which designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment products, and automaker Rinspeed.
Dock+Go, combines advanced smartphone integration technologies, Harman’s cloud-based “Aha” platform, and flexible human-machine interface (HMI) design to deliver digital content into the car in an intuitive, easy-to-use way that doesn’t compromise safety.
How it works
Basically, the technology uses the driver’s smartphone to store preferences regarding personalized content. As soon as the driver enters the vehicle, the vehicle connects with the driver’s smartphone and uses NFC (near field communication) to recognize saved preferences like seat position, favorite music and sound settings, preferred HMI visualizations like e-mails, contacts, and calendar entries, as well as Facebook and Twitter account feeds.
The technology works with all mobile operating systems, including Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, and Blackberry.
Here’s a more thorough breakdown of some of the things this technology can do:
Intelligent navigation
The navigation system “learns” by monitoring the driver, specifically, his or her operation characteristics (speed, braking habits, etc.), preferred routes, and general interactions with the system. Based on this data, the HMI display will adjust to the driver’s preferred settings like, say, changing the display’s zoom factor between intersection mode and regular view.
The system can detect driver alertness through sensors that measure steering wheel movements, voice resonance, and braking and accelerating behavior. Based on this data, the system will propose less risky routes or even suggest that the driver stop for a rest.
The HMI combines location, telemetry, and personalized user data to offer optimal route-relevant information like traffic congestion avoidance, nearby fuel stations, and weather information. It also includes convenient functions like cashless payment for toll highways or other automated systems.
Staying connected — safely
Voice control allows the driver to access specific services such as read-aloud function for e-mails or social media feeds on Facebook and Twitter. There’s also gesture control, where basic functions can be performed with a wave of the hand, to allow the driver to instruct the system without having to adjust buttons, dials, or touchscreens.
Integrated office solution software allows standard documents and emails to be viewed and managed, too, effectively transforming one’s (parked) car into a mobile workplace.
Enjoyable parking?
There’s a parking search function to help the driver find and book free parking spots. Backing into a spot is also much easier because the technology includes a 3D surround view system, providing the driver a virtual model of the surroundings.
If the parking place is a bit off the beaten track, the route to the final destination can be transferred to the driver’s smartphone to help with orientation outside the vehicle (great if you’ve ever tried to find parking in a city).
You’ll never be bored on your work commute again
Harman’s “Aha” platform delivers user-friendly access to tons of multimedia content, including audio books, music services, location based services, and more. Drivers can choose from an array of themes and filter content to match their preferences and create highly personalized presets.
The platform also supplies the driver with up-to-date offers and information on the local area that he or she is traveling through, like vouchers and coupons that can be redeemed in restaurants or stores en route.
Outlook
While the system’s interface will be showcased in the Rinspeed Dock+Go mobility concept car, the technology is commercially viable today and available to all automakers.

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