Connected Car Expo emerging as key side event to LA auto show

By RELAXNEWS | 17 November 2015

LOS ANGELES: Despite the Connected Car Expo being just three years old, it is fast becoming one of the most important events related to the future of personal mobility and the technology that will shape it. Running alongside the Los Angeles Auto Show, as it gets ready to welcome the public on Nov 17, the first innovations are already being unveiled.

OpenCar, a Seattle-based tech start-up will be showcasing InsideTrack, a potentially revolutionary end-to-end platform that will make it easy for any car company to offer its customers potentially any infotainment system app and to keep it seamlessly up to date via over the air updates.

"By empowering app developers to effectively create 'native' apps without knowing the details of each target vehicle, a true automotive app marketplace can flourish. And everyone - automakers, tier 1s, developers and consumers - will realise the benefit," said Jeff Payne, OpenCar's CEO.

The platform, the look and feel of which can be changed to suit specific car companies or their individual marques or ranges, has already attracted over 700 developers because of this commonality.

Taking things one step further is Bright Box, a European company that offers the full connected-car experience in a box. Once Remoto is fitted to a vehicle the owner will be able to control a host of functions remotely via an app such as locking and unlocking doors, activating the climate control, or alerting others in the event of an accident. The box also serves as a platform for car companies for tracking vehicle diagnostics and for collecting data in real time that can be used for developing improvements to future models or for building congestion and other types of predictive algorithms, for example.

Satellite navigation and GPS company Magellan has also given a sneak peek of what to expect from its stand on Tuesday. Among other innovations it will be demonstrating a navigation system specifically for off-roading enthusiasts that could be integrated into a new car's dashboard by the manufacturer as a factory feature.

Called the Magellan Off-Road Vehicle Navigation system it offers detailed 3D maps and over 44,000 trails plus the capability for the SUV driving community to create and upload better and improved routes. The system also supports social media for creating and sharing off-road adventures in real-time.

"Consumers now want to be connected wherever they go, and these solutions fill that need by making the connected car experience available to everyone on and off-road," said Stig Pedersen, associate vice president of product management for Magellan.