A car.

The Digital Car Journal

A weblog about computers in cars
by Will Fitzgerald
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This journal now has its own domain name: http://thedigitalcar.com.

URL for this day Tuesday, February 27, 2001

WirelessCar Raises $11.1 Million Second Round. Wireless Car is the joint telematics venture created by Ericsson, Telia, and Volvo.

URL for this day Friday, February 23, 2001

Ford And Vodafone Launch New European Telematics Partnership.

We are delighted that the Focus is the first European Ford to be available with telematic technology, [David Thursfield, President and CEO, Ford of Europe] added, but we anticipate that within five years nearly all new Ford vehicles will be fitted with some type of telematics system.

Fonix(R) Optimizes Automatic Speech Recognition Engine for the New Intel(R) XScale(TM) Microarchitecture (PR newswire).

Fonix(R) Corporation (OTC Bulletin Board: FONX) today announced at the 3GSM World Congress the development of an optimized port of their Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) Engine for the new Intel(R) XScale(TM) microarchitecture and the Intel(R) Integrated Performance Primitives (IPP). This version will deliver top-quality speech recognition capabilities to mobile wireless devices including PDAs, smart phones, and automobiles.

Belgium's ACUNIA to Open Detroit Operations (PR newswire). Acunia was previously SmartMove, and they demonstrated their Java-based Open Telematics Framework at Convergence 2000 (AutoPressPoint news release).

John Wiseman went to the Chicago Auto Show, and took some pictures.

URL for this day Thursday, February 22, 2001

The Web, Without Wires, Wherever (NY Times).

"At the same moment you're filling up your gas tank, why wouldn't you fill up your in-box?" said Mark Goode, chief executive of MobileStar, a leader in the field.

Code Alarm recently announced alliances to deliver web-based telematics with @Road, to deliver navigation, concierge and emergency services with the Auto Club of America. The Auto Club alliance is particularly interesting--is anyone else aligning with user groups to provide telematics services?

Yes, I guess so--AAA announced a telematics company called Response Services Center LLC in April, 2000. Looking at the web site, though, I'm confused. It says "Our customers are business clients, not end users", which indicates they AAA members are not their clientele.

URL for this day Wednesday, February 21, 2001

What is Microsoft's Smart Phone platform, referenced in this Fonix press release? From that release:

The Microsoft Smart Phone platform, currently code-named Stinger, is the software that powers a new generation of color mobile phones with advanced mobile Internet and personal information management (PIM) functionality. Stinger sets a new standard for smart phone size and functionality, designed specifically to take advantage of 2.5 and 3G broadband wireless networks and enable a wealth of services such as secure corporate and web access, email, and up-to-date PIM.

Siemens press release on technology debuts at SAE congress: Tire Monitoring System (TMS), Closure Force Limitation (CFL) Anti-Pinch Motor Technology, The Passive Start/Entry (PASE) System, Fingerprint Identification, and Other Capitalized Technology Marvels, including Quick Scout(R) PDA, personal digital assistant (PDA)-based portable Telematics system.

URL
 for this day Tuesday, February 20, 2001

Adeca's Centro de Servicos Telematicos has a pretty useless telematics site--all Flash, no content.

Transcript from The American Driver, about Siemens technology for using PDAs like Palm Pilots as navigation systems.

URL
 for this day Monday, February 19, 2001

Eyeforauto.com is having another telematics meeting, this time in Detroit on May 15-16 (Press release. Full program.).

Paul Green, a senior research scientist in the Human Factors Division of UM's Transportation Research Institute, does research that seems worthwhile to pay attention to. (He's on a panel on "driver distraction and assistance" at the Eyeforauto telematics conference, and, I think, the only panel member who isn't directly employed by the auto makers or suppliers).

URL
 for this day Friday, February 16, 2001

DaimlerChrysler pushes for open systems in telematics market at a media event to introduce "IT Cruiser" technology with Sun Microsystems:

Mark Moody, a Sun senior Java architect, said ... the auto industry should be responsible for setting standards, but within those standards, cars should function almost as generic devices, able to link to a large number of service providers in a reliable and stable way.

Indicast, a "voice portal" company, has licensed Fonix's Faast Text-to-speech engine for use in Indicast's individualized news service. Apparently, Indicast has its own patented natural language interface for voice portals.

ATT's DARPA Communicator Project. "You can try our system at the toll-free number 1 877 289 8021." OK, I try it--a airplane reservation example. It doesn't recognize "Kalamazoo,"and when I try to fly out of Chicago, O'Hare, the system responds: "We experience technical problems. DMD is dead." Where do I send flowers?

URL
 for this day Thursday, February 15, 2001

eAutoWorld.com, taking place in Detroit on April 10-12, has a telematics track.

Fujitsu Europe press releases, including their new graphic display controller.

Oracle has a wireless product which they recently display at a "car of the future" track at their first "Appsworld Paris." This was a SMS (short messaging system) emergency notication application.

URL
 for this day Wednesday, February 14, 2001

Andrea Electronics Safe and Sound microphone array for in-car use, demonstrated at Convergence 2000 in October.

A speech and language research list, from the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Speech Technology Research.

URL
 for this day Tuesday, February 13, 2001

Another article about driver distraction while under the influence of telematics, from the San Francisco Chronicle.

URL
 for this day Monday, February 12, 2001

Delphi Enters Licensing Agreement With MLR, LCC To Strengthen Wireless Voice, Data Import Into Vehicle. (PR Newswire article).

MLR's patented technology covers basic protocols and circuitry for cellular data transmission and also covers more advanced omnimodal technology that affords automated access to wireless networks operating on different transmission protocols.

URL
 for this day Friday, February 9, 2001

TEMIC Speech Processing, a DaimlerChrysler company, which includes a cute demo of HMM speech processing. Their StarRec Car Speech Dialog System can be used in the OEM and aftermarkets. It has a memory that can store a vocabulary of about 300 words (data sheet in PDF format).

I/NET sets up shop in Chicago with Neodesic alumni. Michigan Craintech picks up the story of our recent office opening. I wish they had entitled the article "I/NET sets up shop in Chicago to build conversational interfaces."

Digitial Detoit is sponsoring a challenge to come up with a name for "high tech in southeastern Michigan." Today is the last day.

Interesting agenda (pdf) for the "First Microsoft European Automotive and Telematic Conference".

URL
 for this day Wednesday, February 7, 2001

Who is Voxpilot? They just received $2.5 million in first-round funding, according to VentureWire. One of the principals is Dr. Richard Reilly, of University College Dublin's Biomedical Engineering group. He's apparently interested in gesture and speech (his vita).

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 for this day Tuesday, February 6, 2001

I/NET Opens Chicago Office To Develop Conversational Interface Technology. This is us, of course.

Fujitsu and XSYS Develop MPEG-2 Encoder System For Prototype In-Car Digital Video System (PR Newswrire press release).

URL
 for this day Monday, February 5, 2001

Yet another introduction to VoiceXML and an older intro to intelligent user interfaces from AI.about.com.

URL
 for this day Friday, February 2, 2001

Friday links from EyeForAuto: A research article on the market for 'intelligent transport systems' (i.e., computers outside of cars for traffic control, toll collection, etc.) in post-financial-crisis Asia. Good interview with the VP for Product Development at Lear Electrical and Electronics Division, Michael J. Maloney, focussing on how component manufacturers like Lear can compete effectively in telematics. Interesting partnership between Ten Square and Sensoria to provide high-bandwidth "personalized digital content" (MP3's and videos, for example), to automobiles at gas stations.

URL
 for this day Thursday, February 1, 2001

Happy One Month Anniversary of the Digital Car Journal! Last month's entries can be found here.

Sun unveils Java for Linux appliances (IDG.net article).

The two components are J2ME CDC (connected device configuration), and a "foundation profile" for Linux, which is a set of APIs (application programming interfaces) for building applications that will run on networked devices, Sun said in a statement. The vendor hopes they will be used in future consumer electronics devices including advanced digital television set-top boxes and residential gateways which aim at improving home networking as well as in-car systems.
(Emphasis mine).
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