Mercedes working on 'highly sophisticated head-unit based solution'
Two of the core automakers supporting Apple's CarPlay -- Volvo and Mercedes-Benz -- have both confirmed that they won't have vehicles with the technology in 2014, despite earlier promises. "As of now, we do not support CarPlay in our series production cars," the latter party says. "We are working on a highly sophisticated head-unit based solution, which will enable CarPlay as well as other systems (e.g. MirrorLink) … we are not quite sure if we will feature an aftermarket solution. CarPlay won't be available by the end of this year, but in 2015."
Volvo suggests retrofits unlikely
Ferrari will not be retrofitting any of its existing cars to support CarPlay, the company states. "The new system CarPlay is available only on new range cars and cannot be installed on older ones," a representative says. The company is instead pointing people to an aftermarket product it offers that provides "last generation infotainment" compatible with modern phones.
Tech to be supported in Volvo vehicles with Scalable Product Architecture
Carmaker Volvo has published a new promotional video (below), demonstrating how Apple's CarPlay will be integrated into its future car models. Seven apps are shown, including Phone, Music, Maps, Messages, Now Playing, Podcasts, and Spotify. In related press material Volvo notes that integration will be reserved for vehicles supporting its new Scalable Product Architecture, beginning with the XC90 SUV.
TP-Link now shipping Wireless Range Extender Kit PowerLine Edition
Networking products company TP-Link is now shipping its TL-WPA4220KIT, a wireless range extender kit which uses Powerline and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi technology. Capable of providing network coverage anywhere up to 1000 feet measured by electrical circuitry, the new wireless extender is ideal for multi-level home and large offices. The kit includes two Powerline adapters, of which one connects to the router and feeds network connection through existing electrical circuitry at 500Mbps, and the latter broadcasts that connection as a 300Mbps Wi-Fi signal while providing two fast Ethernet ports for concurrent wired connectivity. The TL-WPA4220KIT is priced at $60, and is available for purchase online.
Volvo, Euro government SARTRE project completes first public test
Swedish carmaker Volvo has successfully completed a 125-mile long highway drive in Spain that included three autonomous cars and one commercial truck. The vehicles were wirelessly linked and followed a lead vehicle driven by a professional driver. The first such public test was a success and Volvo believes it will let drivers relax during long commutes, partaking in activities such as working on notebook PCs or reading books.
ATT brings gaming wheel idea to car GPS
AT&T Labs has been conducting experiments that would bring the haptic (vibration) feedback of steering wheels for video games to the real-world in a practical sense. The new method (not yet pictured) would communicate GPS driving directions through vibrating the wheel in patterns, such as clockwise or counterclockwise, to indicate when the driver should turn. A group of 20 individual motors ring the wheel, making it more advanced than the limited points of a wheel for a PS3 or Xbox 360 gamer.
Volvo to bring out smartphone app for V60 hybrid
Volvo will show off its upcoming V60 plug-in hybrid due out in 2012 at the Geneva show. The diesel-engined station wagon will also sport an electric motor in its so-called Electric Rear Axle Drive (ERAD). To help users manage recharging for the ERAD system, an iPhone app will be launched alongside the car.
Volvo XC70 to use Sprint Overdrive, 500GB drive
Volvo at the Chicago Auto show this morning said it would give its XC70 crossover wagon a unique rear seat entertainment system. The RSEi-500 will be a full-fledged touchscreen computer based on Windows XP but will have its own custom interface for media navigation, including cover art and details for music and DVDs. It should also have an always-on Internet connection and will uniquely run on a Sprint Overdrive that can share a 3G or WiMAX connection over to both the RSEi-500 and to other devices in the car through Wi-Fi.