Visiting the Thinkware booth allowed us to discover an in-car DVR system, useful for capturing the moments of an unfortunate accident or for sight-seeing. Thinkware’s FXD-700 is a front device recorder that picks up images, speed and time and starts recording as soon as you start the car, with help of a motion sensor. All of it then saves to an SD card, in a format which can be used on all computers, and will continuously record for up to 8 hours, unless you would like to expand up to 32GB. The full 1080p HD camera sensor is also impressive, allowing up to 140 degrees of viewing and the rear-camera (which is optional) gives you 120 degrees. Thinkware also said that the device is simply powered off of the car battery, which gives you the ability to record while the car is off, in surveillance mode, and will shut off if the device is draining the battery. The product isn’t available in the US yet but Thinkware is looking to make that happen within a few months.
Delphi is currently working on a technology that will get rid of cords and clutter that exist in most vehicles on the roads today. How? Delphi’s Wireless Charging for consumer devices will be able to power all of your mobile electronic devices for you, without the need for plugs, adapters or cords. This allows not only a cleaner car, but a much safer car. We’ve seen wireless charging before, with standards such as Qi with Fulton Innovations, and Delphi is looking to improve upon the wireless charging distance that currently exists in some devices, in order to make almost the entire car a charging port. The best part is that Delphi’s Wireless Charging uses no cables or pads you need to stick onto a device and the charging rate is almost the same as what you get with a cord stuck into the wall at your house. The system will automatically engage once a device is in range so you never have to worry about telling the car when to charge your gadgets on the go.
Talking with Chrysler at CES this year inside of a 2013 Dodge Ram took us on a very cool journey. Chrysler Group introduced the Via Mobile package, which allows full Internet radio into your vehicle from your phone. AM/FM, HD Radio and SiriusXM are all included, as expected, except Chrysler will be the first to offer the fully merged and integrated SiriusXM lineup into their vehicles with exclusivity for a limited time. There is also a media hub available in the center console. A USB port, SD port, aux port, USB charge-only port and Bluetooth streaming all compliment the 8.5″ resistive touch screen that resides in the dashboard.
Enhancing the experience is a brand new navigation system that takes up the entire screen, complete with 3D models, pan-and-zoom, traffic (through SiriusXM). One cool, subtle feature that brings the entire nav together is called One-Step Destination Entry, where you can use your voice and give a command in one breath, such as “Navigate to (address).” You can also give the system points of interest, which commands such as “Find Nearest (name of place).”
Apps, with Buttons
What’s cool about the Apps Button is that all of your embedded apps, plus all of the apps from your phone, are displayed together through the dashboard screen, fully integrated using the Via Mobile package. Apps like iHeartRadio and more all connect to the dashboard, forcing the phone to turn off when the vehicle is in motion, which reduces distracted driving. Chrysler has partnered with Sprint as well and has embedded a 3G radio into their 2013 vehicles. With that, pressing the 911 button will take you immediately to a 911 dispatcher and not to a call center and queue. Better yet, it’s using Sprint’s integrated signal to make the call without tying up your cell phone line. Using the Assist app will display three different call centers: roadside assistance, uConnect to answer questions about your online account and smartphone app and the vehicle-specific call center to answer questions about problems you may have with your vehicle.
No announcements on timing, vehicle availability or pricing has been announced yet, but Chrysler said to stay tuned for news on that very soon.