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A ‘Smartphone on wheels’ – the LTE Connected Car concept

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June 24, 2010

The LTE Connect Car concept is the result of collaboration between a number of companies

The LTE Connect Car concept is the result of collaboration between a number of companies

Ever thought of dumping the mortgage and living in the car? Well, it could soon be a more attractive proposition if the LTE Connected Car Concept is anything to go by. The prototype vehicle brings together ideas and technology from a range of companies to boast first-of-its-kind services and functionality including on-demand entertainment, infotainment, diagnostics, navigation and other mobile services made possible by connecting a vehicle to always-on, ultra-fast 4G/Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks.

The car comes out of the ng Connect Program conceived by Alcatel-Lucent, which brought together a number of infrastructure, device, application and content companies, including Atlantic Records, QNX Software Systems, Toyota Motor Sales, GameStreamer, chumby and Kabillion, and asked the question, “What happens if you connect a car to a high-speed network?” The result was a car based on the 2010 Toyota Prius that ng Connect calls a sophisticated, next-generation “smart” device on wheels.

The LTE Connected Car concept offers independently operated touchscreens that allow access to a menu of entertainment, infotainment, security and driving-related services including:

  • Video on demand (VOD) – previously recorded video content such as TV programs and movies can be streamed to the vehicle and new content can be rented or purchased in-car for immediate playback or pausing and finishing at home.
  • Gaming – multi-player games can be played against other passengers within the car, players in other cars or players anywhere in the world via the Internet.
  • Audio Library – as with video content, an endless audio catalog is accessible from the cloud.
  • Home Control – the car can connect to home automation and security systems to manage climate control systems and lighting or monitor home or business IP security cameras with streaming video feeds.
  • Wi-Fi hotspot – an in-car Wi-Fi network allows mobile devices to take advantage of the car’s high-speed connection.
  • Advanced Navigation – provides real-time GPS updates with point-of-interest overlay and integrated location-based services as well as real-time traffic, weather and road condition alerts.
  • Road and vehicle monitoring – as well as monitoring the car’s maintenance scheduling, security and theft protection the vehicle also acts as a sensor to collect information about the vehicle’s status, location and road conditions that can be shared with other drivers.

“With the introduction of the LTE Connected Car concept, the automobile is poised to become the latest mobile platform,” said Derek Kuhn, Vice President for Emerging Technology and Media, Alcatel-Lucent, an ng Connect founding member. “Information, entertainment content and essential data such as traffic updates and the location of preferred retail outlets or service centers can be easily accessed through the use of high bandwidth connectivity, cloud-based interactive applications and the next generation of innovative in-car computing platforms.”

The ng Connect program participants say the LTE Connected Car concept also represents a new potential revenue opportunity for network operators, automotive suppliers and application providers who can create new services that make use of information such as subscriber location, preferences and other relevant information. However, the companies stress that such information is made available in a safe and secure way that protects the privacy of individual subscribers.

The LTE Connected Car concept was displayed in the "Experience Canada" pavilion at the International Media Center for the G-8 and G-20 Summits.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
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3 Comments

So basically they are putting all this technology just to have video games and navigation and movies. Couldn't you do all of this with the iPad docked to the car?

bio-power jeff
25th June, 2010 @ 01:32 am PDT

To true bio-power jeff...not really that new for some

I have such a system for my caravan: VOIP phone (with fixed landline number just for the camper!) over 3G enabled router, with QNAP NAS for media storage (that connects to the home network whilst at home, also used as backup) with playback via a PS3 via the 30" HD in the caravan, or 12" in the tow vehicle. This setup already offers on demand video directly from the NAS or indirectly via downloads managed by the NAS, either using 3G or local wifi and of course excellent quality and online gameplay via the PS3. (only downside atm is changing the PS3 games whilst driving!) The caravans IP cameras (including one for reversing) and attached navigation pc running real time tracking google earth can all be accessed via the same network from anywhere via the internet. (ie friends and relis at home can track and watch us driving down the highway in real time) Plus you can upload pics to facebook etc or share via the local NAS webpage.... You can even watch cable TV via the internet via PSP remote play or Network enabled HD TV tuner/streamer at home.... BTW the caravan is PLC controlled as is the house, even the inverter/charger in the camper is web enabled...I'm just glad they invented passwords, and that my wife knows how to drive....that way I get to play with all the toys whilst we cruise across the Nullabor!

jeffbloggs
28th June, 2010 @ 01:44 am PDT

@Bio-power Jeff and Jeffbloggs

Sure, you can bring outside media equipment into a car. But they're not integrated into the vehicle. Modern telematics systems (including NG Connect) are integration with the automobile's own electronics systems.

The media and infotainment systems can also be setup to mitigate driver distraction with measures like voice activation, a direction the LTE Connected Car is taking with new parter IMS.

I got to sit inside the LTE Connected Car recently and wrote about it in my telematics blog.

LTE Connected Car

http://www.myconnectedcar.com/telematics/inside-the-lte-connected-car/

(I linked to this post in mine)

So, basically you'd need five i-Pads docked in your vehicle, networked together with a separate LAN, one of them plugged onto the car's ODB2 port with a custom app to monitor internal systems.

Then you'd be closer to the NG Connect car without the same content licensing.

Wayde Robson
30th June, 2010 @ 05:46 am PDT
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