back to article Satnav-murdering Google slips its Maps into car dashboards

Hyundai and Kia will be dropping Google Maps into dashboards of their US models, demonstrating the integration next week. The cars will hit the showrooms next year. Google Maps and Google Places will find space in the 2014 Sorento CUV from Kia while Hyundai will integrate the apps into its Blue Link platform used across the …

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Re: Data Cost

Twin sims ARE available, even for mere "consumers" (Well they are in norway) . . For work I have a phone and tablet with twinned sims, one for calls/sms/data the other is a pure data sim, but twinned to same contract and data allowance. So it doesn't matter if I decide to leave the tablet in the van and log a calls details on the phone. I can on my private phone contract get a twin sim for a tablet/3G or 4G dongle with a nominal cost for the sim itself, then fully shared data allowances.

Never come near the 8GB/month limit on my own tablet . .

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Facepalm

How would this work?

Wouldn't you have to have maps where both names and roads match the real world? Google maps are all wrong in my area, which is quite mountainous. You'd get stuck, go to the wrong place, or get killed trying to go places where terrestrial vehicles land too fast.

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Happy

Re: How would this work?

Well, drivers could perhaps engage common sense?

If my phone satnav directs me somewhere I don't think it wise to go, then I ignore it. Rerouting usually sorts things out, but failing that I'm no worse off than I was in the days before satnav, having to buy a map, follow signs, ask directions, or in the absence of all the aforementioned trust my own judgement. Even if you've got a good hard copy map, in remote areas there's a modest degree of skill in using it well.

And failing all that, if somebody is daft enough to drive off a cliff then they should be encouraged to do so.

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Unhappy

Re: How would this work?

Sadly (and due to a lack cliffs) this rarely happens, what does more likely happen is that the satnav says "turn left in 100yrds" and the said 'driver' will turn left at the next opening in the hedge...... then wonder why the road is all bumpy and potholed and then what the 3 bright lights are coming towards him at 125mph.......

Just a shame that such stupidity is likely to take out other innocent people....

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FAIL

Privacy issues

A lot of the places I go don't have cell phone coverage so I can't be tracked there without GPS. You sound like google. No privacy concern because you have already given it up.

Epic Fail for El Reg

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Re: Privacy issues

Er.. if you don't have cell coverage, how do you think you'd be tracked by GPS? It's not a two link you know..

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Re: Privacy issues

The phone could log where you have been using GPS

Then later upload that data to correlate with any sheep rustling in deepest darkest Wales

Only ovinephile terrorist criminals could possibly oppose this sensible legislation - T May.

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Re: Privacy issues

" The phone could log where you have been using GPS

Then later upload that data to correlate with any sheep rustling in deepest darkest Wales"

Lucky the concept of a smartphone that logs the user's location to a file that can be later downloaded is just science fiction.

http://petewarden.github.com/iPhoneTracker/

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Hmmm. Android!

Probably wont be long before car manufacturers are building Android tablets into the Dashboard and the rear of the front seats.

The driver could have sat nav running on the tablet in front of them, the front passanger could be browsing the internet, shopping or controlling what streaming video the kids in the back are watching on their tablets. The kids could be either watching streaming media (from a local source e.g. usb stick) or playing games.

Put a USB port somewhere so you could plug in your external HD or USB stick that contains your media for streaming. Build in Wireless connctivity so that the system can connect to your home network (or free open networks) to update apps and data.

There needn't be worries about 3g usage/costs as the google maps and data for your chosen country (or countries) could be pre loaded in the car and only updated when connected to a suitable wireless network.

Considering how cheap android tablets are these days then it should not add more than couple of hundred quid to the car price.

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Meh

Re: Hmmm. Android!

Build in tablets? Nope, slave touch displays. Almost half the cost of a tablet is full capability baseband processor, memory, batter & power management and the transmission capability. Looking at Nexus 7 tear down estimates, you could have a slave touchscreen for around $100, say one in front, two in the back, $300 total, around the £200 you suggest. Use the mobe as the network connection (and possibly the GPS chip), and you've no need for a new contract, you;ve got phone, contacts, music all to hand, and back seat passengers can stream media, or use the web for difficult questions like "are we there yet?"

Of course, the cost and the tech aren't the problem. The problem is the dinosaurs of the motor industry, still trying to charge £1000 for a built in satnav. If this is built in as standard it could work, but as an option the asking price would be about £4k because of the industry approach to options.

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Re: Hmmm. Android!

>Considering how cheap android tablets are these days then it should not add more than couple of hundred quid to >the car price.

That might be optomistic! Ford (UK) currently charge £250 for a sodding DAB radio to be fitted as an extra, for example. A tablet-based "entertainment package" is likely to much more. Still, there is little in what you have outlined that can't be achieved by the car-owner themselves, or by an independent car stereo installer if you really want a neat job of it.

Still, on the plus side, hopefully enough cars will come to have 3G/4G / Wi-Fi to make DAB redundant.

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Linux

Re: Hmmm. Android!

That was "more or less" there ten years ago, if you had the money.

http://www.linuxfordevices.com/c/a/News/Linux-powers-first-car-with-integrated-UMTS-services/

"It has two flip-up 15-inch TFT monitors recessed into the seat backs".

It takes time before stuff like that reach production cars.

What I cannot believe is that a navigation system would completely stop working if the internet connection stopped working.

The cost of having an internet connection in my car would worry me less if I could afford a new car, no worry so to say. Time will tell how this will succeed (3d television!).

Also I wonder how not paying for your connection will affect your car.

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@ Lars

Quote: "What I cannot believe is that a navigation system would completely stop working if the internet connection stopped working.".

It doesn't, the current version pre-caches the maps data as soon as you select a destination, with a few miles either side of the route just in case you go off course for some reason.

I would assume that they may be tweaking the apps in readiness for integrated car use anyway, for example an option to pre-cache all your local state/county/country data, which just updates periodically when it gets a data connection.

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Re: Hmmm. Android!

@ Dave 126: "there is little in what you have outlined that can't be achieved by the car-owner themselves"

Quite true. It's something I've been considering for a while. Not to use as a Sat-Nav as I have a perfectly good TomTom for that but for an incar entertainment system for the kids on long journeys.

Currently playing with an old Android phone with the aim of setting it up as an wireless AP and DLNA server.

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Re: Hmmm. Android!

Android can't come to cars soon enough. The present generation of in-car computers suffers from the fact that every motor company seems to have decided to write its own software, a task for which they have neither the talent nor the resources. It's like the early years of mobile phones, or personal computers.

Perhaps I've been unlucky, but all the in-car computers I've used have dreadful UX: deep menus, hidden options, stupid defaults that you can't change. In my current car, the media player uses such a big clunky font that the titles are usually truncated. even though the names displayed on the satnav map show that it's quite capable of higher definition.

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Re: Hmmm. Android!

>incar entertainment system for the kids on long journeys.

@Simon Round

Hmm, wonder if the tablet's accelerometers can be used to augment the video, so as to reduce the car sickness that can result if the brain receives different clues from the eyes and inner-ears! Kinda like the Optical Image Stabilisation used in cameras, but applied to output image instead of a sensor.

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Re: Hmmm. Android!

Nice plan, but wouldn't work in the UK where the "fair use policy" would kick in half an hour after bringing home a new car which decides to try to download google maps data for that small area known as "Europe" including ALL streetview images it thinks you "might" need one day. . . On the other hand unlocking this system could be fun with kids in the back editing the satnav destination from "Grannys house" to "Alton Towers" or similar. . . . .

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MrT
Bronze badge

Couple of things spring to mind...

Will they provide a phone dock/charging kit for those cases where the phone nav is mirrored onto the car (it's not just LR thinking about this either)?

Will they please change the awful synthesised voice guidance? Regardless of who provides the nav, if the system talks like a stilted robot it won't add to the quality feel of a Range Rover, let alone anything reasonably affordable. I'll take my old Becker any day over Google Maps/Navigation on my SG3 - it even says "Please" when giving directions, which must be novel for a German unit ;-)

They'll also need to think how they can build back in stuff that most sat navs include but Google doesn't. Custom displays would be nice, day/night mode, driving information as opposed to simple navigation. I use mine more for speed based on sat nav system, since swapping wheels for winter alters my actual car speedo gearing slightly.

If they're on about integration of drivers' handsets, why not go further and embed bluetooth OBD and the excellent Torque app? Or at least be able to mirror that info onto the car display as well...

Again IIRC from reading the latest issue of Top Gear, there's one manufacturer thinking of having the car security system tied to the driver's mobile phone - are these things going a bit too far?

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Coat

Re: Couple of things spring to mind...

Will they please change the awful synthesised voice guidance?

I always use a woman's voice. Easier to ignore :)

(I'll go and hide now)

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Anonymous Coward

"There is a question as to the value of dashboard satnav these days, when the aforementioned smartphone is so capable. Buy a new Land Rover and the dashboard-embedded screen will echo one's smartphone (as long as it's not an iPhone), making car-based satnav redundant."

Are you so retarded that you are incapable of grasping the fact that someone with an iPhone can install google maps, or a host of third party sat nav systems? You could buy tomtom, install google maps or a host of other options.

The fucking google app even has as it's listed features "Get Voice guided, turn by turn driving directions"

Christ.

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Pint

Good

Buy a new Land Rover and the dashboard-embedded screen will echo one's smartphone (as long as it's not an iPhone)

Now that makes a refreshing change to hear that someone has looked at device sales rather than just asking some drone somewhere what is the iShiniest!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good

Won't be buying a Land Rover then. Seems crazy not to support iOS / iPhone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good

You probably need to buy a Range Rover for iDevice compatability!

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And you think downloading the google maps app will magically enble the screen cloning that the Land Rover's dash has to work on the iPhone?

You seem to be mistaking "will echo one's smartphone (as long as it's not an iPhone)" with "apple's maps are terrible.

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Anonymous Coward

Oldie

You know, there are times when I'm glad I'm getting old. The future looks increasingly awful as the Big Brother state advances. I do pity the younger generations.

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Linux

Integrated satnavs are way better

Because they still work very well with no GPS signals. The GPS antenna on my car died but the satnav still worked perfectly. It uses the compass to know which way its pointing, reads the speedo and figures out very nicely where you are. I had no GPS signal for 6 weeks but the satnav was still spot on.

The other big plus point is you don't have have a stupid lump stuck to your windscreen obstructing your view and 50 miles of cable running off to a fag socket.

The down side is they add obscene costs to the price of a car.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Integrated satnavs are way better

You used a satnav for 6 weeks without any GPS signal whatever using just a digital compass and a speedo?

That is the most ridiculous thing I've heard - it's impossible. Even a 0.1mph difference or 1 degree compass bearing out would mean that the unit becomes disoriented after just a few miles. With no GPS is could never re-correct itself. The errors would end up cumulating to showing you as driving in Bangalore in 6 weeks.

What a cretin.

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Re: Integrated satnavs are way better

>What a cretin.

If the inertial (or whatever you call wheel speed differential etc) system is used in conjunction with built-in maps, cumulative errors can be drastically reduced.

And he didn't say 'just a speedo'; the car's CAN bus will happily tell any module information about each wheel.

His point that a GPS navigation system integrated with the cars drivetrain control can be superior to a plain GPS unit still stands... at the very simplest, the car will already know where it is when started up, allowing a quicker fix on satellites (as long as you haven't been towed, washed down the river etc)

Even without this smartness, Honda (or was it Toyota?) made a intertial navigation system in the eighties, using a microfiche-like system for map storage.

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Anonymous Coward

@Dave 126 Re: Integrated satnavs are way better

Are you seriously trying to defend this?

1) this is an inbuilt car sat-nav. It doesn't take readings from the CAN-bus (or any part of the OBD). It's a GPS it doesn't need to

2) What information does OBD say about 'any wheel', tyre pressure maybe, ABS and traction control? so what? What it doesn't tell you is the rotational speed of a wheel.

3) How will a car know where it is when it starts up - only if it knew where it was when it stopped, which it doesn't?

4) Satnav units built into a car don't have digital compasses, they use GPS to provide direction information.

5) Cumulative errors can't be reduced - unless you constantly tell the sat nav where you are (provide a point of reference manually). You don't enter a current location on any sat-nav - it knows where you are, it's a GPS!

6) A few companies tried to make a basic navigation system that worked a little like a tachograph. They didn't work. With GPS and SA turned on they used some speed and turning information but they didn't work very well either.

7) Do you really think that a SatNav manufacturer is going to spend 80% of their R&D budget trying to figure out a way of making the satnav work if the GPS receiver stops working by connecting in to compasses, wheel speeds, odometers, tyre pressure sensors?

8) You really think you can go for 6 weeks with a satnav using even the most amazing technology to read car sensors and still get any semblance of an accurate location?

Dave, with your silver badge come responsibility, use it wisely - this is a tech site not a youtube comments board.

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Integrated satnavs

"car manufacturers are just as keen to become providers of ongoing services (at ongoing cost) as everyone else."

I've noticed more cars with Integrated satnavs AND regular satnavs lately. The couple people I talked to said the map update cost more then a new satnav with life time maps, and the built in one was not very good to start with.

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I want a car with a built in dock for my Nexus 7.

There is no reason the in car audio couldn't be set up to use the Nexus as it's control/display unit. I can then either tether the Nexus to my phone and use Google Maps or use the 'no data required' TomTom software.

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Audi already has this

Current Audis already offer Google Maps/Places navigation with a cellular link. If you don't have cellular service then it defaults to the built-in maps. With the data connection, you get Google satellite and street view on the display. It works very nicely, and is much easier to control than using a smartphone would be (plus the display is bigger and turn information is presented in front of the driver.)

What I don't know yet is how the built-in maps get updated. The dealer didn't know last I asked.

I have a high-end Garmin Nuvi but would rather use the Audi/Google navigation.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Audi already has this

Hmm - thanks for the tip. Given that Audi is German they will have to provide answers when I ask them to ensure my privacy, I do not want Google to track where I am, out of principle.

As for map updates of the built-in system, that happens via a USB socket somewhere (I think it's in the glove compartment).

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Bah!

Y'know, the thing about pre-portable shiny car controls was that they stayed in one place and were usually engineered to be where you expected them to be without the need to look for them while the car was in motion.

Now, car manufacturers vie with each other to put as much GUI crap in the center of the dash as possible, which offers the following exciting features:

Now you *have* to take your eyes off the road to do anything - like adjust your stereo.

Now the controls are never where you need them to be - right *there*, right now - without the need to activate the proper subscreen menu functionality applet and AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!

Lest you believe I'm overstating the danger this fucktarded design presents, the count of people driving into my property at more than the posted speed limit while seeking just the right amount of bass or trying to get the graphic equalizer to go away so the GPS will show up or trying to find the graphic equalizer screen now stands at four.

The use of center dash displays should be banned by law since the bloody car designers haven't got the sense God gave cowpats. The use of multi-purpose, context-sensitive controls in cars should be banned because people demonstrably cannot drive and think hard about anything else at the same time and they need to watch the road more, not less, dammit.

People don't multitask. They timeslice. You can be killed or have large swaths of your front garden destroyed if the wrong task fills the wrong timeslice when the road conditions change abruptly in your vicinity.

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Facepalm

Static nav GOOD, updated nav maybe bad...

My 2003 4Runner has a built-in nav unit. It always works, always the same way. I know it's not spying on me, and it never will. I don't risk a crash because a button moved in a flashy new UI update. It works in craggy mountains where internet service is lost. If I want services in the area, I have a Droid for that.

Most people buy cars for the long term, years. In contrast, Google et. al are constantly fiddling their services. Endless revamps of web pages and portals for most large businesses. What makes anyone think they won't do it to the car units? At best, you'll have to relearn the UI. At worst, they'll push out new invasions of our privacy. Google, Faceborg and others are constantly pushing self-serving 'features' that victimize their users

While updates can provide 'better service', they also provide a way to screw with a very captive audience. You can change your web browser easily, your phone for a couple hundred... buying a new car not so cheap.

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Anonymous Coward

"The cars will hit the showrooms next year."

and then be recalled to get the brakes fixed.

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Gold badge

What we really need is an API into the car sensors

Personally, the biggest issue I have with a built-in GPS is that it robs me of ANY choice to use the one I prefer. If someone thinks Google is better for them and they're not bothered about the privacy violations, fair enough. If someone else wants to use TomTom or Garmin that should be possible too, but you don't have that choice with any car manufacturer, an issue that until a few years ago was a real problem for Volvo users because that system was so useless it could have been designed by the architects of Unity or TIKFAM.

The main reason why you want an in-car GPS is because it also picks up from wheel sensors, which combines with a magnetic compass to continue guidance, even if you are out of range of satellites (for instance in tunnels), and if that data was part of some sort of Bluetooth exchange protocol it would give anyone a choice of what to use, and make smartphone GPS as good as its in-car equivalent (or possibly better as it can pick up live traffic data).

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Re: What we really need is an API into the car sensors

Try some searches around "CAN bus wheel speed"....

http://www.eng.auburn.edu/users/brodedj/7970/WheelSpeed.pdf

to get you started. Also, it is discussed on a few sites.

Hard n softwares may be here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAN_bus_monitor

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WTF?

Hmm two way data connection... distance and time reported back in timeslices of one second.

Before stepping through the door at work, your credit card has been debited to pay for your speeding violations.

Sod this. I'm off.

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