Thursday, December 18, 2014


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Auto tech developers getting into the fast lane

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Albany/HV: Auto tech developers getting into the fast lane
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Looking back at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show, Adam Balkin looked at some of the most innovative in-car technologies for 2014.

While we wait for the car of the future to roll up or maybe even land in our driveways, what we all may not realize is that our cars, the ones we drive today, or at the very least ones that are in production, are already starting to morph into cars we might view as futuristic. BMW's i3 electric car, for example, will allow owners to communicate with even control some functions via Samsung's Galaxy Gear watch.

"You can see some status information about the car you can see the range, you can see the battery status, you can climatize it before your journey, send addresses to your car," says Anja Hage of BMW.

Some Mercedes will get similar functionality via the Pebble Smartwatch for locating the car, checking on gas, seeing if your doors are locked, controlling the radio. This spring though, via the in-car DriveStyle App, certain Mercedes Benzs will also be able to speak with those Nest smart thermostats. They speak with each other for you but leave you out of the conversation.

"I can actually initiate navigation to that structure, automatically in the background comparing my ETA with the time to temp of the thermostat. It knows exactly when to initiate heating or cooling so the moment I walk in the door at home it's exactly the temperature I want without wasting any time starting too early or too late," explains David Horton of Mercedes-Benz.

And finally, while most systems at CES are designed to help you do more in the car Cellcontrol is a system designed to do the exact opposite so that you can focus more of your attention on driving.

"We have the drive ID box that mounts behind the rearview mirror and it emits a signal into the cabin that naturally differentiates itself based on the physical position we then use the sensors on the smartphone to look at the differences and that signal and the smartphone can then know whether it's in the driver or passenger position," says Chad Kennedy of Cellcontrol.

It purposely takes a few seconds for a device to unlock on the passenger side, making it kind of a pain for the driver in order discourage him or her from just reaching over to the passenger side. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP