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Everyone from app developers to navigation companies to thought leaders are gathering today at the Connected Car Expo (CCE), part of the Los Angeles Auto Show, the first major auto show of the season. The expo precedes the LA Auto Show’s press and trade events at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Nov. 18-19, 2015. 

The CCE, now in its third year, has gathered quite a bit of momentum since its beginnings. “We used to be situated at the Los Angeles Convention Center, but we outgrew it,” Andy Gryc, conference director, CCE. The expo is now being held at the J.W. Marriot L.A. LIVE, the hotel and entertainment complex adjacent to the convention center. The move to the new location has afforded the expo 60,000 square feet of exhibit space and a presentation room with seating for up to 1,500 people.

“Car companies are here because of the auto show so this expo is a natural extension of that,” Gryc said. “We’re showing where the connected car is going and how the industry is evolving.”

Last evening, the CCE hosted a networking reception, but things officially kick off this morning with a welcome address by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti followed by an opening keynote by Lyft co-founder and president John Zimmer.

Not only is the event in a new location, but it’s also drawing a larger number of exhibitors who aren’t involved in manufacturing cars at all—they’re developing the software and services to go in them. The show is offering a diverse mix of more than 40 companies on the show floor.

For instance, OpenCar, an automotive software company, is involved in the development of the world’s first Connected Car ecosystem for automakers. High Mobility is making cars more responsive to a user’s presence. Its software allows cars to communicate with users via wearables. Remoto is a Connected Car platform that helps car owners to manage their cars—start their engine or open/close doors—remotely by Smartphone. HONK is an on-demand mobile app for tow, tire change, jump start, fuel and lock out services from more than 20,000 tow trucks nationwide.

But don’t expect the same old song and dance from the regulars who have booths at the expo. Magellan is showing both its Off-Road Vehicle and SmartGPS Eco connected car navigation. Magellan's Off-Road Vehicle navigation solutions deliver detailed 3D maps, over 44,000 vehicle trails and community generated trails, improved driver safety and a superior user experience. The SmartGPS Eco features the company's cloud platform that brings together automotive quality navigation and routing, content services, iOS and Android smartphone apps, and connected car platforms.

Hyundai is demonstrating its augmented reality owner’s manual app called Virtual Guide. The automaker said it is a “modern take” on the traditional owner’s manual that usually ends up gathering dust in the glove box. This version allows consumers to use their smartphone or tablet to get information on repairs, maintenance and vehicle features. The Hyundai Virtual Guide is compatible with the 2015 Sonata model, and will soon become available for additional models. 

Volvo Cars has something up its sleeve, but is waiting until opening day of the auto show to reveal what it has teased as its concept time machine. The automaker has been working on the concept for the last several years at its Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center in Camarillo, California.

“You won’t be able to go back in time and meet the legends of history, or go into the future and meet your kids,” Anders Tylman-Mikiewicz, General Manager of the Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center, said in a press release, “but when our planned concept is applied to a SPA based vehicle, it has the potential of giving significant time back to drivers.”

The conference program is also expected to be a highlight as it addresses hot-button topics like cyber-security, car sharing and autonomous vehicles, and features a diverse group of speakers from Google to Volkswagen.

 “We’ve taken a lesson from successful conferences and modeled our program after that. We’re going with a short format for our presentations,” said Gryc.

Another key component of the show is the Innovation Zone where the Top 10 start-ups are being recognized. “We’re taking a look at who the next Ubers and Googles are,” Gryc said.

Start-ups were chosen based on their potential to shape the future of the new automotive industry and make cars safer, more accessible and more exciting. The CCE Advisory Board chose the companies based on vision, innovation, unique perspective and the likelihood of technology adoption and success.

Each of the Top 10 are being recognized and have their solutions on display at the show. Among the Top 10 Automotive Startups are Capio, which is developing the next-generation speech recognition and natural language processing technologies that are redefining human computer interaction; Driversiti, which is a cloud-based, situational awareness technology company focused on enabling mobile devices to transform from driving distractors to driver assistance systems; and HopSkipDrive, a ride service for kids, founded by three experienced professionals who are also working moms.

Attendance is expected to be high. According to Gryc, the show could draw anywhere from 1,000 to 1,200 attendees which is both a good and not-so-good thing. “We may have outgrown this location before we expected, but I can’t say yet. We’ll just have to see how things go.”

For more information on the show, go to

Auto Connected Car News -- Openbay for the New York Auto Show, announced a new product called OpenbayConnect to supplement its web and mobile apps that send offers to customers who request car service. The service will work with either  OBDII connected devices or through on-board telematics services.

Opebay claims it is the first-of-its-kind system that hooks into vehicle diagnostics to determine what’s wrong with a car, who can fix it, and at what price. The OpenbayConnect receives information from OBDII port devices on cars. The service providers diagnosis the problems and then send bids via email. Openbay contends that the service eliminates the need to go to a mechanic to diagnose a check-engine light.

Openbay will also recommended solutions for owners to do such things as tighten the gas cap.

When a vehicle experiences a problem, if the issue warrants immediate service, the information will be sent local auto repair shop through Openbay. The shops receive the data and may respond with an offer with a binding price. Openbay also sends warnings to members of its service.

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Advanced Television -- David Frear, CFO at pay-radio operator SiriusXM, told the Bank of America Merrill Lynch media conference in New York that it was in the initial stages of a ‘Request For Proposals’ ahead of procuring two replacement XM satellites.

He told delegates that the two satellites were scheduled to launch in 2019 and 2020 and would take about three years to build.

“Our long-term operating constellation is five satellites. Two XM bands, two Sirius bands, and one spare to go to either side; and after the 2019 and 2020 launches, we will also have launches in ’23, ’25, and ’28.”

Frear added that each satellite would cost around $300 million to build, launch and insure.

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World Highways -- A new study shows that the risk level of a driver’s likelihood of a crash can be determined accurately. An independent study carried out by driver behaviour specialist CAS for Risk Technology shows that data collected by automotive telematics devices can accurately predict the likelihood of a motorist having a crash. CAS carried out its research with 1,291 drivers who were insured by a leading UK firm and had telematics devices installed in their vehicles. The study examined how driver behaviour affects the chance of a driver being involved in an incident and the potential to make an insurance claim.
CAS concluded that the Risk Technology driver scoring methodology provides a good prediction of a driver’s potential to be involved in crashes. It takes several key factors into consideration and analyses this information more accurately than other technology.
The study investigated the accuracy of five key indicators used by Risk to predict driver behaviour, including: speed of driving, braking force, acceleration speed, whether or not the drive is taking place on an urban road, and or whether it is day or night time.
This information was collected from each driver’s telematics device and compared against the cause of any crashes or damages recorded by the insurer. The main reasons recorded for accidents included a lack of hazard perception, poor basic steering skills, loss of control of the vehicle, and not maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles.
Different crash types are best predicted by different combinations of factors. For example, driver’s braking score was shown to be a very good predictor of loss of control, and is currently the most useful indicator to insurers for predicting this type of crash.

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