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Reuters -- German carmaker Daimler is planning to test self-driving trucks as early as this year, executive board member Wolfgang Bernhard told a German newspaper.

"We are positive that we will get approval for tests on German motorways within the next weeks," Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung quoted him as saying. "Then we will start immediately."

First tests of semi-autonomous trucks will take place in Daimler's home state Baden-Wuerttemberg while the start of production is 2-3 years away, Bernhard, who is in charge of Daimler's trucks business, told the paper.

"We are leaders in this technology and will stand up for ourselves," Bernhard said, acknowledging that Apple, Google and other companies were trying to position themselves in the promising business of autonomous driving.

Read the rest of the story here: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/25/us-daimler-autonomousdriving-idUSKCN0PZ0KH20150725

Detroit Free Press -- One year after recalling nearly 30 million vehicles for various safety issues General Motors showed its new $14 million Active Safety Test Area in Milford to the media Friday.

"We're focused on developing a zero-defect environment," said Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president for global product development and supply chain. "Safety is integrated into all of our values."

The facility covers 52 acres at the company's Milford Proving Grounds and provides a large open space to test the latest in autonomous and semi-autonomous driving-assist technologies. Engineers and product developers demonstrated several features that are available in some models today, including Pedestrian Braking and Front Automatic Braking.

Both rely on a front-mounted camera. In the pedestrian protection feature, the camera detects a person of three feet in or taller who may be walking, running or skateboarding in front of a car's path.

As long as the car is not traveling more than 12.5 miles per hour in the area near the pedestrian it will stop in time to avoid the person. This technology is available on the 2016 models of the Cadillac CT6, Chevrolet Malibu and Volt.

Read the rest of the story here:
 http://www.freep.com/story/money/2015/07/24/general-motors-mark-reuss-safety/30623899/

USA Today -- Don't send your old clunker of a retro-mobile to the automotive junk yard just yet. It may be the safest machine on the road.

In an article published Tuesday, Wired magazine reports on how it engaged two hackers to see if they could take control of a Jeep Cherokee from the comfort of their living room while writer Andy Greenberg sat nervously at the wheel while the SUV cruised the highway at 70 mph.

Mission accomplished, terrifyingly so. The security experts, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, accessed the Jeep's computer brain through its Uconnect infotainment system and rewrote the firmware to plant their malicious code. Once in, the duo began blasting hip-hop through the stereo system, turned the AC to maximum and, ultimately, killed the transmission and brakes.

Greenberg was unharmed in the demonstration, which took place on a highway in St. Louis, but eventually wound up stranded in a ditch. But the experiment highlights a concern that often isn't addressed head-on in the growing excitement over the prospect of roads dominated by either autonomous or heavily driver-assisted vehicles.

If the frequent attacks on myriad retail and financial institutions tell us anything, it's that there isn't a digitally connected network that is completely safe from hackers. And while it's one thing to have to change credit cards due to a breach, it's another to be trapped in a speeding hunk of metal when the crippling intrusion happens.

Says Miller, a security researcher for Twitter and a former National Security Agency hacker: "If consumers don't realize this is an issue, they should, and they should start complaining to carmakers. This might be the kind of software bug most likely to kill someone."

Read the rest of the story here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2015/07/21/hack-connected-car-raises-alarm-over-driver-safety/30462317/

Computer World -- Two U.S. senators today filed a bill that would require the federal government to establish standards to ensure automakers secure a driver against vehicle cyber attacks.

The Security and Privacy in Your Car (SPY Car) Act, filed by Sens. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), also establishes a rating system — or "cyber dashboard"— that informs consumers about how well the vehicle protects drivers' security and privacy beyond the proposed federal minimum standards.

"Drivers shouldn't have to choose between being connected and being protected," Sen. Markey said in a statement. "We need clear rules of the road that protect cars from hackers and American families from data trackers. This legislation will set minimum standards and transparency rules to protect the data, security and privacy of drivers in the modern age of increasingly connected vehicles."

Read the rest of the story here: http://www.computerworld.com/article/2950520/data-privacy/senators-propose-bill-to-tighten-vehicle-security-privacy-standards.html

22 Jul

How To Boost Your Social Media Following

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Entrepreneur -- Q: What's your number-one tip to boost your social-media following?

A: First of all, I’m going to state right there’s no one single way to boost your social-media following. It takes a matrix of methods and a continuous commitment to create, establish, build and maintain a social media presence and following.

But if you are going to force me to give one single answer, for me it’s all about the content. Now I’m not the first to give this answer but hopefully I can give a meaningful perspective about it.

We’ve all seen the tweets with offers to buy followers. Evidently you can get a new bargain on followers every day. I’m not interested.

To me, it’s not about the volume of followers that I’ve attached to my social channels, it’s about my followers’ linkage and engagement to my “brand.” If I have to forgo the 100,000 bargain followers to get 100 committed people who engage with my content, then so be it. All the better for it.

The C3 Report -- The C3 Group hosted its third-annual Connected Car Conference at CE Week in New York on June 23. The event once again brought the thought leaders in the space to the media capital of the world to discuss on-stage the huge potential and as well as the challenges facing connected car and future mobility technology.

Representatives from major automakers and technology suppliers as well as executives involved in policy and research not only engaged in lively and at times heated discussions, but this year the audience became part of the conversation since the event included an extended and interactive Q&A segment.

For the first time, C3 at CE Week in New York featured vehicles and product demonstrations. Buick used the occasion to publicly introduce Apple CarPlay for the first time in a 2015 Regal, while Pioneer showed both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aftermarket solutions in a Scion iQ. QNX Software Systems also brought its custom Maserati Quattroporte GTS that features cutting-edge camera technology.

CV & DA Holdings, Inc. (CVDA), owner of the Diamond Audio, Cerwin-Vega Mobile, and Caché brands has announced the hiring of Wayne Messina, Jr. as its Outside Sales Manager for the Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi territories.

Wayne brings extensive years of sales experience throughout his 12V career and previously held various positions with a prominent distribution company servicing the aforementioned states.

Wayne looks forward to reaching out to all retailers in the very near future and is pleased to be working in a market that he calls “home”. Wayne will be based out of his office in Louisiana and can be contacted directly at 504-738-4618 or via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

"Over the past 10 years, I was tasked with developing business strategies and developing new relationships throughout all retail channels to continually grow sales. I am very excited to join the CVDA team and truly appreciate this opportunity. My plan is to hit the pavement hard and go full-speed and show what Cerwin-Vega Mobile and Diamond Audio has to offer in the market”, adds Wayne. Karl Giles, Eastern Regional Sales Manager and Justin Miller, Western Regional Sales Manager, will continue to assume their current sales management duties for CVDA.

The Los Angeles Auto Show’s Connected Car Expo (CCE) announced its plans to establish the premier top ten list of the hottest and most influential startups to hit the automotive scene. Slated for reveal in September by Fortune, the inaugural shortlist will recognize startups with the potential to shape the future of the new automotive industry.

LA Auto Show’s Top Ten Automotive Startups (Top 10) will be selected by the CCE Advisory Board, comprised of senior executives from companies including Aeris Communications, AT&T, City of Los Angeles, Elektrobit, Ellis & Associates, Google, Microsoft, Mobile Electronics Group, NVIDIA, Pandora and Strategy Analytics.  Following the Board’s consideration and extensive analysis of qualified newcomers, ten startups will be chosen based on the following criteria: vision, innovation, unique perspective and the likelihood of technology adoption and success.

“Today’s automakers are looking at California’s technological hotbeds to spark their innovation, but there are thousands of companies competing to bring their technologies to market,” said Andy Gryc, CCE Conference Director.  “We feel that the startups identified by our Advisory Board will be the true standouts among a crowded field, companies that will push the envelope of the automotive world in ways that will change the way cars are built, bought and driven.”

Part of LA Auto Show’s broader Press & Trade Days, CCE is the award-winning conference and trade show that unites innovators, manufacturers, futurists and influencers to further the convergence of technology and the automobile.  This year’s CCE will be held at the JW Marriott at L.A. Live on Nov. 17, followed by LA Auto Show’s press and trade events at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Nov. 18-19.  CCE exhibitors and attendees with a premium pass can witness this year’s vehicle debuts and have access to an all-new CCE networking destination at the convention center.

Over the next few months, the LA Auto Show and CCE will announce more details about the 2015 show, including session/discussion topics and industry expert participants.

For more information visit www.ConnectedCarExpo.com and www.LAAutoShow.com.

Epsilon Electronics Inc., better known as the umbrella company which manages audio/visual brands such as Soundstream; Precision Power; Power Acoustik; Farenheit, and SPL has added a new team member to its family. Paul Goldberg comes to the company with a vast amount of experience in the Sales and Marketing sector. As the VP of Sales and Marketing, Paul is adept at securing customer loyalty, improving team performance, and forging strong relationships with external business partners.

With 20 plus years of experience and expertise leading channel sales, direct sales, and marketing operations for both enterprise and consumer product companies, Paul Goldberg is an accomplished and highly respected senior level sales management leader. Paul’s expertise lies in areas of business development, strategic planning, sales, marketing, and operations.

Paul welcomes the challenge set forth and is “Looking forward to working with Epsilon Electronics. I welcome the challenge of working with a company that has a great reputation and products.” Under Paul’s direction he will refocus the channel strategy to move the company forward and grow further the business. Epsilon Electronics Inc. is excited to have Paul Goldberg on board and looks forward to increasing its revenue in the next coming years.

Union Leader -- Granite State small business owners got a crash course recently on how to use Facebook as a tool advertising, hosted by reps from the Silicon Valley-based social network.
Missing from the event were representatives and any mention of the other advertising vehicles that Facebook and other social media have challenged in the digital age, including print, radio and television.
U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., was on hand to help kick off the event held at Nashua Community College on June 30, which drew more than 300 attendees from around the state and was sponsored by the Business and Industry Association.
Shaheen, who serves as the top Democrat on the Senate’s Small Business Committee, said the seminar would be a boost to New Hampshire’s small business community, which accounts for 96 percent of the state’s employers.
“Two-thirds of the jobs that are created come from small businesses, so making sure that we support your efforts to grow, to expand, to be successful, are paramount to what I’m doing in Washington and what the state of New Hampshire is trying to do,” she said.
- See more at: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20150712/NEWS02/150719841&source=RSS#sthash.uuOXuwAr.dpuf

Entrepreneur -- Disagreements come in more ways than just saying "no." And if you are disagreeing with someone, you'll never close the sale.

Agreement is vital and is the single most important and violated rule of selling! I’m not saying you should mislead the customer. There’s an art to telling the customer, “I’d love to make that happen to you,” rather than, “I can’t,” “I won’t” or “That’s not my job.”

Here are seven things not to say in sales or business:

1. "That’s not my department."

You must take responsibility for everything, whether it’s in sales or your personal life. Don’t blame the economy, don’t blame other people, and don’t blame any external conditions, because blaming is something you do to become a slave.

Related: Avoid the Dead Zone By Adopting 'Recruit Daily or Perish'

The greats gave up the blame game long ago. They are big on accountability and responsibility to get the job done. If you are willing to take the credit when you win, be willing to take the credit when you lose.

2. "You can trust me."

Have you ever noticed when a buyer isn’t fully listening to you? This occurs because the prospect assumes that since you are a salesperson they cannot trust you. The media constantly runs broadcasts of scams and cons that make consumers skeptical of salespeople. Losing credibility will add time and this lack of trust from the prospect will cost you sales.

Saying “trust me” to a prospect isn’t going to build trust and may even have the opposite effect. To properly handle your buyers trust you must understand that people believe what they see, not what they hear.

Always, always show written material to support your presentation or proposal. Make sure to use third-party materials when collecting facts for your customer that support what you’re saying -- this adds external credibility to your claims. And you must write down everything you have said, offered, proposed, promised, suggested and implied during the proposal.

Read the rest of the story here: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/244982

Mediapost -- In the world of in-car entertainment and connectivity, a buck’s worth of research and education is worth $100 of advertising. You can talk about your app suites forever, but if people don't know what you’re talking about, and if you yourself don't know which technology the people actually use (and why), you may be spending money to talk to a wall. 

It isn't an engineering and design talking point, either. Connected-car technology is climbing the feature consideration ladder, and when consumers use infotainment features, they are more loyal to the car brand. 

Automotive market research firm SBD and Nielsen delve into this in a new white paper based on data mined from Nielsen's AutoTechCast survey, which polled some 14,000 U.S. car buyers. One of the things the firms say right off the bat is that more and more people are specifically looking at how they can stay connected, and that is becoming the basis of their car choice. And while it sounds like a small piece of the buyer pie, 14% of respondents who said they would now place in-car telematics within their top three shopping criteria is a lot of people. Especially since a few years ago a connected car was one that had just hit another car in the rear. 

The study offers this idea of the virtuous cycle: “familiarity, interest, usage, satisfaction and loyalty.” Loyalty is driven by satisfaction; satisfaction by actual usage; which, of course, is spurred by interest in using the technology; which depends on how familiar a consumer is with it. One argument the firms make is that a marketer who only listens to what consumers say they want is doing negative reinforcement because they are making assumptions about what consumers are familiar with. They are going with what they know.

CV & DA Holdings, Inc. (CVDA), owner of the Diamond Audio, Cerwin-Vega Mobile, and Caché brands has announced that industry-veteran Jeff Peters has joined the company as brand manager for Diamond Audio. Peters will manage and oversee all aspects of sales, marketing, and new product development for the brand for the Domestic U.S market.
Peters brings extensive years of experience throughout his career in the mobile electronics industry. When asked about the future of the Diamond Audio brand, Peters states, “Diamond Audio has over 20 years of history producing premium speakers, woofers and electronics for the automotive, marine, and power-sports categories and we intend to build upon this legacy. We make great sounding and reliable products, with attainable profit margins for our dealers. With our limited distribution philosophy already in-place, any future changes will be more evolutionary then revolutionary. I look forward to traveling and meeting existing and new Diamond Audio dealers and share with them the endless opportunities that Diamond Audio has to offer.”
“We are very excited to have Jeff join the CVDA organization. Diamond Audio will always be an audiophile brand with a loyal following," said Bob Chanthavongsa, VP of Sales. "We expect the brand to achieve even greater heights with the vision and strategy that Jeff has forthcoming in order for us to grow our market share and to further help increase business for our retail partners.”

DD Audio, manufacturer of high end consumer audio products announced today the relocation of its corporate headquarters. This will be the third relocation for the company since its initial move to Oklahoma from California in 1991. Each successive move has been prompted by the need for a larger facility to accommodate the company’s continued growth.

Its growth has been fueled by strong partnerships forged with their suppliers and loyal customers, both domestically and internationally. With this move it will more than double its current square footage. The expansion will give it the additional room needed to better accommodate a growing workforce and customer base. With the increased square footage it is looking forward to dedicated areas for on-site dealer training, expansion of their R&D functions, more custom fabrication capabilities, more streamlined shipping and receiving areas and lastly a larger warehouse. The new building will also house all of their domestic manufacturing, distribution, customer service and business support.

From its beginnings in the late 80s as a small manufacturer of mobile audio plate speakers and studio playback equipment, DD Audio has grown into an international manufacturer and distributor of mobile, home and personal audio. Along the way it has garnished a reputation of hand building some of the most reliable high performance car audio subwoofers in the world. In its journey, DD has proven itself to be much more than just a subwoofer manufacturer. It now offers a full selection of mobile audio component speakers, amplifiers, signal processors, and installation accessories. DD’s business model concentrates solely on brick and mortar retailers that can provide a high level of customer attention.

DD Audio looks forward to the expanded capabilities this relocation will allow.

Its new address is 4025 NW36th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73112.

Dual Electronics Corporation has entered into a definitive agreement with Voxx International Corporation to acquire the Jensen branded aftermarket car audio business. Upon completion of the transaction, which is expected on August 1, 2015, Dual will add the Jensen multimedia, head units, speakers and amplifier products to its car audio lineup. The acquisition complements the current assortment of Dual- and Axxera-branded car audio products, and allows the company to meet the needs of a broader range of customers in the 12-volt market.

“We are excited to make this significant acquisition, as I know first hand that Jensen is one of the most well-known and powerful brands in the 12-volt industry,” said Jim Braun, President and CEO, Dual Electronics. “We look forward to advancing Jensen’s long standing and proud heritage for many years to come. We are also looking forward to continuing to work with Jensen’s suppliers and customers for a seamless transition and continued mutual success,” added Braun.

"VOXX has placed the Jensen brand in very capable hands," said Tom Malone, President Voxx Electronics Corp " and this change will allow Voxx Electronics to focus its sales, marketing and product development efforts on what have been our core categories for many years. Rear seat entertainment, remote start and security, safety and convenience accessories and our telematics initiatives will all benefit from this increased focus. We remain committed to the 12-volt market, to our loyal retail and expeditor customers and to the advancement of new and emerging technologies within this space. We would also like to wish Jim and the entire Dual team nothing but success.”

Dual Electronics will continue to manage the aftermarket car audio business from its headquarters in Heathrow, Florida.

WNCN -- Ever since Henry Ford strapped on four wheels to the base of the Model T back in 1908, society has fostered a growing question: When will we be able to get behind the wheel of a self-driving car?

Cartoons as far back as the 1950’s predicted we would be zipping around in futuristic self-driving cars by the year 2000. Unfortunately, it’s taking us a little longer than that.

But the future of transportation may be closer than you think. A new research project at the University of North Carolina’s Computer Science Department is looking to bridge the gap between fantasy and reality.

“Folks may look back at us today and wonder, ‘Why did these people ever try to drive these cars themselves?’” said Dr. Jim Anderson, a professor at UNC and the principal investigator on the project.

Anderson and his team have partnered with General Motors to create data for a more reliable, safer and cheaper autonomous car.

“General Motors gave us some funding and then together we went and got some additional funding from the National Science Foundation. As a result of these two things, this grew into a fairly large project,” said Anderson

The team was able to secure $300,000 in funding from General Motors and $1 million from the National Science Foundation.

Anderson and his team of four faculty members and four graduate students began breaking down the code; trying to figure out how to fit more computing power in a car in a realistic setting.

“It sucks up a lot of size, weight and power which are important concerns,” Anderson said. “This gets very expensive, very fast.”

The team’s goal is to give an autonomous car the reliability of a human’s split-second thinking.

“If you think about the amount of information that comes to the human brain, the vast majority of it is visual information and a big chunk of our brain is dedicated to this,” said Dr. Alexander Berg, a professor at UNC also working on the project. “These are indications that this is a challenging task.”

Google has also been experimenting with self-driving cars since 2009. Since then, the cars have driven 1.8 million miles and have been involved in several accidents.

However, Google says all of those accidents were a result of human error, but more research is needed.

“I’ve seen estimates on the cost of the hardware of Google self-driving cars being $150,000 and that’s significantly more expensive than most of the cars I’d ever think about buying anyway,” said Berg.

Read the rest of the story here: http://wncn.com/2015/07/08/unc-explores-future-of-transportation/

InstallerNet has announced a new partnership with Zubie,www.zubie.com, a leader in the emerging connected car space.

Zubie have sourced the OBD port locator solution to support their client’s by providing a turnkey solution for the end-user customers.

By entering the make, model and year into the OBD Locator available on mobile devices or desktop computers, connected car customers will have access to information related to the location of their OBD port. To quickly identify the port, customers will receive a text description of the port, a graphic display of the general location and a photo of the port location. InstallerNet’s comprehensive automotive database includes vehicles sold in North America and Europe.

“By helping with useful solution across a wide range of vehicle makes and models, InstallerNet is contributing to the delivery of a superior experience for Zubie, its partners and customers,”said Tim Kelly, CEO Zubie Inc.

"We are excited to have collaborated with Zubie to deliver a comprehensive OBD Locator solution in support of their client’s customers in Germany," said Bill Ali, SVP – Sales and Marketing. “We look forward to complementing the Zubie experience through our solutions in other markets.”

Stillwater Designs, the manufacturer of KICKER Audio products, has named Lori Boyer and Matt Matheson as Regional Sales Managers, effective July 7.  Boyer and Matheson will split duties in what was previously KICKER’s East Region, with Boyer managing the southern and central portions and Matheson managing the northeastern section.

“One of the best parts of my job is promoting deserving talent from within,” said Rob Limbaugh, KICKER Vice President of Business Development. “Lori and Matt will prove to be powerful additions to the KICKER Sales department.”

Boyer will manage a region which will include KICKER Sales-Representative firms Tree and Associates (Chicago, Ill.), TR Sales (Ind., Ky.), Tech Marketing (Tenn., N.C., S.C., Ga., Ala.), and Dynamic Sales and Marketing (Fla.). Matheson will manage a region which includes North Peak Sales (Mich., Ohio), Innovative Marketing (upstate N.Y.), Trent Partners and Associates (metro N.Y., New England), and Opus Marketing (Mid-Atlantic).

Boyer and Matheson have each been integral parts of their respective departments at Stillwater Designs. Boyer has worked in several roles in her 27 years at the company, which includes experience in payroll and auditing, sales and marketing, technical support, and most recently managing Customer Service, Tech Support and Claims for the past 16 years.

“I am excited to take all the knowledge and experience I’ve gained (in 27 years), and use it to make a difference on the KICKER Sales staff,” Boyer said.

In his seven years with Stillwater Designs, Matheson has been vital to the development and marketing of KICKER’s integration products and resulting relationships, including hands-on work with the Vehicle-Specific Solutions (VSS™) line.

“There is already a great team in place, and I look forward to being a part of it,” Matheson said.

 

Multichannel News -- Comcast Ventures, the V.C. arm of Comcast, was one of the companies that participated in a $24 million “B” round in Automatic Labs, a startup that has developed a connected car platform.

 

Comcast Ventures did not specify its investment. Automatic Labs, which has raised about $32 million so far, said the B round also included participation from an investment subsidiary of USAA (a top insurance and financial services provider for military families), CDK Global, along with existing investors Y Combinator, RPM Ventures, Anthemis Group, Amicus Capital, as well as several angel investors.

 

San Francisco-based Automatic Labs pairs an app with an in-car device that can help drivers diagnose engine trouble, detect accidents and send emergency responses.  According to the company, its adapter plugs into the standard diagnostics port hidden under the dash in most cars since 1996. When paired with that device, Automatic Labs’ app displays useful information about the user’s car and driving habits.

 

Automatic Labs sells its device for $99.95 via its own site, as well as at retailers such as Apple.com, Best Buy, Target, and Amazon.com. Automatic Labs was founded in 2011.

 

- See more at: http://www.multichannel.com/news/technology/comcast-ventures-backs-connected-car-startup/391946#sthash.P7p7N35w.dpuf

 

 

 

Comcast Ventures, the V.C. arm of Comcast, was one of the companies that participated in a $24 million “B” round in Automatic Labs, a startup that has developed a connected car platform.

 

Comcast Ventures did not specify its investment. Automatic Labs, which has raised about $32 million so far, said the B round also included participation from an investment subsidiary of USAA (a top insurance and financial services provider for military families), CDK Global, along with existing investors Y Combinator, RPM Ventures, Anthemis Group, Amicus Capital, as well as several angel investors.

 

San Francisco-based Automatic Labs pairs an app with an in-car device that can help drivers diagnose engine trouble, detect accidents and send emergency responses.  According to the company, its adapter plugs into the standard diagnostics port hidden under the dash in most cars since 1996. When paired with that device, Automatic Labs’ app displays useful information about the user’s car and driving habits.

 

Automatic Labs sells its device for $99.95 via its own site, as well as at retailers such as Apple.com, Best Buy, Target, and Amazon.com. Automatic Labs was founded in 2011.

- See more at: http://www.multichannel.com/news/technology/comcast-ventures-backs-connected-car-startup/391946#sthash.P7p7N35w.dpuf

Comcast Ventures, the V.C. arm of Comcast, was one of the companies that participated in a $24 million “B” round in Automatic Labs, a startup that has developed a connected car platform.

 

Comcast Ventures did not specify its investment. Automatic Labs, which has raised about $32 million so far, said the B round also included participation from an investment subsidiary of USAA (a top insurance and financial services provider for military families), CDK Global, along with existing investors Y Combinator, RPM Ventures, Anthemis Group, Amicus Capital, as well as several angel investors.

 

San Francisco-based Automatic Labs pairs an app with an in-car device that can help drivers diagnose engine trouble, detect accidents and send emergency responses.  According to the company, its adapter plugs into the standard diagnostics port hidden under the dash in most cars since 1996. When paired with that device, Automatic Labs’ app displays useful information about the user’s car and driving habits.

- See more at: http://www.multichannel.com/news/technology/comcast-ventures-backs-connected-car-startup/391946#sthash.P7p7N35w.dpuf

Comcast Ventures, the V.C. arm of Comcast, was one of the companies that participated in a $24 million “B” round in Automatic Labs, a startup that has developed a connected car platform.

Comcast Ventures did not specify its investment. Automatic Labs, which has raised about $32 million so far, said the B round also included participation from an investment subsidiary of USAA (a top insurance and financial services provider for military families), CDK Global, along with existing investors Y Combinator, RPM Ventures, Anthemis Group, Amicus Capital, as well as several angel investors.

San Francisco-based Automatic Labs pairs an app with an in-car device that can help drivers diagnose engine trouble, detect accidents and send emergency responses.  According to the company, its adapter plugs into the standard diagnostics port hidden under the dash in most cars since 1996. When paired with that device, Automatic Labs’ app displays useful information about the user’s car and driving habits.

- See more at: http://www.multichannel.com/news/technology/comcast-ventures-backs-connected-car-startup/391946#sthash.P7p7N35w.dpuf

Comcast Ventures, the V.C. arm of Comcast, was one of the companies that participated in a $24 million “B” round in Automatic Labs, a startup that has developed a connected car platform.

Comcast Ventures did not specify its investment. Automatic Labs, which has raised about $32 million so far, said the B round also included participation from an investment subsidiary of USAA (a top insurance and financial services provider for military families), CDK Global, along with existing investors Y Combinator, RPM Ventures, Anthemis Group, Amicus Capital, as well as several angel investors.

San Francisco-based Automatic Labs pairs an app with an in-car device that can help drivers diagnose engine trouble, detect accidents and send emergency responses.  According to the company, its adapter plugs into the standard diagnostics port hidden under the dash in most cars since 1996. When paired with that device, Automatic Labs’ app displays useful information about the user’s car and driving habits.

- See more at: http://www.multichannel.com/news/technology/comcast-ventures-backs-connected-car-startup/391946#sthash.P7p7N35w.dpuf

USA Today -- There are plenty of reasons to rent a car, from leaving an unreliable car behind on a vacation to getting around on a business trip. But there's a real hidden danger when doing so that you may not even realize — one that potentially puts you and your family at substantial risk.

Rental companies continually upgrade their fleets with newer-model cars, which means many now have the latest infotainment systems, which let you connect, or "pair," your smartphone via Bluetooth with the car. This lets you take calls over the car's audio system, dial from the center console, get directions or stream your music. Others include a USB connection so you can do all that and charge your phone.

When you connect your gadget to a car with Bluetooth, the car stores your phone number to make it easier to connect later. It also stores your call logs, including any contacts you dialed. Just one problem: All that information is saved inside the system and just sitting around for the next renter to find.

First, we all know that returning a rental car usually happens at the last moment. You're in a hurry and the flight won't wait for you. But give yourself an extra 10 minutes to remove your personal data from the car.

Simply go into the car's settings (it will vary for every car make and model) and locate your smartphone from the list of previously paired Bluetooth gadgets. There should be an option to delete your phone. That should wipe the call logs and saved contacts. Better yet, look for an option to clear all user data or do a complete factory reset. Talk to the employees at the car rental place if you can't find these options.

Read the rest of the story here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/komando/2015/07/03/komando-car-rental-mistakes/29614165/

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