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Entrepreneur.com -- Body language should help, not hurt. Even when the chat isn’t in person, how you hold yourself impacts how you connect with others and whether you present the best version of yourself. So, when the talk is important, use these strategies to show you’re strong, capable and ready for anything.

1. Eyes up and alert. Your eyes betray your focus. So, if you’re picking lint from your pants or looking for the exits, you’ll show your interest lies elsewhere and seem dismissive. For maximum engagement, do the physical equivalent of faking it until you make it. Start with the eyes, making solid contact, then nod in assent and raise your eyebrows while you listen. You’ll look alert and interested.

2. Arm yourself. Take note of your arms. Those placed behind you can seem regal and distant, while arms crossed over your chest can seem threatening. To look like a leader, keep your arms relaxed and open, even lacing your fingers together in front of you to seem centered, comfortable and interested.

3. Tall and proud. Where are your shoulders? If they’re over your toes or your lap with your back curved into a C-shape, you’ll seem uncomfortable in your own skin, turning people off. To convey confidence, hold your shoulders over your hips. Point your toes toward the person with whom you’re speaking, not the door, and lean on nothing. Practicing power poses – like superhero stances with your arms akimbo and your legs in an ‘A’ shape – can even help boost confidence before your talk begins.

Read the rest here: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/245046

Alpine Electronics has announced the launch of Alpine Club Restyle, a new retailer program to support the company’s line of X009 9-inch Restyle dash systems.  
Alpine Club Restyle serves to educate authorized Alpine retailers in the U.S. about the X009 Restyle dash systems and reward them for their sales success.  The program makes use of the multiple sales and installation videos made by Alpine to educate retail sales staff and installers about the various features of each X009 system.  There is a sales video and an installation video for each of the seven vehicle specific X009 systems.  Each sales video depicts a retail scenario related to the featured X009 model, while the corresponding installation video explains installation instructions specific to that X009 model.
To become an Alpine Club Restyle member, a salesperson or installer needs to watch all seven videos in their applicable tract (sales or installation), then pass the corresponding online test.  Once they sell or install one X009 Restyle dash system from this point, they become a Tier 1 member of Alpine Club Restyle.  Tier 1 members receive a membership package featuring an Alpine Club Restyle shirt, hat and certificate confirming their product expertise.  Members are also rewarded when they reach certain milestones.  Members who sell or install three systems are considered Tier 2 status and receive an Alpine Club Restyle jacket.  To reach Tier 3 status, members must sell or install five systems, and they will receive a pair of Alpine headphones.  A dedicated website – www.clubrestyle.com – houses all of the videos and online tests.  
In addition to the gifts available at each tier level, members who sell or install X009 Restyle dash system(s) during select promotional periods will also receive $50 for each qualifying unit.  The inaugural promotional period began on May 15, 2015 and ends on July 14, 2015.  As a special bonus, the top ten members identified at the end of the current promotional period will receive an all expenses paid trip to Alpine’s Restyle Summit, which will be held in August in Dallas, TX.  
“The Alpine Restyle business model is designed to reach truck, SUV and Jeep consumers with a product they cannot get as a factory option, and then send them to our independent retail specialists for professional installation.  Alpine Club Restyle is a fun way to prepare these retailers to become experts on this unique product line,” said Steve Crawford, vice president and general manager, aftermarket business unit, Alpine Electronics of America, Inc.  
The X009 Restyle dash systems come with the X009, a multi-function unit with audio, video, navigation and Bluetooth® wireless technology controlled through the distinctive 9-inch touch screen.  The systems are packaged with a vehicle specific dash kit that features back-lit hard keys which replace the factory radio knobs and an iDatalink Maestro module to retain factory features.  There are seven vehicle specific Restyle dash systems which are compatible with the Jeep Wrangler, select GM trucks/SUVs, select Ford F-150s, Ram trucks and Toyota Tundra.  The eighth model is a universal fit version for custom installations.
Authorized Alpine retailers are encouraged to contact their Alpine sales representative for further details about the Alpine Club Restyle program.

Aftermarket mobile electronic manufacturer AAMP, announced that it has completed the acquisition of California based Rosen Electronics. AAMP’s growing list of aftermarket products leverage technology to transform your driving experience. Rosen Electronics, a manufacturer of industry leading solutions in front and rear seat entertainment, navigation and vehicle safety systems, enhances the already existing AAMP product suite.

“At AAMP we do more than make product,” said David Klatt, CEO of AAMP, “we revolutionize the driving experience, keeping with the American tradition, our products enable our customers and business partners to enhance the driving experience, one vehicle at a time.  We will continue to accelerate product to market through acquisitions such as Rosen Electronics and our in-house engineers”

Rosen Electronics brings strong consumer innovation and high quality, so whether AAMP customers are looking for greater safety features or entertainment modifications to make those miles more enjoyable, we are the one-stop-shop to feed your customization crave.  Using state of the art LCD technology, Rosen produces the highest quality rear seat entertainment headrest and ceiling mount systems, in-dash multi-media with navigation systems under the brands Rosen and CarShow, and a host of vehicle safety enhancements products including back up cameras, parking sensors, rear view mirror monitoring systems and more under the brand Echomaster.  In addition to product, the acquisition will scale AAMP’s current R&D and engineering team.  Rosen and AAMP share a culture undercurrent; Rosen a proven pioneer in its field has a long legacy of firsts to market, the similarities of what drives the two companies will make the integration seamless. 

“We could not be more excited for this new partnership with AAMP,” said Tom Clements President and CEO of Rosen Electronics, “ the natural synergies between the two companies will improve our customers ability to accelerate their growth plus improve our ability to offer product solutions for the growing markets we serve.” 

Rockford Corp. has promoted Tammy Lowe to director of marketing.

“Tammy has been with Rockford for more than 25 years, and has been associated with the marketing of our brands since the late 1990s,” said Theresa Anthony, Rockford vice president of sales and marketing. “As director of marketing, Tammy will remain focused on growing our brands by staying in alignment with the sales and product teams. She will manage the daily activities of the marketing group while developing strategic plans for each of our brands.”

Lowe started at Rockford in 1988. During this time, she worked in various rolls, starting out in inside sales, then moving over to the marketing department as the trade show and events manager and marketing services manager. Most recently she was the marketing manager for the past seven years. She has managed the efforts of the marketing team to move Rockford forward in digital marketing, has kept its brands visible in the retail stores, and has maintained the brands’ national exposure at music, sports, and lifestyle enthusiast events.

“I’ve seen the dramatic upward progression of this company during my time at Rockford, and I am very proud of the international leader it has become,” said Lowe. “I’ve worked with so many great people here at Rockford and throughout the industry. The Rockford name is synonymous with quality worldwide, and I am excited to take on more responsibilities to further the awareness of Rockford’s brands and to build on our success for future growth.”

For more information, visit www.rockfordcorp.com.

The Verge -- For years, the center consoles of cars have been dominated by “infotainment” systems, which are designed to control everything from music, to navigation, to climate systems. Though they’ve gotten better over the years, these systems have been almost universally terrible, with confusing interfaces, slow response, and an overwhelming number of options. As a result, the best in-car navigation and entertainment system is often the smartphone in your pocket.

Google and Apple are well aware of this, and that’s why last year both companies announced new in-car systems — Android Auto and CarPlay, respectively — that use your smartphone for navigation and music, bypassing the car’s native user interface. The idea behind both systems is that if drivers are going to be using their phones for entertainment and navigation, they might as well use the displays and controls already built into their cars. And in doing so, Google and Apple can limit the dangers of distracted driving caused by focusing on a phone while behind the wheel.

Android Auto is finally rolling out to production cars, starting with the Hyundai Sonata. Android Auto does not fully replace the Sonata’s interface. Instead, it essentially runs as an app on top of it, launching when you plug in a compatible phone (Android 5.0 or newer) into the car’s built-in USB port. It turns the car’s infotainment system into the conduit for controlling Google Maps navigation, receiving messages, and playing music or listening to podcasts. It also lets you use Google’s voice search from behind the wheel, using the existing buttons and microphones already built into the car.

I spent two weeks behind the wheel of a Sonata equipped with Hyundai’s optional Tech Package and Android Auto to see if this is the future of driving (before the eventual takeover of self-driving robots, anyway). There were some bumps along the way, but for the most part, if you use an Android phone, you’re going to want Android Auto in your next car.

Firing up Android Auto is easy. Once you install the app on your phone, you plug it into the Sonata, pair it over Bluetooth (which happens automatically and is required for phone calls), and press the Android Auto icon on the Sonata’s 8-inch resistive touchscreen. Next, you’re presented with a familiar, but stripped down version of Android. At this point, the phone itself becomes rather useless — its interface is completely locked out in favor of an Android Auto splash screen. Google wants you to do everything through the car’s controls when you’re driving, so you might as well put the phone in a cubby hole and forget about it.

Read more here: http://www.theverge.com/2015/5/26/8659671/android-auto-in-car-system-review-smartphone-hyundai-sonata

CNBC -- The auto industry recovery has been widely celebrated, from Detroit to the White House. It also has created a lesser known but perhaps more durable success story in the market for the products and services that keep all of those cars running.

The automotive aftermarket grew 3.6 percent in 2014 to annual revenue of $328 billion, according to the industry group Autocare Association.

Private equity investors have been attracted by this size and growth, with the latest reports focusing on private-equity firms expressing an interest in buying auto-parts and services company Pep Boys. Also this month, Ohio-based private-equity firm Linsalata Capital Partners acquired a majority interest in RWA Holding and its subsidiary, Ring & Pinion Service, which makes automotive aftermarket components under the Yukon and USA Standard brands.

Both the new car market and the aftermarket have benefited from macroeconomic trends: record low interest rates, increasing employment, growing consumer confidence, and car-maker and dealer incentives. Further, record low oil prices have helped shift demand to higher price-point, gas-guzzling SUVs.

But any investor in any segment of the autos sector needs to ask: What happens when rates go up? The Federal Reserve has hinted multiple times that it will raise short-term interest rates beginning as early as this summer.

Rate increases will have wide-ranging implications for consumers: loans for everything from homes to new and used cars will grow more expensive; employment growth may be tempered; and headline-grabbing equity indexes like the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 could be in for a wild ride.

Read more here: http://www.cnbc.com/id/102699413

Fortune -- Ford CEO Mark Fields is trying to navigate his company through an era of upheaval in the auto industry. Cars are no longer merely steel on wheels. They’re mobile computers that can respond to voice commands, serve as a hub for digital entertainment and drive themselves.

Fortune spoke with Fields recently at Ford’s Silicon Valley lab, an office that opened earlier this year as a beachhead for innovation. He’s hoping that having workers on the ground in the heart of the tech industry’s capital will help the company identify and adopt new technology more quickly. Ford F 0.56% is facing a stiff challenge to keep up from the usual auto making suspects plus newcomers like Google and Tesla. Even Uber, the ride hailing app, is a threat if people stop buying cars and use its service instead to be driven where they need to go.

The following is a Q&A with Fields that has been edited for length and clarity:

Q: How important are self-driving cars to Ford?

They’re important. But it’s more important to think about self-driving cars more holistically. We call this Ford Smart Mobility. It’s not only about autonomous vehicles, it’s about the connected car, it’s about mobility and ride sharing. It’s around the enabling technologies for the retail experience. All these things are connected. You can’t have an autonomous vehicle unless you have a connected car, and visa versa. You can’t have ride sharing without having the connection. They’re all intertwined.

Q: Is it important to be first? Ford isn’t really seen as being in the lead on self-driving cars.

It’s not the No. 1 thing that drives us. I think the No. 1 thing that drives us, and it gets back to our DNA as a company going back to our founder, Henry Ford, is around innovating to make things accessible to everyone — not just the rich. Even now, semi-autonomous features are the building blocks for full autonomy. When you look the breadth of semi-autonomous features that we have in our vehicles, we’re in a leading position there. With everything from our Fiesta all the way up to our Lincolns — customers can get a lot of these features. So as we go forward, we’re going to make sure that we continue to build on that legacy and push ourselves to make sure it’s accessible and affordable – not necessarily being the first.

Read the rest of the story here: http://fortune.com/2015/05/26/ford-ceo-wants-to-make-a-self-driving-car-for-the-masses/

Petra Industries recently mailed its more than 1300 page, 2015 spring catalog to independent retailers, e-tailers and custom installers and integrators all across the U.S.

Petra’s Spring 2015 catalog is packed with more than 15,000 products, from more than 500 industry-leading manufacturers, includes 3,500 new items and 1,400 price drops, so retailers are certain to see products they have never seen at prices that are certain to help them stay competitive. Plus, with Petra’s lowest price guarantee and no minimum order policy they can be certain they are getting the highest product value.

To celebrate this milestone, in addition to the catalog release, Petra will offer customers big daily savings with a 30-in-30 daily promotion. Every day in June, the Petra homepage will feature a different product offering fantastic savings available for only 24-hours.

“The catalog is a tremendous project and involves most of our Marketing and Merchandising teams to ensure that our customers have a book they can trust as their go-to source for all of their CE needs,” said Tate Morgan, President of Petra Industries. “This book always presents opportunities for our dealers to expand their products offerings and see the newest products available, all backed by Petra’s dedication to customer service. That is why thousands of dealers from across the nation have put their trust in us to be their distributor of choice for 30 years.”

Petra’s Spring 2015 catalog can also be viewed online allowing any Petra dealer instant access to product and purchasing information with just a few simple clicks.

Andy Allen, Director of Product & Marketing for Memphis Car Audio has decided to resign after 27 years of dedicated service to the brand to pursue a new career path and entrust the brand to the next generation. 

On Monday afternoon Andy addressed the staff of Memphis Car Audio with the following announcement:

“I began my career with The Arthur Fulmer Company as a salesman in the Dallas branch in the mid-1980s.  At that time the sales team sold Arthur Fulmer automotive interior products to auto parts stores, roll goods to automotive trim shops, & Fultron Car Stereos. To say things have changed since then is the understatement of the century, and I am proud to lay claim to having a hand in that change.  I appreciate the opportunity the Fulmer family has offered me, but by far the most fulfilling experience has been working with you my fellow employees to build a great brand and continue the legacy of a great company.”

Memphis Car Audio will be having a sendoff party in Andy’s honor to celebrate his 27 years of dedicated service.

Arthur Fulmer III, President of Memphis Car Audio commented, “My family has been fortunate to have Andy’s invaluable contributions to the success of our brand through the years, I can’t thank him enough for his hard work, loyalty and support all these years.”

The 2015 SEMA Show will include a new expansion area to accommodate additional exhibitors during the SEMA Show on Tuesday-Friday, November 3-6, 2015, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Located in the outside area south of the Las Vegas Convention Center (adjacent to the Renaissance Hotel), this new First-Time and Featured Exhibitors area will also include a transportation hub and serve as a primary thoroughfare into the SEMA Show.

"Industry professionals value and rely on the SEMA Show to do business," said Peter MacGillivray, SEMA VP of events and communications. "The expansion areas make it possible for businesses in the industry to participate in the Show."

First-Time and Featured Exhibitors areas serve as extensions to the SEMA Show’s 12 designated floor sections, thereby allowing additional manufacturers the opportunity to participate in and meet with buyers during the annual trade show. The 2015 SEMA Show will include a total of four First-Time and Featured Exhibitors areas. Consisting primarily of newer manufacturers, each expansion area includes exhibitors representing market segments from nearby floor sections. The four expansion areas are:

- Performance Pavilion: Located in the outside area south of the Las Vegas Convention Center, adjacent to the Renaissance Hotel
- Upper South: Located in the upper level of South Hall, on the east side
- Grand Lobby Meeting Rooms: Located in the Las Vegas Convention Center Meeting Rooms N100-120, between North and Central Halls just east of the Grand Lobby
- Westgate Pavilion: Located in the Pavilion area of the Westgate Hotel, just north of the Las Vegas Convention Center

The four areas are conveniently located in or near the convention center’s halls, making them easy and natural extensions to the existing Show floor. Each area also includes a unique feature or attraction, such as a transportation hub, parking or registration. 

The 2015 SEMA Show will not include the Gold Pavilion, which housed hundreds of exhibitors during the 2014 event. Instead, the area across the street from Paradise Road will accommodate parking during the 2015 SEMA Show, and will feature the second annual SEMA Ignited after the SEMA Show closes on Friday, November 6. SEMA Ignited is the official SEMA Show afterparty where consumers are able to see and get up close with vehicles from the trade-only event.

"Several factors are taken into consideration before determining the location of Show features and attractions," said MacGillivray. "We’re constantly looking for ways to improve and provide the industry with the greatest value. Given the new space near the Renaissance Hotel that’s been made available, 2015 SEMA Show exhibitors will be better served by the space that will include a transportation hub with parking, buses and taxi drop-off."

The upcoming SEMA Show is on track to include nearly 2,400 exhibiting manufacturers. To view the online floorplan or for more details, visit www.semashow.com.

VOXX Electronics announced that Singtrix, one of the most advanced and innovative karaoke systems has been honored with an Edison Award. The Edison Awards are among the most prestigious accolades honoring excellence in new product and service development, marketing, and human-centered design and innovation.  Award winners represent “game changing” products, services and excellence in leadership and innovation around four criteria: Concept, Value, Delivery and Impact.

“The Edison Awards recognize and honor the most innovative new products, services and business leaders in the world and we are very proud of the recognition that our Singtrix partners have received,” said Tom Malone, President of VOXX Electronics Corporation.  “It is an honor to be associated with an award winning product and company.  We are happy to be partnered with John Devecka and the Singtrix team to deliver this product!”

Singtrix takes the Karaoke experience to the next level with one of the most advanced, natural sounding vocal effects, and pitch correction that can make anyone sound like a pro.  Featuring more than 300 amazing studio quality vocal effects inspired by famous artists and epic songs covering every generation and music genre, Singtrix makes bad singers sound good and good singers sound amazing.

“We really appreciate this special recognition by the Edison Awards Committee.  Our goal for Singtrix was to make singing inclusive, inspiring and fun for everyone regardless of their ability.  That bold idea required us to dramatically innovate in a category that was relatively unchanged for decades,” said John Devecka, Chief Executive Officer of Singtrix.  “I am proud of our team and all of our many supportive partners who took a lot risks to help us make this a reality.”

Singtrix is currently available nationwide for an MSRP of $349.99.

Kenwood USA, manufacturer of premier entertainment and information solutions for the automotive aftermarket, announced that Rob Sutton has been named Director of Sales for the Car Electronics division, a promotion from Western Region Manager. The appointment strengthens Kenwood's national sales leadership with more than 25 years of industry experience.
Sutton will be responsible for developing and implementing retail-beneficial sales programs, as well as managing the company's network of regional managers and independent sales representative firms. He will also provide strategic input on initiatives to drive the brand's product development and marketing strategy.
Sutton's career path spans more than two decades, starting in retail and working with several prominent manufacturers before joining JVCKenwood (then Kenwood) in 2007. His experience includes retail, wholesale and international sales, retail buying, merchandising product management and sales management. In the past eight years, he has managed Kenwood's highest-volume region while establishing strong relationships with many retail professionals.
"Rob has done a masterful job working as Western Region Manager for the last eight years and is well suited to take on this new role," said Dave Hoag, executive vice president, car electronics. "In today’s hyper competitive market, strategic planning, execution and relationship building are fundamental requirements of success. The Kenwood team has always excelled in these areas and, without a doubt, Rob will take it to the next level."
Sutton can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information on Kenwood products and events, please visit www.kenwood.com/usa

Mobile Electronics dealers are being offered a promotion for their customers through SiriusXM.  Consumers who purchase eligible tuner models will receive a $70 Mail-In Rebate after activation of the tuner. The eligible tuner models are SXV300V1, SXV300B, SXV200V1, SXV200B, Alpine CDESXM145BT or CDE124SXM2 (which include either the SXV200 or SXV300 tuner in the box). The $70 Mail-In Rebate offer runs from May 15th through December 31st, 2015. Tuners must be purchased from eligible retailers to qualify and be activated with a Select or greater subscription package.

In addition to the $70 Mail-In Rebate offer SiriusXM will offer the customer 3 Months Free of programming when they activate the All Access package on their tuner. The combined savings for the customer is over $140.

The theme of the campaign is called 2 Ways 2 Save. This promotion provides unique promotional opportunities for 12volt specialty retailers.

SiriusXM will provide a selection of attention grabbing digital assets and in-store point of purchase items to highlight the $70 Mail-In Rebate program plus 3 months free.  

The SXV300 Tuner by SiriusXM is compatible with over 2 million SiriusXM-Ready in-dash receivers in the marketplace and attaches easily with one plug. Attach a tuner to your next in-dash receiver sale. After The Mail-In rebate it will be FREE to the customer plus could provide additional revenue on the installation. For more information go to www.siriusxm.com/2ways2save.

AudioControl has announced the addition of Chris Bennett to their team as National Sales Manager, Mobile Audio. Chris joins AudioControl to lead the company’s North American mobile audio sales team and help manage the company’s growing line of signal processors, mobile audio products and power amplifiers. He will also be responsible for continuing to build the AudioControl’s brand while being a champion for the needs of our dealers and customers.

“Chris brings to AudioControl a tremendous amount of background in the mobile audio industry, including experience with respected companies like Metra and DLS Audio,” commented Chris Kane, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “In addition to his manufacturing experience, Chris was a respected mobile electronics retailer in Southern California market which will make him a valuable asset to our dealers and sales representatives. It is an exciting time at AudioControl as we have just started shipping our new line of subwoofer amplifiers based on The Epicenter® technology and feedback from dealers on the performance of our new range of amplifiers has been amazing. Our OEM integration business continues to grow strongly, alongside our after-market solutions with unique solution products like the DQ-61, LC7i and LC2i processors”

Chris joined AudioControl at the end of April and has already attended several industry events, including the PNWCEE and the Sante Fe Distribution show while interacting on a daily basis with our dealer network. He is based out of the AudioControl’s main offices and primary manufacturing facility located in Seattle in the Pacific Northwest.

“To be part of the AudioControl team is incredible! We are already making a huge impact with The Epicenter Amplifiers and our brand new web site,” exclaimed Chris Bennett. “ We will continue to invest time, energy and money into new products that will shake up the industry and insure AudioControl continues its tradition of "Making Good Sound Great". I'd like to thank all the industry professionals that have welcomed me into my new role and look forward to working with each of you in the upcoming months.”

C3 Report -- Infotainment systems, long a selling-point in consumer advertising by automakers, have reached a point beyond which basic information and entertainment can be easily accessed and operated. Consumers are now faced with a confusing array of features, touch-surfaces, “button-farms” and menu hierarchies that have added operational complexity beyond the comprehension of many people.

The source of this complexity? According to a discussion panel at the recent SAE World Congress titled “The In-Car Experience — What Does the Consumer Really Want,” automakers have become obsessed with technology to the degree that they have sacrificed intuitiveness and are alienating their customer base with unnecessary features that might not ever be used.

“Vehicles on the road today are overladen with tools,” said David Lyon, a former General Motors interiors designer who also claims that car companies need a “features intervention” that will allow them to better understand how people operate their vehicles. This will, in turn, identify features that are not likely to be used by drivers and provide guidance to automakers on which features to remove.

Fierce competition between automakers has spawned a “culture of incrementalism,” according to Andrew Hart of consultancy company SBD. “Technology is moving so fast that carmakers often design new systems before they understand what works and doesn’t work with their current systems.”

Consumers have spoken up loudly of their bewilderment with today’s infotainment systems and have cited these systems as a primary area of criticism. In response, automakers such as Honda have been collaborating much more closely with developers in the design and functionality of their next-generation infotainment systems. Still others have made the strategic decision to outsource basic infotainment system design to Apple and Google, albeit at an incredibly slow pace.

The SAE panel made an interesting, if not practical, observation as to why more automakers are leaving infotainment system development to the experts. “It’s surprising how many people at OEMs don’t know how their [infotainment] systems work,” SBD’s Hart noted. “That’s in sharp contrast to companies such as Apple and Google, where employees are the best advertisements for their products.”

Read the rest of the story here: http://www.cthreereport.com/todays-in-car-infotainment-systems-too-many-features/

C3 Report -- If the thought of self-driving cars is unsettling to some, then the prospect of autonomous big rigs may seem downright scary. But the idea came closer to reality this week when Daimler’s Freightliner commercial truck division introduced the first self-driving semi in the U.S., and announced that it had received a license from the state of Nevada to test the vehicle on public roads.

Before you envision robot big rigs roaming the highways, you should know that Daimler estimates that it will be at least 10 years before its self-driving 18-wheeler will be ready for the road. And the Freightliner Inspiration Truck that the company unveiled in Las Vegas is far from fully autonomous. But like self-driving cars, autonomous trucks will one day be common. The benefits of the technology are too numerous to not become part of the transportation future.

The Freightliner Inspiration Truck that debuted at a press event this week—which drove across the Hoover Dam as part of a publicity blitz—uses technology already available in vehicles from its sibling Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Steering Assist is part of Mercedes-Benz’s Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control system, it uses a radar sensor to maintain the distance to a vehicle ahead and a camera to detect markers on the road to keep the car in its lane.

The difference between Mercedes-Benz Steering Assist and the technology on the Freightliner Inspiration Truck is that a C-Class has sensors in the steering wheel to detect whether a driver’s hands are on the wheel. When a driver removes his or her hands for more than a few seconds, the system issues an alert. And if the driver doesn’t grab the wheel after a few more seconds, the Steering Assist system is deactivated.

The Freightliner Inspiration Truck doesn’t have the steering wheel sensors, so the driver can operate the vehicle hands-free until the system detects a situation such as an intersection or slow traffic ahead, warns the driver, and eventually deactivates the system.

The Freightliner Inspiration Truck isn’t a true self-driving vehicle like the futuristic Mercedes-Benz F-015 Luxury in Motion concept the automaker unveiled at CES. But it is a first step on the path toward autonomous big rigs—and will offer substantial benefits. As Daimler board member and head of the company’s Trucks and Buses division, Wolfgang Bernhard, noted at the Las Vegas debut of the Freightliner Inspiration, the main advantages of the technology are saving lives, emissions, and money.

Bernhard noted that 90 percent of crashes can be prevented by autonomous technology because it can significantly reduce accidents caused by driver distraction and drowsiness. He also said that autonomous technology will create significant fuel savings and in turn reduce emissions.

Daimler officials also suggested that the increased efficiency enabled by of autonomous trucks could help lower the cost of consumer goods. In 2012, semis transported about 70 percent of all freight in the country, and the global trucking industry is expected to triple by 2050. A side benefit is that the driver can be more productive behind the wheel, handling logistic and maintenance issues on the fly.

Martin Zeilinger, director of Advance Engineering for Freightliner, said that the driver and the technology “will be a partner” and that a “skilled driver is an essential part of the equation.” After all, the technology simply allows the driver to somewhat disengage on long highway stretches, and can’t perform complex maneuvers such as parking.

Read the rest of the story here: http://www.cthreereport.com/get-ready-for-self-driving-semi-trucks-to-hit-the-road/

 

 

Rockford Fosgate has announced that the new 2015 Prime Series Moto-Marine speakers and subwoofers are now available. In all, the available RM Series “Element-Ready” class consists of 10- and 12-inch 2- and 4-ohm subs, and 6.5-inch 50/100-watt (RMS/Max) and 75/150-watt (RMS/Max) full-range speakers.

“Rockford Fosgate’s Prime Series RM marine grade standard takes into account the devastating effects of the outdoor environment and takes extreme measures to ensure optimum performance,” said Jake Braaten, Rockford’s V.P. of Product Development & Engineering. “Our Marine RM full-range speakers and subwoofers are perfect for anyone looking to add some Fanatic sound to their vessel, and will always sound great when listening to your music at the dock or while tearing up the waves at full throttle.”

The RM Prime Series Marine Full Range Speakers are 6.5-inch, 2-way component systems with 50/100-Watt RMS/Max (RM0652) and 75/150-Watt RMS/Max (RM1652) power handling, and a coaxially integrated tweeter featuring marine grade weather proofing technologies.

Additional specifications and technologies include:

  • True Marine Grade compliance
  • 100 percent UV stable ASA injection molded plastic parts
  • Injection molded mineral filled polypropylene cone body with UV inhibitors
  • UV and Salt Fog Resistant Santoprene Surround
  • Grill integrated 1-inch LCP volcano dome tweeter (RM1652)
  • Ultra-flexible fully insulated silicone lead wire
  • Crossover: High-Pass (HP): 6dB/Octave
  • Frequency response: 52Hz - 20kHz (49Hz - 20kHz (
  • Proprietary corrosion resistant spring loaded push terminals
  • Moisture, tear, and fatigue resistant Aramid fiber spider
  • Available in black or white
  • FlexFit 2 Basket
  • Klippel-verified & CEA-2031 compliant
  • MSRP: $99.99 (RM0652); MSRP: $149.99 (RM1652)
  • Grill integrated 0.5-inch LCP Dome Tweeter (RM0652)

Available in 2- and 4-ohm configurations, the RM Prime Series 10-inch (RM110D2 & RM110D4) and 12-inch (RM112D2 & RM112D4) subwoofers are designed with weatherproofing technology specific for use in marine watercraft or powersports applications. They feature a color molded grille that is 100 percent UV stable, and can be used in sealed, vented, or infinite baffle installations.

Additional specifications and technologies include:

  • True Marine Grade compliance
  • 100 percent UV stable ASA injection molded plastic parts
  • Injection molded mineral filled polypropylene cone body with UV inhibitors
  • UV and salt fog resistant Santoprene surround
  • Ultra-flexible fully insulated silicone lead wire
  • Proprietary corrosion resistant spring loaded push terminals
  • Moisture, tear and fatigue resistant Aramid fiber spider
  • Removable trim ring/grill
  • Power handling: 200/400-Watt (RMS/Max)
  • Available in white or black
  • FlexFit 2 Basket
  • Klippel-verified & CEA-2031 compliant
  • MSRP: $139.99 (RM110D2 & RM110D4); MSRP: $149.99 (RM112D2 & RM112D4)

In addition, Rockford Fosgate now provides new “Element-Ready” packaging for its “Moto-Marine” lines. Graphics and text highlight each product’s element-ready specifications within these lines, making them easily recognizable so the dealer and consumer can perfectly match the product to their installation and environmental requirements.

Specifications and pricing subject to change without notice. For more information on Rockford Fosgate, please visit www.rockfordfosgate.com.

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the owner and producer of the International CES, today announced that verified attendance at the 2015 International CES reached a record 176,676 industry professionals with 48,833 coming from outside of the U.S. The 2015 CES also set a number of other records, including more than 3,600 exhibitors, more than 2.23 million net square feet of exhibit space, 6,952 media and analyst attendees, 703,602 mentions of #CES2015 during the show with 7.51 billion total potential Twitter impressions, and 153 countries represented. The independent audit, performed by Veris Consulting, LLC, confirms CES’ status as the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. The full CES attendance audit summary report will be available online at the end of June.
“We are thrilled to have produced such a phenomenal, record setting International CES,” said Gary Shapiro, CEA president and CEO. “Our event offers a one of a kind, ‘can’t miss’ experience that allows our global attendees to see how different technologies from a range of industries impact each other. The International CES remains the single best place to experience the products, services and trends that will be driving the global industry in the months and years to come.”  
As CES and the consumer technology industry continue to grow, CEA is establishing procedures to cap attendance at the 2016 International CES at 176,000, or close to a level comparable to the 2015 CES, in an effort to ensure that attendees continue to have a quality experience.
“With the growth of the consumer technology industry and the parallel growth of the International CES comes an increase in the qualified registrant base for our show. While these individuals are qualified industry professionals, we are reaching space capacity and simply can’t accommodate every qualified individual to our show,” said Karen Chupka, CEA senior vice president, International CES and corporate business strategy. “We take seriously our efforts to make sure CES attendees have a positive experience. Enhanced credentialing procedures will enable us to ensure that qualified attendees can participate in our show and conduct business while providing a high-quality experience for all. These efforts also will allow us to improve some of the logistical and operational challenges that come with producing and attending such a large event.”
The new procedures that CEA will enact for the 2016 CES include:
Enhanced credentialing: 

  • New registrants or previous registrants who did not attend the 2014 or 2015 CES will be subject to new enhanced credentialing and tighter qualification criteria. This means that although individuals may have qualified for registration in previous years, they must resubmit credentials to qualify for the 2016 CES.
  • To qualify, all registrants must provide a brief description of their industry affiliation along with links to their company website with an employee roster, a description of their business engagement at CES or a link to a current publication or article the registrant authored or in which they were quoted or cited as an industry professional. Alternately, registrants may also provide a business card, health insurance card or other proof of employment verification. In addition, in order to expedite affiliated registrants through the verification process, CES will ask registrants to include a business email address. Additional details can be found at http://www2.ce.org/e/26962/Register-Plan-Register-Now/43nchn/404603827 once registration opens later this year.
  • Those who attended one of the past two shows will be allowed to register without providing additional industry qualifications, given their loyalty to CES. 
  • CES remains a trade-only event and is not open to the general public.

A new registration fee structure: 

  • CEA is implementing a $100 advanced fee for all registrants beginning July 8 when registration launches.
  • CEA is providing our loyal alumni who attended the 2014 or 2015 CES with a 30-day window of complimentary registration before the $100 fee goes into effect for this audience. 
  • Registration for qualified media will remain free of charge.
  • Registration fees will increase to $300 beginning December 21 through the 2016 CES. This move is to encourage more registrants to sign up prior to December 21 to allow CEA ample time to verify credentials for those who register after that date.

“Our new procedures will help us cap the overall growth in CES attendance, promoting a quality business experience for our guests while focusing show and consumer technology industry growth in key areas, including new markets and trends,” stated Chupka.
“The average CES attendee has 33 business meetings at our event so it’s crucial that we make the networking and dealmaking opportunities as easy as possible for our guests,” said Shapiro. “CES is the world’s leading annual innovation event and is setting records across every major category including international attendance. We must always innovate to ensure that CES remains the must-attend event for any professional connected to innovation. These new procedures will help us meet this goal.”
Through these new policies and procedures, CEA is aiming to cap 2016 CES attendance at 176,000.
“We believe this number strikes the balance we seek between producing a show that truly reflects the size and scope of the global consumer technology industry while helping our participants have a positive, quality business experience,” said Chupka. “We won’t, however, turn qualified attendees away at the door! We will refine our new processes as necessary during registration in an effort to stay within our target attendance.”
Veris is certified by the Exhibition and Event Industry Audit Commission (EEIAC) to perform audits. The CES audit provides absolute verification of exhibition records, including direct on-site observation, examination of registration systems and testing of attendee records. Post-show analysis included direct confirmation sampling, reconciliation of attendance lists, elimination of duplicate names, and verification of demographic data with the source of documentation. This audit complies with the industry standards for audits adopted by both the EEIAC and the International Association of Exhibition and Events (IAEE). An independent audit is required to be certified by UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, and the International CES is believed to be the only UFI approved event in its category.
Registration for the 2016 CES will open on July 8. More details on 2016 CES policies and procedures can be found at CESweb.org.

Cars.com, the premier online resource for buying, selling and now servicing cars has listed the top 10 best cars that debuted at recent auto shows. Each year, automakers release new models at auto shows, and Cars.com editors determine whether they're winners or losers. From the list of recent auto-show winners, Cars.com editors determined which are the top 10 new cars revealed.

"Auto shows give us an opportunity to scrutinize the latest models from each automaker," said Joe Wiesenfelder, Cars.com executive editor. "Although we haven't had a chance to drive all of these models yet, first impressions give us high hopes, and we think these shouldn't be ignored by anyone in the market for a new car."

The Top 10 Auto Show Winners are:

  1. 2016 Honda Pilot: The 2016 Honda Pilot trades its blocky, trucky lines for a sleeker, more stylish-looking crossover profile. The Pilot's interior transformation is just as surprising; highlights include more refined cabin materials, a streamlined control layout and loads of family-friendly features.
  2. 2016 Lexus RX: With the redesigned RX, Lexus is committing itself to the brand's polarizing spindle grille in a big way. Aside from more aggressive styling, the RX also boasts additional rear-seat room and more safety features for 2016.
  3. 2016 Volvo XC90: The all-new seven-seat SUV's interior takes luxury to a whole new level with rich genuine wood and leather surfaces combined with premium features like a 19-speaker 1,400-watt Bowers & Wilkins stereo, massive touch-screen control system and a crystal-glass gear selector. 
  4. 2016 Hyundai Tucson: Hyundai's compact crossover stood out for its refined cabin and spacious interior. The 2016 Hyundai Tucson gets sportier exterior styling, more fuel-efficient powertrains and additional safety features for 2016.
  5. 2016 Honda HR-V: The 2016 Honda HR-V blends the compact footprint of the Fit subcompact hatchback with the taller ride height of the CR-V compact crossover. With low prices, versatile cargo and passenger room, and an efficient powertrain, it looks like Honda might have another hit at dealerships.
  6. 2016 Cadillac CTS-V: With 640 horsepower and aggressive styling cues like a carbon-fiber hood with an integrated functional air extractor vent and a carbon-fiber trunk-lid spoiler, the 2016 CTS-V has the looks to accompany its audacious hardware.  
  7. 2017 Ford GT: This supercar's angular, aerodynamic styling screams concept car, but Ford's GT is headed to production after a several-year hiatus. The rear-wheel-drive GT packs a 600-plus-hp, twin-turbocharged V-6 along with a racetrack-inspired carbon-fiber cockpit. 
  8. 2016 Kia Sorento: The 2016 Sorento is bigger and wears an updated version of the brand's stylish, studded grille. Inside, the cabin has improved with better materials quality and a simplified control layout.
  9. 2016 Nissan Maxima: A redesign for 2016 brings a new "floating roof" effect with the black front pillars, black wraparound rear pillars and swoopy curves inherited from Nissan's Sport Sedan Concept. Along with the exterior revisions, the new Maxima also gets a redesigned engine.
  10. 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: After 10 years with minimal changes, the MX-5 Miata is redesigned with a new shark-nose grille and muscular profile, but the automaker has kept the roadster's winning formula intact.  Compact + affordable + uncomplicated = fun.

"We'll have more to say about each of these cars once we get behind the wheel, but from looks and features alone, we expect them to continue their winning streak. People might associate only exotics and concept cars with auto shows, but in reality they're full of cars ranging from affordable to luxury, as is represented in our top 10 list," Wiesenfelder said.

For more information about the Top 10 Auto Show Winners visit www.cars.com/news. Keep an eye out for full expert reviews of each of these cars in the coming months.

HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated, the premier audio, infotainment and software services company, is widely known for its love of technological challenges. And in the automotive audio industry, few things are more challenging than to get an audio system in a small car to sound great. That is why HARMAN and JBL have created the JBL audio systems for the current smart fortwo and forfour. The system in the fortwo features eight speakers with 240 W, the system in the forfour features twelve speakers with 320 W. Both systems set new standards for compact-car audio and are tailor-made for the narrow dimensions of the smart models. Due to refined sound processing and elaborate audio architecture, the passengers feel like sitting in a much bigger car, as the sound is able to spread through the interior homogeneously and harmoniously. Also, as space is at a premium in the smart, JBL and smart made the subwoofer removable to extend the trunk volume when drivers need to load extra baggage: a clever solution that is a perfect fit with the smart driving experience.

But even global companies want to have a little fun now and then – so a whole new project was born. “This project gives us the possibility to have fun with our regular aftermarket solutions. To speak frankly, it is actually quite ridiculous how much audio technology we have been able to fit into these small cars,” explains Michael Mauser, President Lifestyle Division HARMAN. “The results are two absolutely fantastic and breathtaking audio monsters on wheels.”

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