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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 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, 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 editors determine whether they're winners or losers. From the list of recent auto-show winners, 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, 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 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.”

For 15 years TU-Automotive Detroit 2015 (June 3-4, Novi, MI) has been dedicated to the connected car. With 3,000 expert attendees in 2015 it is looking to THE event to map out the new industry landscape as automotive converges around connectivity. 

The speaker line-up will include Klas Bendrik, VP & Group CIO, Volvo Car Group, Brian Simmermon, VP & CIO, Subaru, Alain De Taeye, Management Board, TomTom, and experts from Ford, GM, Nissan and  Mercedes, among others. 

The event will feature more sessions than ever before. Key themes include enhancing user experience, secure software architecture, data monetization, diagnostics & aftermarket services and much more to bring guests up to speed on all things telematics and auto tech.

See full event details here:

VOXX Electronics Corporation (VEC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of VOXX International Corporation (NASDAQ: VOXX), is proud to be a part of the AM Distributors Electronics Expos hosted in both Chicago, IL on April 16th as well as Bloomington, MN on April 28th where the company showcased their extensive 12 Volt product line up.
“AM Distributors has been one of our most-valued customers for over 20 years and each year we are excited to attend and support their Expo. We value the opportunity to interact one-on-one with their extensive customer base and to demonstrate our newest product offerings,” said Tom Malone, President of VOXX Electronics Corporation. “We want to thank George McGoldrick for hosting such a successful show year after year.”
“In both Chicago and Bloomington there was a combined total of over 400 dealers in attendance, setting the stage for VOXX to interact and show off our latest product offerings to such a large audience,” added Tom Nibert, VOXX Electronics, Midwest Regional Manager.
During both Expos VOXX Electronics showcased products across their multiple brands and product categories including Advent/Audiovox Headrest and Overhead systems featuring HDMI/MHL connectivity as well as an Android Custom Headrest system with over 1,000 vehicle applications; Car Connection 2.0 – the next generation Car Connection product that comes with new safety and money-saving subscription services that will work with all 3G Car Connection OBDII devices; new Jensen DUB Edition Speakers, Amps and Subwoofers that combine the Jensen technology with the design skills from the creators of DUB Magazine; new FlashLogic firmware that adds to the broad line up of transponder and door lock interface products available today; and Prestige, Code Alarm and Pursuit security and remote start systems offering some of the slimmest transmitters with double the operating range.
For more information about VOXX Electronics, please visit:

St. George News -- IRS recognized Small Business Week last week by highlighting some of its most popular educational products, videos and webinars to help your small business thrive. If you are a self-employed landscaper or gardener, visit for all your federal tax needs.

Be sure to view the IRS webinar “Business Taxes for the Self-Employed: The Basics.” Here are some topics included in the webinar or on that you should know:

    • Accounting Method | An accounting method is a set of rules about when to report income and expenses. Many small businesses use the cash method. Under the cash method, you normally report income in the year that you receive it and deduct expenses in the year that you pay them. Find out more in IRS Publication 538, Accounting Periods and Methods.

You may need to pay your taxes by making estimated tax payments

  • Business Taxes | There are four general types of business taxes: income tax, self-employment tax, employment tax and excise tax. You may have to pay self-employment tax as well as income tax if you make a profit. Self-employment tax, or SE tax, includes Social Security and Medicare taxes. You may need to pay your taxes by making estimated tax payments. If you do, use IRS Direct Pay to pay them.  It’s the fast, easy and secure way to pay from your checking or savings account.
  • Tax Forms | There are two forms to report self-employment income. You must file a Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business, or Schedule C-EZ, Net Profit from Business, with your Form 1040. You may use Schedule C-EZ if you had expenses less than $5,000 and meet other conditions. See the form instructions to find out if you can use the form. Use Schedule SE, Self-Employment Tax, to figure your SE tax. If you owe this tax, make sure you file the schedule with your federal tax return.
  • Read the rest here:

WTOP -- Google Inc. revealed Monday that its self-driving cars have been in 11 minor traffic accidents since it began experimenting with the technology six years ago.

The company released the number after The Associated Press reported that Google had notified California of three collisions involving its self-driving cars since September, when reporting all accidents became a legal requirement as part of the permits for the tests on public roads.

The director of Google’s self-driving car project wrote in a web post that all 11 accidents were minor — “light damage, no injuries” — and happened over 1.7 million miles of testing, including nearly 1 million miles in self-driving mode.

“Not once was the self-driving car the cause of the accident,” wrote Google’s Chris Urmson.

“Cause” is a key word: Like Delphi Automotive, a parts supplier which suffered an accident in October with one of its two test cars, Google says it was not at fault.

Delphi sent AP an accident report showing its car was hit, but Google has not made public any records, so both enthusiasts and critics of the emerging technology have only the company’s word on what happened. The California Department of Motor Vehicles said it could not release details from accident reports.

This lack of transparency troubles critics who want the public to be able to monitor the rollout of a technology that its own developers acknowledge remains imperfect.

John Simpson, privacy project director of the nonprofit Consumer Watchdog, notes that Google’s ultimate goal is a car without a steering wheel or pedals. This could prevent a person from taking over if a car loses control, making it “even more important that the details of any accidents be made public — so people know what the heck’s going on.”

Delphi’s accident report shows that the front of its 2014 Audi SQ5 was moderately damaged when it was broadsided by another car while waiting to make a left turn. Delphi’s car was not in self-driving mode at the time, company spokeswoman Kristen Kinley said.

Five other companies with testing permits told the AP they had no accidents. In all, 48 cars are licensed to test on state roads.

Read the rest of the story here:

A new report by Allied Market Research titled, "Global Advanced Driver Assistance Systems Market Size, Industry Analysis, Trends, Opportunities, Growth and Forecast, 2013 - 2020," stated that the Global Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) market would garner $60.14 billion by 2020, registering a CAGR of 22.8% during 2014 - 2020.

The deployment of sensors in vehicles has brought a massive transformation in the automotive industry by providing improved passenger experience and safety. The growing trend for comfort and safety while driving, along with favourable government initiatives has largely supplemented the growth of the ADAS market.

An increase in electronic integration along with the multiple functions of different sensors which are used in various driving assistance applications would boost the ADAS market in the coming years. ADAS applications are majorly adopted in the European region and contribute for the largest revenue in the global market, followed by North America. Stringent government regulations and the rising income of people, account for the high growth of the Asian countries.

The European countries exhibit the maximum adoption of ADAS applications. In Europe, the European New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), established by the government, imposes stringent regulations on car manufacturers in order to provide optimum on road security to the driver. The five-star safety rating system created by Euro NCAP program helps the customers to compare vehicles more easily and to identify safe choice for their needs. Asia-Pacific is the most dynamically emerging market with a highest CAGR of 29.54%, owing to favourable macroeconomic factors such as rise in income and purchasing power, changing lifestyle due to growing urbanization and increasing awareness about active safety systems. In the APAC region, China and Japan are the fastest growing countries in terms of automotive and technology adoption.

The ongoing trend reflects a broader adoption of ADAS applications and its manufacturing across a wide range of premium cars. The challenge for automotive manufacturers is to provide these premium features at effective costs.  Following this, to minimize the effects of other challenges such as, complexity in installing different applications, environmental factors viz. snow, fog, lightening & thundering, storms etc. is a big challenge for the players.

Key findings of the study: 

  • The Global ADAS market would grow at a promising rate across developing countries like China, India and Japan, during the forecast period (2014 - 2020)
  • The cost effectiveness and easy availability of the Ultrasonic sensors would make the segment grow at the fastest CAGR of 24.3% during 2014 - 2020
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System and Drowsiness Monitoring System segments are anticipated to show tremendous growth
  • Increasing purchasing power and supportive government initiatives would foretell remarkable growth for Asia-Pacific market
  • Europe would continue to dominate the market throughout the forecast period due to the stringent government regulations

Advanced driver assistance systems are intelligent concepts that improve transport safety, efficiency and comfort without additional loads on resources such as energy and raw material. The introduction of safety systems has enforced the countries to emphasize on reducing road accidents. Governments across regions, are taking active initiatives and have developed several policies to reduce fatal road accidents.  The European research project, 'interactIVe', is one such safety program that effectively facilitates accident-free traffic. 'interactIVe' has introduced advanced safety systems that autonomously brake and steer, along with warning the driver in case of potentially dangerous situations. The advanced driver assistance systems providing companies are continuously innovating the sensor technologies and applications to meet the multiple demands of the customers.

Global Consumer Telematics Market - Consumer telematics are communication technologies and services enabling transfer of large amounts of data in and out of passenger vehicles in real-time. This provides consumers in-vehicle services, global positioning System (GPS) navigation, traffic information, local search (for example, for petrol pumps / gas stations or restaurants) and concierge services. Passenger cars manufactured today offer unique connectivity solutions for better monitoring and tracking. The market is driven by amplified market penetration of smart phones, supportive governmental regulations which call for higher safety and security measures, growing demand for superior driving experience, lowered connectivity cost, and high speed internet technologies such as Long-Term Evolution (LTE).

View the global consumer telematics market report at

Connected Car Market - Connected cars facilitate connectivity on wheels offering comfort, convenience, performance, safety and security combined with powerful network technology. This enables the driver to connect with online platforms and facilitates real-time communication on the go. Rising consumer demands, the need for constant connectivity, increased dependency on technology and the growing number of tech savvy people account for the growth of this market. Over time, various connectivity solutions have been developed by the car manufacturers and service providers such as the Machine-to-Machine (M2M) connectivity platform. This M2M feature in a car enables interconnectivity between two connected cars. Numerous sensors and processors located in the car provide accurate and real-time information to the driver.

View the global connected car market report at

Robert Bosch Gmbh dominates the Advanced Driving Assistance System market owing to comprehensive automotive technology. Many other companies are launching unique -features with advanced technologies for example, Ford launched the Pre Collision Assistance System in Ford Mondeo with pedestrian detection technology that helps avoid frontal crashes with the help of camera and radar sensors. Apart from launching unique-feature and advanced technologies, the companies also focus on other growth and expansion strategies, i.e., strategic partnership with other companies; for example, Robert Bosch GmbH collaborated with Axel Springer Media Entrepreneurs to enhance its offerings in mobility solutions and digital content. Key companies profiled in the report include Valeo, Magna International Inc., Robert Bosch GmbH, Autoliv Inc., Continental AG, Denso Corporation, Audi AG, BMW AG, Ford Motors Co. and GM.

Forbes -- You know forming meaningful relationships with the right people has a direct impact on the success of your business. And that's great news -- if you were born with an outgoing personality.

But what if you consider yourself to be more of an introvert? Is your business doomed?

I've asked myself this a lot recently. As I look back on the success I've had forming deep relationships with influential people, I realize that making meaningful connections in a networking situation isn't about introversion or extroversion.

Here, three steps to building strong relationships -- no matter where you fall on the personality spectrum.

Related: 5 Secrets on Getting the Most Out of Partnerships

1. Your first question should excite them

Do you open a conversation exchanging names and a handshake followed by, “So Barbara, what do you do for a living?”

If so, know that you're just like everyone else. In some ways, that's a good thing, but if the goal is to be memorable and make meaningful connections, you may want to try something different.

One question that's worked well for my clients is, “So Barbara, what's happening in your life right now that really excites you?” By opening with a question like this, you immediately distinguish yourself. You also quickly tap into that person’s passions, which will help you form a connection faster than most others will -- even after several conversations. 

2. Be more interested than interesting

Many people dominate a conversation trying to get the other person to think they are interesting. It feels good to talk about yourself, but it doesn't make the other person feel as good.

This is where the most effective networkers take a different approach: They focus on being interested in you instead of getting you to think they are interesting.

They ask questions about your business, your passions and often make you feel like you're the most important person in the room. How much are you talking about yourself, and how much time do you spend asking questions and being interested in others?

Pay attention to your body language as well. Are you showing them you're interested? The next time you're speaking with someone, think about this: Are you facing the person and looking into their eyes with intention? Focus on being interested in them, and they'll think you're interesting.

Read the rest of the story here:

Automotive IT -- The manufacturing industry, including the world’s automakers and suppliers, has been putting in a lot of effort to improve production processes through the introduction of new, connected, technologies. “Industry 4.0,” which involves the networking of machinery and processes, is on track in many companies.

But logistics, arguably as important as the actual manufacturing of products, appears to be a somewhat neglected area. “Connectivity between transport, delivery and supplier is lacking,” says Heiko Breier, a logistics expert at Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. “So far, these units are traditionally all operating independently.”

That’s unfortunate. As Breier points out, all participants in the process could benefit from an integrated approach to information sharing.

Read the rest of the story here:

Mobile Electronics announced final numbers for its new KnowledgeFest event, Spring Training 2015, held last month in Indianapolis. The event, which combined a 30-manufacturer exhibit floor with dealer training and education, attracted over 480 attendees from 33 states, including the east and “near” east metro centers, and two Canadian provinces.

“We added Indy as a second KnowledgeFest for three reasons,” said Chris Cook, president of Mobile Electronics. “First, manufacturers weren’t seeing many dealers from east of the Mississippi in January; second, to maintain their competitive edge, 12-volt specialists want and need training and education; and, early April is a great time to deliver training on new products manufacturers are just starting to ship.”

With April’s Indy event in the book, Mobile Electronics is now focused on its second KnowledgeFest in Dallas August 15-17 at the Hilton Anatole. This “original” KnowledgeFest is the largest networking and educational event for mobile electronics retailers in the United States. Its objective is to provide peer-based and professional training to owners, managers and installation technicians through classes, a tradeshow and focused networking events.

“Since acquiring KnowledgeFest, every year we have grown and improved upon the event,” said Cook. “For 2015, we’re returning to having a keynote speaker to kick-off our Town Hall Meeting. Tim Parenti, president of MVP Dynamics, will address the topic of ‘Attitude – The Power to Direct or Misdirect.’ The keynote is sponsored by K40.”

Mobile Electronics has issued a “call for speakers.” For those wanting to be part of the KnowledgeFest conference program, go to Additional program enhancements will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information and to register to attend, please visit

Forbes -- Increasingly smart cars (and smart homes) are becoming the center of our digital lives. At a minimum you want to play your music where ever you go, and control other aspects of personal comfort such as lighting and temperature. The convenience of the Internet of things means your personal comfort zone can follow you most anywhere, it doesn’t even have to be your own car or house. But most of us do not fully understand the security consequences of having all our logins and passwords stored inside external devices we may possess even if only temporarily.

“When I get a rental car,” said David Miller, Chief Security Officer for Covisint, “the last thing I do is pair my phone. It downloads all my contacts because that’s what it wants to do. In most rental cars you can go in and –if somebody’s paired with it—see their contacts.”

Unlike most people today Miller is thinking ahead to what happens next. “I spend all this time connecting my vehicle to my whole life,” he said, “and then in five years I sell it – how do I disconnect it from my whole life? I don’t want the guy who buys [my car] to be able to see my Facebook friends, so you have to de-provision. Security guys are much more interested in the security vulnerabilities around de-provisioning than provisioning.”

Miller’s company, Covisint, created by GM, Ford, and the former DaimlerChrysler, connects the automakers back end systems to a variety of supply chain vendors through the use of a single login and password. “We provide a cloud service that connects people and things with information that are external and separate from them.” Lately Covisint has taken that idea and applied it to the Internet of Things.

Read the rest of the story here:

USA Today Money -- Forgive the irresistible Spinal Tap reference (“But this (speaker) goes up to … 11?” says a puzzled Christopher Guest to Rob Reiner), but Harman International Industries (HAR) is busy cranking up the business volume for its growing array of in-car audio brands. On Thursday, the Stamford, Conn.-based company — which owns JBL, Bang & Olufsen, Harman Kardon among others — announced it had secured $3.2 billion in orders from a range of top automakers in the first four months of 2015.

Although the company missed on Q1 earnings and revenue this week — $1.22 a share and $1.46 billion respectively, compared to Thompson Reuters analyst expectations of $1.27 and $1.48 billion — its strong position with automakers in the mushrooming connected-car space would seem to bode well for the future. Sales growth has ranged from 17% to 32% over the last seven quarters.

The $3.2 billion in orders includes agreements with BMW, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler. Some of Harman products appear in high-end models, such as the premium $6,300 Bang & Olufsen system that’s an option on the Audi A8 sedan.

Harman is emerging as a leading player in the battle for the automotive interior, an increasingly gadget-connected space that buyers of the even the least expensive automobiles will expect to interact with their mobile phones, tablets and smartwatches. Harman products already feature integration with Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android tech. Silicon Valley rumors swirl that Apple is itself getting the car-making game, but others think it’s far more likely that the Cupertino giant is simply trying to own the infotainment system inside the vehicle given the growing role it’s playing in the car-purchase experience.

Read the rest of the story here:

The Mobile Electronics Industry Awards are now open for nominations. Those interested can vote for themselves or others and review submission criteria on the newly created The deadline for nominations is May 22.

The website includes latest news, past winners, current criteria and awards to be included in this year's event. New categories for the event include Rookie of the Year, official voting category for Trusted Tech and Retail Performance awards like Most Improved Location or Chain and Best Online Presence.

The Mobile Electronics Industry Awards will take place at KnowledgeFest at the Hilton Anatole hotel in Dallas, Texas, which runs August 15-17, 2015.

Petra Industries held its 13th Annual Car Audio Expo on Sunday, April 26, 2015, at Petra’s headquarters in Edmond, Okla.

Hundred’s of attendees attended Petra’s eXpo show floor on Sunday to see demonstrations of the newest mobile A/V products including head units, amplifiers, speakers and subwoofers as well as installation kits, lighting navigation systems, satellite radio and much more, all from the 25 industry leading manufacturers exhibiting. This show also afforded attendees the opportunity to see Denny Hamlin’s FedEx NASCAR up close, pose for photos with the car and get exclusive Denny Hamlin FedEx NASCAR gear.

Exhibiting manufacturers included Atrend, AAMP or America Autotek, Bazooka, Boss, Boyo, Cerwin-Vega, Clarion, Cobra, Concept Bay, Crimestopper, DB Drive, Directed Electronics, Dual, Hifonics, Install Bay, Pioneer, Planet Audio, Power Acoustik, Racsport, SiriusXM, Soundstorm, Uniden, Weboost and Whistler. Video of interviews with vendors direct from the eXpo show floor can be viewed at

Attendees also had the chance to buy exclusive same-day show special deals and compete with their fellow installers in the always-favored Dealer Olympics. This years competition included a creeper race, subwoofer toss and frozen t-shirt challenge. Adrian Marzette of Backyard Solutions was the day’s big winner in the Dealer Olympics, taking first place in both creeper race and subwoofer toss events.

“Our Car eXpo is always such a great opportunity for our vendors to meet the dealers that our installing their products each and every day and showcase their newest products,” said Tate Morgan. “The show is a highlight of our year and it seems to get bigger and bigger every year. With so much success this year I am confident that the 2016 show is going to be even bigger and better.”

All eXpo attendees were registered for dozens of door prizes and special grand prize drawings. Grand prizes included a Vizio 39” LED Smart TV, a Kindle Fire HD, a Pioneer In-Dash Navigation A/V Receiver, a 50” CREE Curve LED Light Bar and much more.

Radar -- Throughout much of early-to-mid 20th century, cutting-edge design and technology found its way into cars. Following the invention of the integrated circuit, chips and bits started displacing pistons and gears in the hearts and minds of engineers. Silicon Valley’s gravitational force began stripping Motor City of its talent, compounding with the success of every tech startup. Not long after the birth of the Internet, Silicon Valley experienced unencumbered prosperity, while Detroit struggled to hold on for dear life. As automakers rise through the ashes of bankruptcy and corporate hot-potato, I expect our best and brightest entrepreneurs and engineers to be building car tech companies.

Skeptics will cite the arduous three-to-six-year automotive design cycles, onerous qualification requirements, and thin margins that plague the automotive value chain. By attracting the greatest engineers and entrepreneurs, the car business of the early 20th century took us from horseback to stylish coupes within a generation, soon to be followed by tire-smoking muscle cars. Cars built during and after the late 80s pollute less over their lifetimes than their predecessors did parked. Sound like Moore’s Law to you?

Unfortunately, as the automotive business matured, competitive advantage became a matter of economies of scale. Technology innovation began to give way to financial engineering. The mergers and acquisitions (M&A) frenzy and bloodbath that ensued led to brand consolidation and technology divestitures — hence the birth of Tier-1 suppliers. Manufacturing automation lowered the price of entry for new automakers. The Tier 1 suppliers made cutting-edge technology as available to new entrants, such as Hyundai, as incumbents, such as Ford. The industry mantra was to outproduce, outprice, and out market. Technology and innovation took a back seat as the bean counters took the wheel.

Ralph Nader’s consumer advocacy campaign — known to many as Unsafe at Any Speed — put the brakes innovation. It helped turn cars into one of the most heavily regulated consumer products on earth. Death rates per mile driven did drop, but at a rate nowhere near that in the first half of the 20th century. Everything from tires to windshields to dashboard materials began undergoing more rigorous regulatory certifications — even the most simple modifications became subject to a litany of checklists. Cars became difficult to differentiate, to the point where automakers are now relying on sheet metal and badge engineering to differentiate themselves. The difference between an Accord/Camry, A4/3-Series, F-150/Silverado continue to blur, as the way they look, feel, and drive is a function of the same components subject to narrowing regulatory constraints.

Should we assume that cars will soon be indistinguishable? Perhaps, but they will be autonomous, extremely personalized, and carry subtle differences that will characterize our motoring experience. Components such as engines, brakes, seats, and headlights will undergo the same battery of qualifications; however, those components will be abstracted by rapidly evolving technology that will make cars personalized, and eventually, autonomous. The creators of Knight Rider didn’t have to worry much about distinguishing KITT’s appearance from a base Pontiac Trans Am, or its evil twin KARR, as its artificial intelligence made it as unique a character as Michael Knight himself.

For example, today, most modern navigation systems are obsolete as soon as the new car hits the showroom floor. That is because they are qualified under similar timelines and processes as those used to qualify critical safety systems such as brakes and seat belts. As Apple Carplay and Android Auto gain broader adoption, everything we touch, feel, and hear will become as personal and customizable as floor mats, seat covers, and fuzzy dice. While automakers will continue to focus on what they do best — build safe, efficient, comfortable, and reliable chassis — we are being ushered into an arena reminiscent of the dawn of motoring: custom coaches built on production chassis, except the “customization” will be in software, not hardware.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

Automotive News -- Self-driving cars aren't just possible. They're inevitable.

So says Ray Kurzweil, the inventor and futurist who's now director of engineering for Google.

Indeed, the days when an inexpensive computer outperforms a human at a task such as driving aren't far off, Kurzweil said in a speech last week to the SAE World Congress.

"The price, performance and capacity of information technology -- not every technology -- follows a very predictable path" of exponential, rather than linear, growth, he said. At the current pace of progress, he predicted, a $1,000 computer would be able to "emulate all the computation of the brain" by 2022.

Kurzweil said self-driving vehicles will prove their utility in the marketplace by helping to drastically reduce the number of people injured and killed in accidents, and by freeing people up to do something useful with their commute times.

Moreover, he predicted, the ownership model for cars will change once they're able to drive themselves, potentially shifting to something like the ride-hailing service Uber or the home-sharing app Airbnb, in which consumers are able to access a ride when they wish, without having to own a vehicle.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

Automotive News -- Automakers are so obsessed with imitating smartphones and other gadgets that they have loaded vehicles with a bewildering array of infotainment features and apps that many customers never use.

That was the conclusion of panelists discussing the "In-Car Experience -- What Does the Consumer Really Want?" last week here at the SAE World Congress.

The industry must do better with its infotainment and communications controls and displays, they said.

"Vehicles on the road today are overladen with tools," said David Lyon, a former General Motors designer who left the company in 2012 to form his own consultancy, Pocketsquare. "Most systems today are trying to look like the Apple iPhone. It doesn't work."


The panelists agreed that most motorists don't need the myriad choices that carmakers offer, and that those choices are not only confusing, they can be dangerously distracting.

Customers typically listen to a few radio stations and call just a few people. Carmakers need "features intervention," Lyon said.

Rather than imitate smartphones, carmakers could look to their history for examples of how to get it right. He showed a picture of a 1964 Ford Mustang radio. The knob on the right is for volume, the one on the left for tuning, with the buttons across the center for radio presets.

"Volume requires a knob," he said.

Lyon suggested a simple central touch screen with just a few options customized to the motorist.

Too often, complexity creeps into systems. He showed a slide of the first generation of BMW's oft-criticized iDrive system. In 2002, when the system was launched, there was a single controller knob on the console with no surrounding buttons. Over the years, BMW kept adding buttons until the current version, which he described as a "button farm."

David Taylor, director of connected services at Panasonic Automotive Systems Co. of America, said there is "an explosion" in consumer services and expectations. Automakers' challenge is to meet those expectations consistently around the globe without spending a fortune. That requires being prudent and building a budget to design what is needed and leave out what is not, he said.

"We need to get away from worthless features in a car," he said.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

AAMP of America will be holding its second MECP training and testing day on Sunday, May 17th at its headquarters location in Clearwater, Fla. The training session will be from 10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and the testing session will run from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The study session will focus on material covered in both the Advanced and Master level study guides. Guests can sign up through Eventbrite at

Master Installation Technician level is the highest credential offered by MECP and is achieved only by mobile electronics professionals who have at least three years of experience and show the individual initiative, credentials and dedication necessary to earn such a prestigious honor. AAMP of America currently has 3 staff members that are Master Installation Technician’s; Ernie Hartman, Rick Costello and Tony Tassillo. They hope to add more after this session.

According to David Klatt, President and CEO of AAMP of America, “With only 275 MECP Master Installation Technicians in the USA, Canada and Mexico, and 27 in the state of Florida*, we are proud that three of them are on the AAMP team. Our customers can benefit from knowing that the people testing our products and providing technical support are among the best the industry has to offer.”

The proctors for the exams will be Mr. Costello and Mr. Hartman. AAMP of America will be exploring additional testing sessions in the future, based on demand.

VOXX Electronics participated in the first KnowledgeFest Spring Training event hosted in Indianapolis, Ind., April 11-13. During the weekend, VOXX held a successful training workshop centered on advanced FlashLogic trouble shooting, giving installers additional tools to diagnose and install more advanced remote start systems in newer vehicles.

“We were excited to be a part of the debut of KnowledgeFest Spring Training to support the mobile electronics industry. This show brings together a group of dedicated specialty retailers and reps with an interest to learn more and interact with the many different mobile electronics suppliers exhibiting at the show” said Tom Malone, President of VOXX Electronics Corporation.  “We commend KnowledgFest and their continuous dedication to educating installers and retailers by offering numerous educational tracks hosted by industry leaders and representatives.”

On both Saturday and Sunday the Company held a successful training workshop for over 50 attendees. Phil Camirand of Automotive Data Solutions (ADS) and Brian Munyon of VOXX Electronics took attendees through advanced troubleshooting and diagnostics for transponder and door lock interface modules, calling out the latest tips on today’s challenging vehicles. Brian also spent some time walking through the steps for the new VOXX Prestige/Pursuit web based programming system.

Attendees of the training workshop walked away with a swag bag full of goodies and were entered into a raffle to win the following prizes: Klispch RB-10 Soundbar, Prestige APS997E Remote Start & Security System with Car Connection PRO and 1 year prepaid service and a $100 Snap-on gift card.

For more information about VOXX Electronics please visit:  

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