Monday, February 9, 2015

QNX-powered Audi Virtual Cockpit shortlisted for MWC’s Global Mobile Awards

By Lynn Gayowski

2015 has just started and the QNX auto team is already off to the races. It was only last month at CES that the digital mirrors in our 2015 technology concept car were selected as a finalist for Engadget’s Best of CES Awards, in the category for best automotive tech. Now we’re excited to share some other big, award-related news. Drum roll, please… the QNX-powered Audi virtual cockpit in the 2015 Audi TT has been shortlisted for Mobile World Congress’ prestigious Global Mobile Awards, in the category for best mobile innovation for automotive!

The 2015 Audi TT features a one-of-a-kind, innovative, and just plain awesome, instrument cluster — the Audi virtual cockpit — powered by the QNX operating system. With the Audi virtual cockpit, everything is in view, directly in front of the driver. All the functions of a conventional instrument cluster and a center-mounted head unit are blended into a single, highly convenient, 12.3" display. This approach allows users to interact with their music, navigation, and vehicle information in a simple, streamlined fashion. As you may recall, the QNX-powered Audi virtual cockpit also took home first place in CTIA’s Hot for the Holidays Awards late last year.

Props also to our BlackBerry colleagues, who received 2 nominations themselves for the Global Mobile Awards: BlackBerry Blend in the best mobile service or app for consumers category, and Blackberry for BBM Protected in the best security/anti-fraud product or solution category.

The winners will be announced on March 3 at the Global Mobile Awards ceremony at Mobile World Congress. We can’t wait to hit Barcelona! In the meantime, check out the video below to see the Audi virtual cockpit in action.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Have you heard about Phantom Intelligence yet?

If you haven’t, I bet you will. Phantom Intelligence is a startup that is looking to revolutionize LiDAR for automotive. I hadn’t heard of them either until QNX and Phantom Intelligence found themselves involved in a university project in 2014. They had some cool technology and are just all-around good guys, so we started to explore how we could work together at CES 2015. One thing led to another and their technology was ultimately featured in both the QNX reference vehicle and the new QNX technology concept car.

I knew little about LiDAR at the beginning of the partnership. But as I started to ramp up my knowledge I learned that LiDAR can provide valuable sensor input into ADAS systems. Problem is, LiDAR solutions are big, expensive, and have not, for the most part, provided the kind of sensitivity and performance that automakers look for.

Phantom Intelligence is looking to change all this with small, cost-effective LiDAR systems that can detect not just metal, but also people (handy if you are crossing the street and left your Tin Man costume at home) and that are impervious to inclement weather. As a frequent pedestrian this is all music to my ears.

I am still in no way qualified to offer an intelligent opinion on the pros and cons of competing LiDAR technology so I’m just going on the positive feedback I heard from customers and other suppliers into the ADAS space at CES. Phantom turned out to be one of the surprise hits this year and they are just getting started. That’s why I think you will be hear more about them soon.

Both QNX vehicles showcased at CES 2015 use a LiDAR system from Phantom Intelligence to detect obstacles on the road ahead.