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The nanny car of the future focuses its attention on the driver's every move

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal | Oct. 3, 2013
Tech will soon be used to improve safety, comfort, and even your in-car infotainment needs

Delphi's MyFi Connecting with Safety system is promising because it takes the driver's actual awareness into account, instead of frustrating drivers with catch-all infotainment restrictions. It also allows passengers to fiddle with the system while the driver is driving. We probably won't see full streaming movies on the center console just yet, but it's definitely a start.

Of course, when we finally see MyFi Connecting with Safety in vehicles, it may look and act differently. Because Delphi is a supplier, all of its proprietary technology is customizable and configurable to the look and feel of the automaker, and different automakers may implement different restrictions.

Autonomous cars, awesome infotainment
The company also demonstrated several other projects, including a Volvo with 360-degree sensing capabilities, and an Audi with a sweet rear-seat entertainment system.

The 360-degree sensing is interesting because it's a major component of autonomous cars, and also because Delphi's implementation is so discreet. The car has four short-range radars attached to its body, each with a 150-degree radius. The overlap is to ensure that the car has full 360-degree sensing capabilities.

The radars can detect objects up to 260 feet away, and a computer system uses an algorithm to determine whether objects are static (guard rails, trees, traffic signs) or moving (people, animals, other vehicles). The radars overlap but do have small blind spots, so they still need to be used in conjunction with other sensors on the vehicle.

Delphi also showed off an Audi with its full MyFi infotainment system, which included two rear-seat screens and a fancy, customized acoustic experience. The infotainment system can push separate videos to each screen—a nod to the system's dual-core, Cortex A15-based microprocessor. But even cooler was the system's patent-pending, rear-seat audio. The company has created what it calls "custom wave guides to deliver a 2.1 sound experience," essentially negating the need for headphones. Listeners can hear their respective soundtracks without infringing on the earspace of others in the car.

Delphi wouldn't tell me when we'll see any of this in production vehicles. Just a guess: We'll see all the safety tech in Volvo, first.

 

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