AOL Autos Names Finalists for Telematics, Connectivity & Safety Awards

AOL Autos

AOL Autos announced the six final­ists for its very first 2012 Tech­nol­ogy of the Year Award, which will be awarded to one Grand Prize win­ner in Jan­u­ary at the 2013 Inter­na­tional Con­sumer Elec­tron­ics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The award rec­og­nizes three cat­e­gories: telem­at­ics, con­nec­tiv­ity, and safety.

TELEMATICS – Cadil­lac CUE com­prises a glass cock­pit with touch­screen, voice con­trol, three USB jacks plus an SD slot. Audi con­nect with Google Maps Street View wasn’t new this year, but the addi­tion of Google Earth imag­ing into the sys­tem was is an upgrade that was met with nearly unan­i­mous votes from the judg­ing panel.

CONNECTIVITY – Chrysler Ucon­nect Access offers one-button emer­gency assis­tance, voice-controlled tex­ting, the abil­ity to mon­i­tor a vehicle’s per­for­mance, a smart­phone app that allows locked doors to be opened when keys are locked inside, and head­lights to be flashed if dri­vers lose track of where they’ve parked. MyFord Mobile was launched with the new Ford Focus Elec­tric; the app also allows the driver/owner to view the EV’s remain­ing bat­tery charge, con­trol charg­ing, remotely oper­ate and set timers for the cli­mate con­trol, plan trips that get sent to the nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem, and find charg­ing stations.

SAFETY – Nis­san Tire Pres­sure Alert & Refill Sys­tem:  Not only does the sys­tem tell dri­vers specif­i­cally which tire on the car is low and in need of air, but when the tires are being inflated, the car-horn gives off a quick burst when the tire has arrived at the proper air pres­sure. Honda LaneWatch: A tiny cam­era on the passenger-side mir­ror can be man­u­ally or auto­mat­i­cally acti­vated when the right indi­ca­tor is engaged. Live video then dis­plays on the i-MID screen, and it pro­vides a view nearly four times greater than using the passenger-side mir­ror alone.