Communications posts on CNET - Page 12


Verizon leaps into connected car biz with Hughes buy

Verizon has agreed to buy Hughes Telematics for $612 million, bolstering its efforts to hook cars up with wireless service.

The New York telecommunications company said today that the all-cash deal would expand its ability to serve the fleet and automotive telematic industries. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter, and Verizon said it plans to retain the existing management team and its headquarters in Atlanta.

The connected devices -- or machine-to-machine -- business is increasingly seen as the next growth area for the wireless industry. The opportunity to connect cars with entertainment, safety, security, and maintenance … Read more

Flashing headlights is your Constitutionally protected right

No good deed goes unpunished, as they say. A man who tried to warn others of a speed trap by flashing his vehicle's headlights at motorists was ticketed by police. But a Florida judge ruled this week that flashing headlights is free speech protected by the First Amendment, according to an article in the Orlando Sentinel.

Ryan Kintner was ticketed last year for warning motorists of a speed trap waiting for them down the road. The Lake Mary, Fla., resident was at home when he noticed a police officer with a radar gun near his house, and decided to … Read more

Text message sender off the hook in car accident lawsuit

A New Jersey judge ruled today that a person sending a text message cannot be held liable for an ensuing car accident caused when the recipient replied to it, a CBS New York article reported.

Shannon Colonna was recently named in a lawsuit brought by two motorcyclists injured in a distracted-driving accident in 2009. David and Linda Kubert each lost part of their left legs when a truck driven by Kyle Best struck their motorcycle. Best pleaded guilty to using a handheld cell phone while driving, careless driving, and failure to maintain a lane, and was sentenced to $775 in … Read more

Ann Arbor to use V2V tech to prevent car crashes

Until supposedly safer autonomous vehicles become the norm, it's still up to the drivers to prevent car crashes. However, a few thousand drivers in Michigan will be getting a little electronic assist in staying out of harm's way.

The University of Michigan is conducting a pilot program to test a vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications device that could help drivers avoid accidents, reported This technology could prevent up to 81 percent of all vehicle crashes, according to the Department of Transportation (DOT). The school's Transportation and Research Institute is seeking 3,000 drivers in the Ann Arbor, … Read more

From Nuance, Siri in your next car

If you find yourself with Siri envy but don't want to pony up the $600 for a phone, you may be able to get that same level of convenience and computerized companionship in your car.

Nuance's technology powers Apple's voice-recognition system, and the company is making its natural language command platform available to automotive manufacturers with Dragon Drive. Vehicles equipped with Dragon Drive will enable drivers to use spoken commands to get the system to perform a range of tasks, including open-ended conversational text messaging, getting directions to restaurants, or finding traffic information.

The benefit of Dragon … Read more

Text message sender sued for encouraging distracted driving

Two victims seriously injured in a distracted driving accident are suing not only the man looking at his mobile phone when he should have been driving, but also the person sending him text messages. A New Jersey judge will rule later this month if a text message sender can be held liable for a distracted driving accident, according to an article in the Daily Record.

In 2009, David and Linda Kubert were struck head-on by a truck as they rode their motorcycle. The driver of the truck, Kyle Best, was texting back and forth with Shannon Colonna when the vehicle … Read more

Clarion Next Gate puts iPhone control, app integration on your windshield

Clarion Corporation of America announced today at CTIA 2012 a new way to connect your iPhone to your car: the Next Gate.

Clarion's Next Gate is a 7-inch WVGA touch display that mounts on your vehicle's windshield with a suction cup, much like a portable navigation device. (However, at 7 inches, its size is only rivaled by the largest of PNDs, such as Magellan's RoadMate 9055-LM.) The Next Gate features a cable connection to the iPhone 4's or iPhone 4S' 30-pin dock connector for data and charging; meanwhile the Clarion unit itself is powered by a … Read more

OnStar FMV drops to $99 including installation

Between May 6 and June 16, OnStar's aftermarket telematics system, the OnStar FMV, is getting a lot cheaper with a price drop to just $99, which includes installation at participating consumer electronics retail outlets, including Best Buy.

When I took a look at the OnStar FMV last year, one of the only drawbacks that I could find was that the "price, installation, and subscription fees create a high cost of entry." At an MSRP of $299 with a subscription fee of $199 to $299 per year, adding an OnStar mirror to your car was no mere impulse … Read more

No more rewind on many SiriusXM channels

It's official -- the best feature of SiriusXM's iPhone (and now Android app) has been removed from many of its most popular stations. Version 2.0.2 of the iPhone app confirmed what many subscribers suspected: licensing contracts got in the way of convenience and technology.

The satellite radio company updated its iPhone app on April 16 to version 2.0.1. Many listeners who updated reported network errors preventing them from using the app, and others lucky enough to connect to SiriusXM bemoaned the loss of an exit button and were left wondering why 5-hour rewind was … Read more

LaHood calls for federal ban on using cell phones while driving

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood wants a federal law banning talking or texting on a cell phone while driving.

Yesterday at an event in San Antonio, Texas, he called for tough federal legislation that would deal with what he called a "national epidemic" of distracted driving, according to a Reuters report. LaHood told a group of doctors, government officials, and other advocates for bans on cell phone use while driving that police should have "the opportunity to write tickets when people are foolishly thinking they can drive safely or use a cell phone and text and … Read more