WASHINGTON � Representatives from NAB�s Pilot initiative participated in two automotive app hackathons this September: one hosted by Mobile World Congress Americas in San Francisco and another in Boston hosted by GM. Programmers from Annapolis, Md-based app developer OpenPath Products joined Team Pilot for both events.
According to a blog post, hackathons present opportunities for Pilot to make the case for radio�s presence in the connected car. On the automaker end, the competitions are intended to drum up interest in connected car platforms, as well as suss out software bugs and get input on Software Development Kits.
The post explains SDL supports technology in which the app resides on the user�s smartphone and is projected to the car�s head unit via Bluetooth. For this hackathon, Team Pilot developed a �Pilot Radio Guide� (shown above) designed to find a radio station that plays the genre of music listeners are most interested in based upon the location of the vehicle. To use it, listeners launch the app on a smartphone and select the desired genre(s). When the user links a phone to the car, the app displays the local stations playing the selected genre on the car�s screen. The user can then chose from available stations, Pilot says.
In Boston, Pilot�s team focused on driver wellbeing with the prototype �Driving Safely with Pilot� app, using GM�s vehicle-embedded �Next Generation Infotainment� system in actual vehicles and uses the car�s mobile broadband connectivity. According to the blog, this app displays Common Alerting Protocol messages as well as accompanying visuals on the infotainment screen and can read the alert using the text-to-speech features of the GM NGI system. The current radio station is always shown on the display, and the listener can tune the radio dial, and two �buttons� inside the alert box allow the user to view images or to tune to the nearest news station. The app also can be used to sound an alarm from the car, locate the nearest hospital or call the police, Pilot says.