By Cabe Atwell, Contributing Editor.
A flurry of new tech offerings from car manufacturers were on display at this year’s Auto Tech R&D Summit, held in San Jose, Calif. Representatives from over 200 companies, including Tesla, Nissan, and Toyota were on hand to highlight new developments in their latest automotive technologies and all things connected. One of the more interesting highlights came from California-based GROM, which displayed its new prototype infosystem (not to be confused with infotainment) and its latest capabilities.
A spokesperson for the company stated, “It was a great experience to participate in the Auto Tech R&D Summit this year. We displayed a prototype of GROM.AI to showcase the main functions of our system. GROM aims to create many more innovative products for cars to provide latest in-car connectivity and safe driving experience for drivers.” This, of course, comes on the tail of a recent AAA/CDST report that details infotainment systems may increase distracted driver rates. Nonetheless, GROM’s new infosystem pledges a new level of connectivity and applications, which combines the company’s VLine Infotainment system with the Android-based Dashlinq and V2V/V2X communications protocols.
Known as GROM.AI, the new infosystem adds to the VLine platform with a host of new technologies, including increased access to external connections, such as the cloud to send/receive and process complex data, receive real-time data on surrounding infrastructure (road signs/delays/safety info), and information on surrounding vehicles (dangerous driving, etc.).
A slew of new hardware components further enhances the system, which now carries microwave, ultrasonic, and motion sensors to help with spatial awareness and RFID to garner additional information for parking and special zones. Cameras are included as well with front, rear, and side units for better lane tracking with traffic prediction and collision alerts.
GROM outfitted the platform with LIDAR for 360-deg. analysis, spatial awareness, and precision navigation along with OBDII for full-vehicle reporting—fuel state and tire and engine monitoring, as well as remote vehicle control and security implementation.
On the software side, GROM.AI is outfitted with the Android-based Dashlinq customizable dashboard app, complete with bundle favorites (Facebook messenger, Whatsapp, Hangouts, Phone call, etc.). The option for customization allows users to add other apps they would prefer and access them through voice commands. V2V/V2X communications protocols were also added, allowing the vehicle to communicate with others that house the technology and garnered from wireless ad hoc road networks, while V2X allows for communication with the surrounding infrastructure or anything else for that matter with the idea of increased safety in mind.
There’s no word yet on when GROM will transition over from prototype to production, but it will be interesting to see if other infotainment manufacturers will follow suit, especially given the findings from the AAA report.