Monthly Archives: April 2015

  • Brandmotion Joins the Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communications Industry

    JV at MTC Brandmotion president, Jeff Varick, speaking to the affiliate members of the Mobility Transformation Center.

    In mid-March, a group of 27 automotive companies met in Ann Arbor, Michigan on the University of Michigan’s campus. They were there to discuss the next steps in implementing vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-device communication platforms and to tour the Mobility Transformation Center (MTC) being built on the outskirts of the city. Among the companies in attendance was the aftermarket industry’s representative, Brandmotion.

    MTC Overview A small portion of the MTC currently under construction, when completed, the testing grounds will feature a number of structures and traffic scenarios.

    In order for this technology to be successfully tested and implemented, both OEM car manufacturers and aftermarket companies will need a working model of a city to test their parts. That’s where the MTC comes in. The center spans 32 acres which features mock highways, suburbs, roundabouts and many other roadways that allow companies to test cars in all manner of driving conditions.

    MTC Structure Structures like this one are being built to represent real world building to study how V2V communications can be obstructed in an urban setting.

    So how does Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) work without it becoming just another gadget drivers have to monitor? A transmitter pumps out a signal 10 times per second that is automatically received by other vehicles, traffic lights, and even smartphones. These signals communicate data to one another, conveying approaching hazards, traffic speeds, oncoming traffic and can alert drivers and pedestrians alike of an impending collision before it happens.

    MTC Tunnel A tunnel being constructed on the edge of the MTC designed to test V2V signal in covered environments.

    The best part is, this technology isn’t something that companies are only dreaming of; it is being tested and implemented in small batches, in real world settings outside of the MTC. The city of Ann Arbor has been an undercover test bed of the technology for a few years now. Streetlights and intersections around the city have already been communicating with testing platforms on vehicles, and the MTC is the next logical step for this technology.

    As an aftermarket manufacturer on the cutting edge of vehicle safety products, Brandmotion will lend its expertise to the OEMs on how best to integrate the technology not only into new vehicles but existing vehicles that are on the road today.

    “If we are going to be living in a world where vehicles talk to other vehicles, the aftermarket will play a critical role,” said Brandmotion president, Jeff Varick. “Otherwise, it will take much longer to achieve any kind of critical mass, and that’s what V2V requires.”

    The Grand Opening of the MTC is scheduled for July 20, 2015.

  • Brandmotion to Be Part of Self-Driving Cars in ‘Mcity’

    University of Michigan facility will test autonomous driving and inter-vehicle communication in mock city

    SOUTHFIELD, MICH., March 27, 2015 (MEDIAWIRE) – Brandmotion, leading supplier of forward-looking technology solutions for the automotive aftermarket, today announced its participation in a major initiative to further autonomous driving and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication. The University of Michigan is creating the Mobility Transformation Center, in partnership with government and leading tech companies, as a means to test and develop the infrastructure and in-vehicle components to make self-driving and environment-aware vehicles a reality. Brandmotion will provide logistical support and strategic input to facilitate development for both OEM and aftermarket applications.

    Mcity, the nickname for the Mobility Transportation Center (MTC) facility, is just that: a mock city that allows developers to test a fully autonomous driving experience in a real-world environment. With completion scheduled for July 20, the 32-acre facility on U of M’s North Campus will include buildings, streets, highways, elevated roadways and complex intersections to create immersive simulations of on-road scenarios.

    Mcity 2

    “If we are going to be living in a world where vehicles talk to other vehicles, the aftermarket will play a critical role,” said Jeff Varick, president and founder of Brandmotion. “Otherwise, it will take much longer to achieve any kind of critical mass, and that’s what V2V requires.  We see it as a very exciting opportunity for our customers, to help drive the adoption rate, and we are very pleased to be able to contribute our unique knowledge of the aftermarket to the goals of the MTC.”

    Brandmotion produces a series of Authentic OEM™ driver safety systems and components that seamlessly integrate with factory installed displays, wiring and fixtures, resulting in an enhanced driving experience that rivals factory installed systems. In addition, the company continually invests in innovative products, such as its Qi-based FreedomCharge vehicle-specific wireless charging systems for phones, to allow drivers to benefit from new-car features in their current vehicles. As Mcity will incorporate a series of wireless transceivers—both in vehicles and on road fixtures such as light poles—that enable the communication from vehicle to vehicle and from vehicle to environment, Brandmotion will provide its extensive expertise on the integration of in-vehicle components to work with existing displays, sensors and networked systems in the vehicle.

    Brandmotion joins 26 partner companies as participants in the initiative, with a goal to have a viable autonomous network on the streets of southeast Michigan by 2021.

    "The technology involved on the path to the autonomous vehicle has far-reaching potential to save lives, improve efficiency and decrease damaging effects on the environment,” continued Varick. “We’re proud to be a Michigan-based company, working closely with such an innovative group of technology leaders in a project that will change the face of roadways in America and beyond.”

    For more information, contact Brandmotion at (734) 619-1250, visit Brandmotion.com or follow Brandmotion on Facebook at facebook.com/brandmotion.

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