With the 2019 model year comes two new vehicle technologies that are worth a close look.
General Motors has launched a new IP-based (Internet Protocol-based) radio for 2019 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks. An IP-based radio simply has a proprietary identification address attached to it. It’s like a social security number for your radio. It is the same technology that your laptop uses to sign you into the Internet and protect your transfer of information through the web.
The purpose for this is General Motors plans on launching a new connected car experience. Basically, after loading some personal (and hopefully secured) information to your vehicle, you will have the ability to pay for things that you use in the car such as gas or drive-thru food, maybe a coffee. This is one of many expansion opportunities that General Motors is attaching to their vehicles and should prove to be a very interesting launch. Our vehicles are already called “smartphones on wheels,” now they are also going to become our wallets!?
The other new tech I have noticed are smarter cameras that use digital-over-coaxial technology. A few factories have gravitated to this new technology such as GM and Dodge/ Chrysler/Jeep.
The specifications on these cameras are essentially true digital HD picture. Plus they now have digital signatures or specific digital frequencies that not only make them very manufacturer specific, but do not permit the addition of a traditional CVBS or CMOS camera.
Until now, you could take a General Motors camera and put it on a Ford vehicle or vice versa because the video signals were universally composite CVBS signals. The only difference would be the pin configuration and the fitment. But from a technological point the camera would work perfectly. Now, you cannot do this because a digital-over-coax camera uses a signal specific to the manufacturer.
Presently there are only a few car makers with a few models offering these cameras (Dodge RAM and GM Silverado and Sierra are confirmed for 2019 ).
The new cameras use a singular Fakra (blue GPS-type) connector whereby two pins in this connector carry both the power ground and digitized video signal, making them both efficient and cost effective. So, don’t be surprised if you start to see auto companies making running changes in Q2 of 2019 to include them.
The efficiency of these cameras will allow for a much longer life cycle, meaning fewer service visits and more savings for the manufacturers who adopt them. The problem for the aftermarket is the technology is very limited right now, meaning there’s low availability of chip sets and few manufacturers producing them. However, unofficially, we have heard of a few factories beginning development on similar technology to use as is or to expand off of it.