GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Zeeland-based Gentex Corp. announced it will demonstrate the latest features of its “connected car” technology at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next week.

Gentex, a supplier of electro-optical products for the automotive industry, will demonstrate its digital rear vision systems, biometric-based vehicle security, in-vehicle payments with Visa, and other emerging automotive features, the company said on Tuesday, Jan. 2.

Last year at CES, we unveiled several new prototype technologies that garnered lots of attention from automakers,” said Steve Downing, Gentex president and chief operating officer. 

This year’s CES will be from Tuesday, Jan. 9 through Friday, Jan. 12, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

“This year we’ll be demonstrating fully functional, vehicle-integrated versions of these same features, along with exciting new technology that is currently under development,” Downing said.

Gentex features at this year’s show include:

* HomeLink Connect, a new home automation app that allows drivers to operate their home automation devices from the vehicle’s center console display.

Drivers of HomeLink Connect compatible vehicles will be able to download and configure the app to control individual home automation devices, or set up entire home automation “scenes.” For example, HomeLink could adjust a thermostat, turn on home lighting, disarm the security system, unlock the door, and begin playing music, the company said.

“By adding cloud-based wireless control to HomeLink’s traditional RF functionality, the feature stands to remain the industry’s most versatile, reliable, and comprehensive in-vehicle home automation system,” Downing said.

HomeLink Connect is an extension of Gentex’s HomeLink feature, which has programmable in-vehicle buttons to operate radio-frequency controlled devices like garage doors and security gates. More than 80 million HomeLink-equipped vehicles are on the road today.

* A biometrics system in the rear-view mirror that authenticates the driver’s identity with near-infrared emitters, an iris-scanning camera, and system-level intelligence.

“Upon entering the vehicle, a glance to the mirror by an authorized user would the allow the vehicle to operate, and then personalize setup by automatically adjusting seat position, HVAC controls, music favorites, GPS locations, and other cabin amenities, according to user-determined presets,” the company said..

“The biometric system could then sanction safe, secure access to a host of cloud-based, connected-vehicle services, like home automation control, tolling and in-vehicle payments,” the company said.

“The driver’s eyes are key to securing and customizing the in-vehicle, connected-car experience,” said Downing. 

“By knowing exactly who is behind the wheel, automakers can implement vehicle security, personalize the vehicle cabin, and secure access to cloud-based accounts, apps, and additional connected-car services.”
* Gentex also will show off its latest Full Display Mirror (FDM), an intelligent rear-vision system that uses cameras and mirror-integrated video display to capture video from a rearward-facing camera and stream it to a unique mirror-integrated LCD that provides the driver with an unobstructed, panoramic view behind the vehicle.

In mirror mode, the FDM functions as a standard rearview mirror. But with the flip of a lever, the mirror can display an LCD video image from rear-facing cameras to provide a wider unobstructed rearward view.

Three cameras are used to provide drivers with video feeds that are stitched together into multiple composite views that are streamed to the driver in the Full Display Mirror.

Gentex’s next-generation FDM features an all-new frameless design with a larger, higher-resolution display, and is accompanied by a 1.7-megapixel camera, the company said.

For CES 2018, Gentex said it will unveil new smaller and lighter exterior mirror assemblies that pivot (as opposed to just the glass moving) to adjust the sideward field of view. 

* Borrowing from the dimmable cabin windows its supplies to the aerospace industry, Gentex will debut a dimmable head-up display and sensor shrouds – dimmable glass panels that darken on-demand or automatically according to sensor function.

Gentex also will demonstrate large-area dimmable devices for in-vehicle lighting, sunload, and privacy control.

To show off the new technologies, Gentex said it will unveil a new product demonstrator at CES that will allows customers to experience the new technology first-hand.

For example, the display will demonstrate in-vehicle payments for gasoline through the Visa Token Service, a security technology that replaces payment card account information with a unique digital identifier to process payments without exposing actual account details.

“When low on fuel, the driver would be directed to a nearby gas station, where paying for the fill-up would be as easy as choosing Visa on the vehicle’s touchscreen,” the company said.

“Gentex and Visa are working together to show the ways that our technology and in-vehicle payments can complement one another,” said Downing.  “When you combine Visa’s leadership in digital payments with our connected car features and in-vehicle displays, we can work together to help automakers implement unique and robust in-vehicle payments solutions.”

New Gentex device handles toll road collections on all U.S. highways

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