We can't see any way for Mr. LaHood and his crusaders against distracted driving to win; consumers want access to their connected lives even while behind the wheel and they're going to find a way to get it. Even if it means not being able to actually use a cellphone, manufacturers are right now working on ways to further integrate the app-sphere into their infotainment systems, and a Michigan company called Livio would like to help them.
Kia's UVO has been rolled out to generally appreciative audiences, the head-unit system combining with your smartphone to provide a wide range of voice-command operation. Kia boffins have returned to the lab, though, to develop a second-gen UVO interface that doesn't require your phone to be fully functional.
Everywhere connectivity is even closer with the announcement that GM will be offering dealer-installed Autonet routers in its SUV and truck offerings. Chrysler was the first to put Autonet in cars a year ago, and Volkswagen signed up in August of this year, putting the mobile router docking station in its Routan. The Autonet kit is available this month for installs in the GMC, Chevrolet, Buick, and Cadillac lineups, or you can order it on GM's accessories site.
Siemens and Microsoft have announced a joint partnership to develop the next generation of in-car entertainment and sat-nav products, which, much like the Ford/Microsoft Sync system, will allow users to connect everything from mobile phones to media players. Recognizing that standalone audio systems are quickly becoming a thing of the past, the new system seeks to integrate every facet of the "digital lifestyle" into one all-encompassing unit. The fruits of their labors should be in production b
The most exciting news to come out of Chrysler's unveiling of the 2007 Sebring sedan, besides the heating and cooling cupholders, was word that a 20GB hard drive would be available that could store both music and pictures.