A major drawback of embedded navigation/entertainment systems in cars is the mismatch between the rate of technology change in consumer electronics and cars. So, while your vehicle has a useful lifetime of, say, ten years, the embedded electronics systems will seem dated by this time next year.
One alternative is to use a PC-based system, where an open architecture allows carmakers or consumers to add new functionality via software and/or hardware upgrades. A major obstacle to this solution has been the difficulty of integrating the PC with the car's other systems, but MP3Car and Intel have solved that problem, in the form of MP3Car's "Enabler" hardware unit.

Continued after the jump. The Enabler allows a PC to completely replace the functionality of a conventional car stereo or nav system, providing all the essential in-car functions lacking in PC hardware, including car-quality audio, FM receiver, satellite radio and hands-free Bluetooth phone integration.

On the software side, MP3Car debuted its Streetdeck software platform at CES 2006, which provides a full set of in-car functionality, including:
  • Touch Screen Control
  • Navigation & Mapping
  • Bluetooth Phone Integration
  • Satellite Radio
  • Vehicle Diagnostics
  • Rear-view Camera Support
  • CD player/MP3 Extraction
  • MP3 Player
  • FM Radio
  • DVD/Video Player
  • Picture Viewer
  • WiFi Sync Support

[via CarHacks.org]

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