As a CNET reader who's addicted to tech, you likely already know why a phone and the apps therein can be useful in the car. Your phone is a hub for your music and entertainment, GPS navigation, and communications with your friends, family, and social circles. You've got your apps for streaming music and podcasts from the Web, apps for picking a place to eat or finding the lowest fuel prices around, and your hands-free calls of course. Or, because phones are such personal devices, your handset can bring only a few of these things to your driving … Read more
In the year 2020, your car may recognize you when you get in, and immediately adjust the seat and mirrors to your preferences. At the same time, it could bring up your calendar on a screen, and automatically program your destination based on your next appointment. As passengers get in, each would have access to his own audio zone and be able to connect his smartphone and tablet to the car's own Wi-Fi hot spot.
The automotive presence at CES 2013 looks to be stronger than ever, with an array of aftermarket and GPS companies joined by some of the leading tech pioneers among automakers. In addition, equipment suppliers such as Nvidia, Intel, and Freescale show off their latest automotive-oriented chips.
Big iron Both Ford and Audi will run major press conferences at the Mandalay Bay. During last week's Los Angeles Auto Show, a Ford spokesman told us to expect big tech announcements at CES without being specific on what they were. We expect Ford to show off the latest iteration of its MyFord Touch … Read more
LOS ANGELES -- If you ever read an address off your phone and typed it into your car's navigation system, you experienced one of the biggest disconnects between smartphones and cars. At the LA Auto Show, Telenav demonstrated how its Scout navigation app solves this problem.
Last September, Ford and Telenav announced that Scout was compatible with Ford's Sync AppLink app integration feature. Sync AppLink lets drivers control compatible apps through their car's interface. Scout was the first navigation app to work with AppLink, and joined a growing number of compatible apps.
Telenav's Mark Burfeind demonstrated … Read more
LOS ANGELES -- Modern cars play digital music, guide us to destinations, and respond to voice commands. But so do our smartphones. Through a technology called MirrorLink, the Connected Car Consortium (CCC) hopes to rid us of this duplication, using the car's LCD and interface to show navigation and play music from a smartphone.
The MirrorLink initiative turns the car into a dumb terminal, lacking much in the way of its own computing power and relying on the phone as its processor. One advantage of this system for the user is that the same data stored on the phone … Read more
LOS ANGELES -- The connected car is fast becoming a reality, and Chrysler leveraged Sprint's expertise to bring two of its vehicles at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show online. Chrysler fitted the Ram 1500 pickup and SRT Viper supercar with its new UConnect Access system, an evolution of the UConnect infotainment suite.
UConnect combined navigation, hands-free phone, and digital audio into an integrated system, and uses a single touch-screen interface. UConnect Access adds a number of connected features to the system, such as online points-of-interest search through Bing.
The new system also brings in a full telematics service, … Read more
Last week Ford told us the 2014 Fiesta, the smallest car in its lineup, would be offered with a new, fuel-saving 1-liter EcoBoost engine. Ford notes this week that the 2014 Fiesta will also get a new version of its MyFord Touch infotainment system, which marks the first time this model gets a navigation option.… Read more
When Apple announced the iPhone 5's new Lightning connector, a replacement for the 30-pin connector of past iPhones, iPads, and iPods, it also announced an adapter to maintain compatibility with 30-pin accessories and docks. I tested the iPhone 5 with its biggest 30-pin accessory, a Volkswagen.
Volkswagen uses the same iPod integration system as Audi, which it calls the Media Device Interface. This system consists of a proprietary port in the car with adapter cables for 30-pin iPod connector, USB, Mini-USB, and auxiliary input. As Volkswagen has not come out with a Lightning cable for its Media Device Interface, you have to get Apple's 30-pin-to-Lightning adapter, and connect it to the car's adapter cable. Not exactly an elegant solution.… Read more
LAS VEGAS--At the 2012 SEMA Show, Pioneer announced all-new lines of CD and DVD/multimedia receivers. The changes for this new generation are sweeping, encompassing nearly every product Pioneer makes; subtle, consisting mostly of moderate upgrades; and significant.
Starting with the 6.1-inch AVH-X1500DVD ($300), MixTrax compatibility comes to Pioneer's line of DVD/multimedia receivers. MixTrax, Pioneer's automated DJ and playlist software, analyzes your music library and creates custom mixes that play back while you drive. Compatibility with those mixes and control over how they're played is now baked into every Pioneer receiver with an "X&… Read more
LAS VEGAS--Scosche has been manufacturing car stereo dashboard mounting kits, wire harnesses, and installation accessories for so many years, but it has never offered a car stereo receiver of its own...until now.
At the 2012 SEMA Show, Scosche showed off the SCDBTA60 Car Stereo Receiver. This unit features an internal four-channel amplifier that outputs a maximum of 40 watts per channel and three preamp outputs for adding external amps. It's got a CD player and an SD card slot, and can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth (HFP and A2DP), USB, or an auxiliary input. By itself, it'… Read more