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The 4G-connected car will perform a whole new set of tricks.
Audi Connect. Audi recently partnered with Alcatel-Lucentto show off an LTE version of their infotainment system. Audi’s production Connect system is capable of 7.2-mbps in-vehicle speeds, and 2012 models with Connect are considered the first production Web-connected vehicles. Through a partnership with T-Mobile, this SIM-card-activated service-plan system features navigation and weather/news/gas-price travel services that stay up-to-date with a built-in cellular data connection, and its integrated Wi-Fi can connect up to eight devices.
Cadillac’s CUE System. The Cadillac User Experience, is a combined infotainment, navigation, and communication system that’s easy to use. It enables users to connect up to ten Bluetooth mobile devices–its Bluetooth Audio Streaming AVRCP 1.4 supports wireless browsing of media players–and it features two USB ports and an SD Card slot. CUE will debut in 2012 in the Cadillac XTS and ATS luxury sedans and SRX luxury crossover.
Kia’s UVO System. Kia’s voice-activated UVO system, like Ford’s Sync, is the result of a partnership with Microsoft. It features Bluetooth smartphone connections, a color touchscreen, an integrated rearview camera, and a 700MB in-dash music hard drive.
Automotive telematics really got going with GM’s pioneering OnStar in 1996, which included an onboard GPS with 3G cellular connection. MyFord Touch enabled drivers to seamlessly integrate nearly all mobile phones and digital media players into their cars with voice commands, and touch-screen inputs enabled by Ford Sync functionality. Others such as Mercedes-Benz mbrace and BMW Assisthave run on 2G and 3G connections.
OnStar. Uses CDMA mobile phone voice and data communication, primarily from Verizon Wireless in the United States and Bell Mobility in Canada. Drivers and passengers can use its audio interface to contact OnStar representatives for emergency services, vehicle diagnostics and directions. A new aftermarket interior rear-view mirror with a built-in OnStar module, branded as OnStar FMV, became available to the public on July 24, 2011. It provides some of the features an OEM system has, such as Automatic Crash Response, Stolen Vehicle Tracking, Turn-by-Turn Navigation, and Roadside Assistance.
Ford Sync. Ford first announced SYNC in January 2007 at the Detroit International Auto Show. Ford first offered SYNC for sale in 2007 in twelve 2008 model year Ford group vehicles in North America. SYNC is currently offered in North America on 14 Ford vehicle models, 5 Lincoln vehicle models and on the Mercury Milan. The high-end Sync with MyFord Touch package can use a USB modem or a smartphone as an in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspot.
Toyota Safety Connect. A subscription-based telematics system introduced by Toyota in 2009. The system provides communications, roadside assistance, car safety, remote diagnostics, and other services. Unlike the earlier Lexus Link service offered on Lexus models, the Safety Connect system is proprietary and not licensed from GM’s OnStar service.
BMW Assist. Similar to GM’s OnStar or Mercedes-Benz mbrace services as they both use the cellular network and Global Positioning telemetry to locate or guide the vehicle. BMW Assist can provide turn-by-turn directions, remote unlocking, vehicle diagnostics, airbag deployment notification, theft recovery and towing or flat tire repair. The service is included free in most new BMWs. After expiration, it can be purchased at a yearly rate.
Mercedes-Benz mbrace. Remotely access services such as Concierge, Remote Lock and Unlock, Send2Benz, Vehicle Finder using the mbrace Mobile Application on iPhone and Android, to connect with your Mercedes-Benz.
Alcatel-Lucent’s LTE demonstrations of public safety mobile broadband show a video-centric force transformed in a variety of day-to-day operational scenarios. Police vehicles with 5 live cameras, iPad-wielding cops, and mobile command centers with hundreds of thousands of dollars in mobile broadband gear. Outside a show flooor – in the real world – there is probably not enough bandwidth, infrastructure or money to support all these applications.