Your car may soon talk to your mobile

CHENNAI:
An entertainment and communication console that seamlessly connects the
phone with the car? The mobile phone-enabled ‘integrated’ system is a
given in many high-end luxury cars but after the Ford EcoSport, the
trend is now finding converts in mass market cars as well. As the mobile
becomes a one-stop entertainment-cum-communication device, car
companies are looking at ways to extend that connectivity to the vehicle
too. 
Not a cheap technology, this has so far
been the premise of high-end cars including the just-launched
Mercedes-Benz A-Class. But after the Ford EcoSport’s SYNC system, more
volume car makers are starting to wonder if the technology can come to
less pricey brands in India. 
Said Kenichiro
Yomura, president & CEO, Nissan Motor India: “We are studying that
kind of possibility and will definitely try to introduce those sort of
features in India. In Japan we have the ‘CarWings’ (vehicle telematics)
system which allows you to communicate between the car and the service
centre for example. We provide this option in many models in Japan
because scale makes the technology affordable and we are studying to see
if it will work for India as well.” 
Ford and
Nissan aren’t the only volume car brands that are looking at bluetooth
and telematics as the ultimate bells and whistles for car buyers.
General Motors India packs in bluetooth, USB port and an MP3 (though no
telematics) player as part of its entertainment package for the Sail
hatchback and notchback and the Cruze and Captiva. Vehicle telematics is
already a favoured option in a number of high-end cars. The Honda CRV
and Accord for instance come with bluetooth interface. 
Ditto
for the Mercedes-Benz A-Class on which the iPhone can be synced
seamlessly offering music playback on the head unit, audio streaming and
text messages are displayed in the CD display if the bluetooth message
access profile (MAP) is supported by the mobile phone. 
Said
Mercedes-Benz MD & CEO Eberhard Kern: “The bluetooth and phone
compatibility option is standard in the A Class and it allows you to
play musicyour iPhone and use the contact list to make calls etc. It’s a
seamless integration of entertainment and communication between the
phone and the car.” 
Car manufacturers have
been tying up with software makers to integrate the mobile with the car,
making the car an extension of the entertainment-cum- communication
devise . Ford for instance is working with Microsoft globally which has
powered its SYNC integrated communication and entertainment technology
for the EcoSport. Apple reportedly announced at its developers’ meet
last month that it plans to link its iOS7 mobile operating system with
the techentertainment systems of passenger cars.