CES: Toyota Entune and BMW ConnectedDrive telematics systems
The Entune multimedia telematics system will show up this year in several Toyota models and will also feature sophisticated software that can recognize voices speaking naturally instead of just simple commands.
Users will have to download the Entune mobile application and then link up the Bluetooth on their phones with their cars, Toyota said at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Then, drivers will be able to access music through Pandora and Clear Channel’s iheartradio app. They’ll also be able to check out MovieTickets.com, Microsoft’s Bing search engine and OpenTable’s reservation service.
And that’s on top of real-time and crowd-sourced traffic updates from INRIX as well as fuel prices, weather, stocks and sports. Ford, which updated its Sync in-car technology at last year's CES, will make its presentation at this year's show on Friday.
Featured on the showroom floor in a zippy BMW Z4 Roadster sports car, ConnectedDrive will show calendar entries and contact lists on a display.
QNX, a subsidiary of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, will also power a function that allows BMW drivers to listen to e-mails and text messages while driving instead of handling their phones.
"The driver will be able to seamlessly receive information and respond without taking their eyes off the road," said Derek Kuhn, vice president of sales and marketing for QNX, in an interview. "Whatever you can imagine is possible with smart phones, we can now deliver a lot of that integration in cars."
-- Tiffany Hsu
Photo (bottom): BMW Z4 Roadster. Credit: Karen Tapia-Andersen/Los Angeles Times