Cool tech in cars

The technology and automotive industries are growing closer together as the latest cars and tech fuse to bring new experiences to drivers.

Ford’s Sync

Ford Sync is an integrated in-vehicle communication and entertainment system.

Sync has been around in North American Ford models since 2007, but the newest version is adding new features, making it a noteworthy car tech system.

Sync, powered by Microsoft, works with any Bluetooth phone to give the driver easy voice-activated access to make and receive calls, access contacts, and even receive and reply to text messages.

Sync can download voice-guided turn-by-turn directions and traffic conditions, and it can alert you to local businesses and services such as restaurants and petrol stations along the way.

It can call emergency services if an airbag deploys in an accident.

Ford Sync

2012 Dodge Charger Audio

Musician Dr. Dre continues to expand the places you’ll find his Beats By Dre audio system, with the addition of his trademarked system to the 2012 version of the Dodge Charger.

The Beats Audio system will be standard in the 2012 Dodge Charger R/T Max and included with the Blacktop Package or Rallye Appearance Group on Dodge Charger SXT models.

The included audio features are:

  • Two 3.5-inch speakers located in the rear doors
  • Two 6 x 9-inch front-door woofers provide bass
  • Two 6 x 9-inch speakers and a center-mounted 8-inch speaker located in the rear-shelf area provide full-range audio
  • Maximizing how music genres from hip hop to Motown should sound and feel, an 8-inch Beats Audio trunk-mounted dual-voice coil subwoofer with sealed enclosure delivers tight, powerful, punchy bass
2012 Dodge Charger Blacktop

Fiat’s Blue&Me

Thanks to partnerships with companies like Microsoft and TomTom, the Blue&Me navigation system offers support for easy end-user upgrades and even app installation.

The latter is limited in scope for now, but does include EcoDrive.

EcoDrive analyses driving in forensic detail, including everything from gearshifts and distance travelled to CO2 emitted and journey costs.

Fiat Blue&Me EcoDrive

BMW’s Connected drive

Similar to Ford’s Sync, ConnectedDrive is BMW’s communication, entertainment and driving assistance system.

Formally known as BMW’s iDrive system, Connected Drive has received numerous updates, and now a complete overhaul.

The new version allows for composing short texts for e-mails, SMS messages, and memos while driving by simply dictating them.

Smartphone apps from third-party developers can now be more easily integrated into ConnectedDrive, courtesy of  BMW’s available Software Development Kit.

BMW ConnectedDrive

Land Rover’s “Say What You See”

Land Rover’s on-board system is the “Say What You See” (SWYS) feature, which is Range Rover’s answer to voice recognition and control.

SWYS handles all voice controlled functions by learning from past commands and instructions, then offering prompts of most-used commands.

SWYS can control most internal functions, including the navigation, radio, iPod/USB/Auxiliary connections, CD player, display, and notepad.

Range Rover voice control

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Cool tech in cars