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Internet in the car - new offers from Google and Microsoft

Internet in the car is back
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K do you call Wingcast? This is how Ford named an Internet project in early 2000 that would connect a million cars to the global web by 2003.

Many online projects have been discontinued in the past

It was one of the favorite ideas of the Audi and Mercedes . The departments were dissolved and the hype came to an abrupt end. Then as now, customers are happier when the basic electronics simply work without any problems. Only at BMW did the internet glow in the car . With selected online offers in its own Assist portal, the Bavarian car manufacturer has bravely held out to this day.

The internet in the car is far from dead

In 2008 BMW even presented a fully-fledged internet connection. Full-fledged insofar as the driver could surf the web with the not particularly fast, but widely available EDGE GSM transmission technology when stationary. A nice gag, nothing more. As auto motor und sport found in comparison, a i-Phone considerably better for the mobile www. So is the internet in the car practically dead? Not at all, it starts again. But this time probably not as a gimmick, but with practical applications and services that should really help the driver.

Audi is offering the world's first hybrid navigation system in the new A8

This is how Audi is with the new Audi A8 with a brilliant oneAppearance back in the Auto-www: In cooperation with Google, the Ingolstadt-based company is integrating the world's first hybrid navigation ex works. This means that the photo-realistic online display from Google Earth is mixed in the A8 with the precise map information from a hard drive integrated in the car. Sounds easy, but according to Audi electronics boss Ricky Hudi, the development of the Google specialists took a lot of time and nerves. In addition, this requires a very powerful graphic display. Audi therefore brought the American video specialist Nvidia on board.

Audi is the first car manufacturer to use UMTS

As the very first integrated car system, Audi navigation offers direct online access to the POI search from Google Maps. The driver no longer has to live with the outdated data from the map manufacturer, and the destinations are displayed with the typical flags directly on the map screen. In order to be able to handle the large amounts of data (images are also transmitted) at all, Audi is the first car manufacturer to use the fast UMTS mobile communications technology. The system with its own car portal will be available for the A8 from the end of 2010.

Google is striving for information sovereignty in the automotive sector

BMW has been using Google Maps for a long time, but the data is not directly integrated into the POI search in the car and cannot be called up via the integrated Internet browser while driving. Rather, the BMW driver can look for appropriate destinations on the PC at home and send them to the car via his own user page via the Internet. It is certainly only a matter of time before BMW will follow up with a system similar to Audi. Because regardless of the brand and technology - the key point of this new online offensive is more that Google is now striving for information sovereignty in the domestic Internet as well as in the mobile.

Continental is developing AutoLinq on this basis from Android

And the automotive online field is still quite unordered, while in the so-called smartphone area the Apple i-Phone is already showing the way. Google is countering this with the open Android operating system. A large number of smartphones are already running with it - and soon the first car applications too. Because the infotainment division of Continental is currently developing AutoLinq. Based on Android, it enables the car electronics to be easily connected to the online world.

From 2013 onwards, drivers will not only be able to check the condition of their cars via computer or mobile phone (is it locked?), but will also be able to control certain functions remotely. During the journey, as with Google maps, extensive location-based services should also be available.

Microsoft mainly works with Ford, Fiat andKia

Google's biggest competitor, Microsoft, also relies on online searches in vehicles. The Redmond software guide has already sold over 1.5 million copies of its Sync communication system through Ford. There are also collaborations with Fiat and Kia . The integration of Microsoft's online search Bing into navigation systems is currently in progress.
Following the success of Sync and the Microsoft Auto software platform in the USA, Ford is now relying on its new infotainment system called MyFord Touch, which was presented at the CES consumer electronics fair in Las Vegas. In addition to a touchscreen, input will work via a very powerful voice input system.

In the future, the Ford Focus can be turned into a mobile WiFi hotspot

With MyFord Touch and Sync, the Internet comes fully into Ford models. Music lovers can then listen to the Internet radio Pandora via the integrated unit, and information freaks are supplied with news from Twitter. If you want, you can even turn your car into a WiFi hotspot: Passengers can then surf the Internet wirelessly with a laptop while driving. The infotainment unit will only come to Europe with the new Ford Focus 2011. Maybe Jim Buczkowski, Head of Electronics at Ford, is not wrong this time when he says: 'What the mouse has done for the computer, Ford will achieve with cars . '


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