Continental Develops New Telematics Systems
The Automotive Systems Division of international automotive supplier Continental AG is developing telematics solutions for the wireless connection of portable devices, like MP3 players and PDAs. Continental Automotive Systems is designing electronics that will wirelessly connect portable devices and external digital content to the car enabling drivers to access their personal music collection in new ways while on the move. Not only will drivers have the ability to conduct hands-free mobile phone calls but they also will be able to play digital music in their car and access songs using voice commands, controls in the steering wheel, or instrument panel. The Continental Automotive Systems telematics products in development will be adaptable to future wireless technologies and standards by software updates. The new Continental Automotive Systems telematics systems create an in-vehicle communications network that integrates portable devices and digital content into cars. Digital music can be transferred via Bluetooth wireless technology or USB connection. The USB connection also can charge the device's battery. The driver can navigate through the device's menu using voice commands or by pushbutton control. Continental Automotive Systems' telematics systems also wirelessly download a mobile phone's address book into the car, support personalized ringtones and stored speed dialing numbers, use text-to-speech to read incoming short messages (SMS) aloud if desired, and allows up to 12 Bluetooth phones to be connected to the system. If a mobile phone call is initiated outside the car and is to be continued in the car, the telematics unit automatically transfers the call without interruption to the car's hands- free system when the ignition is switched on. Alternatively, a phone module for service and assistance functions and mobile Internet access can be built into the telematics unit.