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Microsoft Unveils First Connected Concept Cars

Microsoft today announced its first Connected Concept Cars — using a Hummer H2, Cadillac CTS and BMW X5 — at the 2004 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The company's concept vehicles demonstrate how Microsoft is bringing the Connected Car to life with the latest applications, services and technologies available for drivers and passengers.

The technology in Microsoft's Connected Concept Cars races past today's limited and often unsafe means for accessing information in the car such as traditional maps, cell phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs), and "guesstimates" on maintenance concerns such as oil level or engine status. The vehicles the company unveiled today focus on providing drivers with useful information that makes getting from place to place easier than ever. Microsoft's Connected Concept Cars, powered by Windows® Automotive technology, provide these features:

* Advanced speech technology.

* Drivers can stay focused on the road ahead by using Microsoft's powerful speech technology to get personalized traffic updates, place a phone call, ask for driving directions or even play digital music. PDA and cell phone integration.

* Bluetooth® technology wirelessly connects a driver's Bluetooth enabled cell phone and PDA to the vehicle's electronics system, allowing drivers to speak to make and receive calls, receive meeting reminders and access important data through the car audio system. Web services.

* Drivers can avoid traffic jams, get the latest headlines or find the closest gas station with the lowest prices via MSN® Autos using personalized, voice-controlled Internet access. Customized navigation.

* Taking a wrong turn is a thing of the past with the Connected Car's voice-controlled navigation system. Drivers can find points of interest or get turn-by-turn directions with the help of Global Positioning System (GPS) and MapPoint® technology. Hands-free phone.

* Drivers will never again take their eyes off the road to make a call. They can enjoy a hands-free phone conversation while behind the wheel without the distraction of manually dialing a number. Remote diagnostics.

* Drivers are alerted of potential car problems and maintenance updates, potentially improving their car's performance over its lifetime.

View: Press Release @ MS.com

View: Microsoft's Automative Homepage

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