Tech-Heavy Cars Roll Into CES 2010
Automotive manufacturers are currently embarking on a significant modernization movement, increasingly transforming cars into technology-fueled mobile offices. [Ed. note: Sounds like safe, non-distracted driving!] Numerous companies are using this week's CES festivities as an opportunity to showcase the latest developments in auto tech, some of those being new dashboard features and upgrades.
Intel and Google are two specific software giants that are entering the race to provide souped-up e-mobiles. According to the New York Times, they're attempting to make the shift from "the desktop to the dashboard." Some of the futuristic dash devices on display this week include 10-inch HD screens capable of displaying 3-D maps and Web pages.
While the technologically advanced automobiles may seem desirable, or even like a necessity, the obvious dangers of distracted driving are particularly troubling to some. Not all of the systems that the New York Times investigated currently offer safety measures (enabling Web browsing only when the car is parked, for instance). Audi, for example, allows for browsing while driving, but many of the manufacturers do implement restrictions.
It may be surprising given the current state of the U.S. automotive industry, but Ford is actually one of the pioneers in the trend toward safe automotive technology. One of Ford's most intriguing (and timely) tech introductions this week was for a tweet-reader app, which automatically reads incoming tweets aloud and will be available for free with Ford Sync vehicles. That's just one of the many advanced options, including streaming Pandora radio, provided by Ford's Sync technology.
While other companies may be lagging behind, it's definitely refreshing to witness Ford's rebirth. What was once the world's automotive standard-bearer is apparently emerging with pride from the economic abyss, and returning to its rightful place at the forefront of the industry. [From: The New York Times and USA Today]