Technology Drives Mobile Integration
The convergence of the automobile and the computer started with power train systems. But let’s face it—they took a long time to become reliable. Anyone ever work on a car with a Lucas fuel injection system from the 1960s? Forty years later, however, computer reliability has increased exponentially and it is now matriculating into mundane systems such as windshield wiper and headlight controls. But the place where computing ‘horsepower’ makes the most sense is vehicle multimedia, telematics and entertainment systems.
Let’s take a look at one of the latest from an OEM and explore what the aftermarket can do to leverage the performance. After all, we are heading in the direction of computers taking over the factory installed entertainment system, but many of your customers will still insist on beefing up that gear. Mobile electronics retailers who want to make money need to enhance the computer’s strengths and exploit its weaknesses. Fortunately, although these systems are giving us better feature sets, they need basic sonic upgrades. With a computer in the dash and an entire music collection on tap, the quality of the sound is as much of an issue as the convenience the new systems offer.
So, from the people who brought us the first mass-market automobile comes the first mass-market head unit powered by Microsoft, the company that brought us mass-market personal computing. The latest Ford SYNC system is a potential threat to aftermarket audio and entertainment choices in Ford vehicles. By the way, we are interested in what Rick Wagoner from GM is going to talk about in his CES speech. Maybe something just as cool as the 2008 Cadillac CTS multimedia system for lesser models?