CES - Car tech 2.0: Way beyond GPS and booming stereos

A new generation of car technologies promises to add more fun and functionality to motoring.

AutoPage C3: Keyless entry, remote start, and GPS tracking with a cell phone

You can do a lot of things with your smartphone today, but AutoPage has upped the ante with it's C3 telematics module that turns the phone into remote that manages your car's security, remote start-up and GPS tracking without adding extra minutes to your phone bill. You need a GSM phone for the system to work.

Folks who live in cold climates will appreciate the remote start capability in the system. Fire up the engine inside your house, wait till it warms up, and voila, a nice cozy vehicle to get into. Oh yeah, you manual users might want to take it out of gear when you park it!

Think the opposite if it's hot outside, the system can also start your engine and air conditioning before you get in.

You can also run security features remotely, including locking and unlocking your doors and trunk from much further distances than a standard key fob. Alarms can be turned on or off and you can get alerts if someone is trying to break-in to the vehicle.

The GPS tracking features allow owners to monitor where their car is, how fast its going (handy if you lend your car to your kids) and can tell you where its been over the last few days.

The system will be available from dealers in mid-January and is expected to retail for US$429. Annual service fees run from US$149 to US$249 a year and are based on expected usage.

Sirius: Satellite TV in the backseat

Known principally as a satellite radio system, Sirius has taken the jump into in-vehicle live television.

The system is called Sirius Backseat TV, and is powered by the SCV1 satellite radio tuner. Designed to keep the kids busy, the tuner delivers programming from three child-oriented networks: Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network. The system will also provide simultaneous access to over 130 Sirius radio channels.

The SCV1 is available from for US$300 and is designed to work in any car with an FM radio and a rear seat video monitor.

Delphi: Oracle of the future?

One of the coolest demos on the show floor came from a true old school company: Delphi, famed for its auto parts, components, and car electronics gear which took a GMC Acadia and transformed its cockpit into what the car of 2013 could look like.

A primary goal of the transformation was to give the driver a complete view of all sides of the car. This was done with a series of cameras that display the rear and sides on LCD screens.

Instead of the typical speedometer and RPM gauges in front of the steering wheel, drivers have the option, while in park, to call up menus for audio, video, and even repair and maintenance information on an LCD, all controlled from a touch wheel and buttons on the steering wheel.

When driving, the screen switches to standard RPM and speedometer readouts, while a headup display on the windshield provides additional driving information. All of the entertainment information was still accessable from the steering wheel.

Delphi also demonstrated products that use radar sensors and automatic controls to avoid collisions and warn about other vehicles on either side while attempting turns or passes, technology that is already being incorporated in some vehicles.

You might want to get that taken care of

After racing and burning up his tires with a series of screaming donuts in a Formula 2 racing car at BMW's F1 Sauber exhibition, youthful F2 competitor Daniel Morad was asked if he gets a lot of speeding tickets.

"Not yet," he said. "I don't have a driver's license."

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