Microsoft, Fiat drive car communications ahead

For many of us, the car has become a home away from home. So why not extend some of the digital services we use at home or work to the car?

A new partnership between U.S. software giant Microsoft and Italian auto manufacturer Fiat SpA, announced late last week, aims to do just that: develop hands-free technology that will provide telephone, Internet, music and other services inside cars.

The new technology, to be available next year, will be based on standard hardware and operate with Microsoft's Windows Automotive software, the Redmond, Washington, vendor said.

Short-range Bluetooth technology will play a key role; it will allow digital devices such as smart phones and PDAs (personal digital assistants) to connect wire-free to an onboard computer system, which will also provide Internet service.

New voice recognition technology will enable drivers to talk to the computer which will in turn dial a number, surf the Web or play a different song.

For those who want to hear their own selection of tunes, a USB (Universal Serial Bus) connection in the dashboard will let them play digital music stored in portable players.

"Communication and entertainment services for cars make sense because people are spending a lot more time on the road," said Michael Ransom, senior analyst for wireless services at Current Analysis. "These services extend popular home or desktop applications to the car."

Microsoft and Fiat plan to make their system interoperable with vehicles' software-driven controller area network for diagnostic purposes.

Although Microsoft is collaborating with several other big car markers such as BMW AG, DaimlerChrysler AG and AB Volvo, the deal with Fiat is the first time the software company has collaborated directly with a manufacturer in the development of a complete in-car computing system, it said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Blau

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Taking cybersecurity to the highest level and order now for a special discount on the world’s most awarded and trusted cybersecurity. Be aware without a care!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?