As the Consumer Electronics Show gets underway in Las Vegas, automakeres are revealing new technologies and developments by the hour. With new offerings ranging from apps to mobile products, online radio functionality and more, the in-car technology race is heating up.
First up, Chrysler Group introduced Internet radio capability to its Uconnect Access suite of in-vehicle features.
The new feature, Uconnect Access Via Mobile, “integrates Aha, iHeart Radio, Pandora Internet Radio or Slacker Radio apps with the vehicle's Uconnect Access system,” officials shared.
“Content is streamed through the customer's existing smartphone data plan, leveraging the high-quality sound systems featured in all Chrysler Group vehicles equipped with Uconnect Access,” they continued.
Commenting on the new offering, Marios Zenios, vice president-Uconnect Systems and Services, said, “The Uconnect team at Chrysler Group is committed to delivering connectivity solutions that enable drivers to further enjoy the in-vehicle experience without compromising the task at hand, which is driving.
"Our introduction of Uconnect Access Via Mobile is consistent with this goal,” he added.
And Chrysler isn’t the only OEM expanding their vehicles' online radio capabilities.
iHeartRadio has also been integrated into General Motors vehicles, as well. The radio company shared on Monday it will also expand their auto integrations to select 2014 GM infotainment systems.
The iHeartRadio company is also growing its footprint in the automotive industry with its new made-for-driving application, “iHeartRadio for Auto,” which “enables seamless and standardized access to the iHeartRadio digital music platform,” the company said.
One specific brand that is expanding its online radio capabilities is Chevrolet, which offered its first in-vehicle demonstration of global radio capability in Las Vegas.
Future Chevrolet Sparks and Sonics will feature the addition of streaming online radio TuneIn and its global network of 70,000 stations.
“Enabled by a smartphone app compatible with the standard MyLink Radio on uplevel Spark and Sonic models, TuneIn will give customers all over the world access to global, personalized infotainment controlled through the car radio,” officials said.
“It means a customer living in Chicago can dial in a talk radio station in Africa and a customer in South Korea can listen to his favorite electronic music station in Europe or jazz station in New Orleans,” the company further explained.
MyLink is currently standard on the 2013 Spark LT and Sonic RS and LTZ models. It is available on the 2013 Sonic LS and LT. MyLink will be standard on the 2014 Spark EV when it goes on sale in summer 2013.
“We listened to customers around the world when we developed MyLink for Spark and Sonic, and we believe TuneIn will be a big hit with those who crave customized connectivity and entertainment,” said Cristi Landy, director of Chevrolet small cars and electric vehicles.
“Our Spark and Sonic buyers will have a fantastic solution for tuning in to their favorite radio stations from around the world,” she added.
Ford unveiled a few new offerings at the CES show, including an in-car voice-activation location-sharing app for Ford SYNC AppLink, offered by mobile technology company Glympse Inc.
Basically, this new offering enables those using the new SYNC AppLink-enabled Glympse smartphone app to share their location directly from their car using simple voice commands.
“People typically share their location while in the car, and by integrating Glympse into Ford SYNC AppLink, we’re providing drivers with a rich, real-time and hands-free way to share where they are,” said Bryan Trussel, co-founder and chief executive officer of Glympse.
“At Glympse, we’re dedicated to creating a more robust connected car experience, and working with Ford will help us to reach millions of consumers who will be able to just say, ‘Send a Glympse’ to share their current whereabouts, eliminating the need to send a text or make a phone call,” he continued.
Ford also revealed that through a partnership of Kaliki Audio Newsstand and Ford SYNC AppLink, drivers will now be privy to radio talent-read audio versions of news and articles from top newspaper and magazine publications
Using Ford SYNC AppLink, drivers can now voice-command and control the Kaliki smartphone app to listen to their favorite news content while driving, officials shared.
Wrapping up the CES automotive highlights, Hyundai will preview a variety of future infotainment systems options for its drivers, such as Apple’s Siri assistant integration, and a new automotive-grade voice services platform called Dragon Drive that enables drivers to speak naturally and conversationally with in-car systems.
The company will also highlight new-generation hardware, such as multi-touch displays, Bluetooth3.0 and Wi-Fi/3G connectivity options with “user-centric” interface design.