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Carmakers incorporate better iPod compatibility

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 04 Aug 2006 16:05 User comments (6)

Carmakers incorporate better iPod compatibility Major automakers are racing to add better support for MP3 players in vehicles to meet consumer demands and to increase safety. General Motors, Ford Motor and Mazda Motor have partnered with Apple Computer Inc. to integrate iPods into the their cars' audio systems. Owners of the cars won't need add-ons like iTrip or chargers that plug into cigarette lighters.
The aim of Apple and the three companies is to incorporate "seamless integration" into new 2007 models to allow iPods to be controlled within cars' audio systems and charged whenever the ignition is running. An internal study by Ford showed that the demand for such integration is rising fast and the manufacturer expects that sales of digital audio players in 2009 will be more than twice that of 2005.

The integration plans vary among the manufacturers. Ford will add audio input jacks that are iPod compatible to the majority of 2007 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models. For an extra fee, the company will sell a system called TripTunes Advanced that will allow the iPod to be stored and charged inside the glove compartment. The driver can then use the iPod through radio controls or controls on the steering wheel.

General Motors has developed a device called the Personal Audio Link. The gadget allows synchronizing of iPods and the cars' XM Satellite Radio band so the XM interface can be used for controls (but a subscription to XM Satellite Radio will not be required for the device to work). The 2006 and 2007 Chevrolet HHR sport utility vehicles will be the first to get the Personal Audio Link.

Gradually GM will incorporate the device into the 56 of its new car and truck models sold in the U.S. The opt-in feature will retail for about $160 + installation fee. Mazda has not shown any specific details about the technology it will use for MP3 player integration. DaimlerChrysler's Jeep, Volkswagen, BMW and its Mini, and Honda Motor are examples of other car manufacturers who have already added iPod integration to some of their models.

iPods and other MP3 players have been blamed for several accidents caused by drivers' use of the devices while on the road.


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6 user comments

14.8.2006 18:36

It will good to see these advancements made in this industry. I would perfer an Ipod charger in the car or a dock of some sort for the car that would be a great little invention, perferably external from the glove department. I would love to see what else the car companies come up with as multimedia enhancements for the average car. Brings new meaning to living out of your car.

24.8.2006 20:29

Personally, I'd rather stick with what I got. It's a cradle for your ipod that also charges the ipod while transmitting over any number of FM Frequencys. And I can use it in any car I ever have. Im not going to buy a car because its iPod compatible. The iPod aftermarket is huge theres no use for this.

35.8.2006 1:19

Pretty typical that it only supports iPods! Things like this are already out and i agree that you dont buy a car because of "iPod intergration"

45.8.2006 5:17

When are third party manufacturers of iPod accessories going to realise that, though the ipod has the biggest individual share of all the portable mp3 devices, there is an equal number of the other makers of mp3 players out there also - Creative,Sony etc... - so instead of making devices - and this extreme case, cars - ipod friendly, they should be aiming to make them universally friendly for such devices! All that I personally would require, would be an auxilliary input on the front of all car stereo's, but with a built-in adjustable size holder for them, next to the stereo, so a very short audio cable link could be used to plug into the aux input on the stereo - SORTED!

55.8.2006 9:39

Also what they could do is make a unverisal plug with adapters available for different mp3 players. And like moggsy said a aux. in port would be best along with a dock of some sort.

"Some people have no damn sense." - Nephilim, March 27 2007 @ 18:08

67.8.2006 16:10

Yea an aux and iPod compatibility would be nice

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