Microsoft Corp.’s Automotive Business Unit introduced Windows Mobile for Automotive during the 2006 Geneva International Motor Show.
The software platform and hardware reference design helps the automotive industry speed the development of in-car infotainment systems for drivers and passengers.
Microsoft and Fiat Auto Group unveiled Blue&Me, the first in-car infotainment system based on Windows Mobile for Automotive. Blue&Me allows motorists to use voice commands and a push-to-talk button to operate their mobile phones, digital music players and other devices in the car.
The system supports hands-free communication for more than 140 types of mobile phones via a Bluetooth connection, and through a Universal Serial Bus (USB) port it can connect with a wide variety of personal music players and other devices.
The software is upgradeable, so it can be refreshed to accommodate consumers’ changing needs supporting future devices and new industry standards. The system supports nine languages and is available to drivers and passengers throughout Europe in the company’s Fiat Grande Punto, Alfa Romeo 159, Alfa Romeo Spider and Alfa Romeo Brera models.
Microsoft Windows Mobile for Automotive provides the industry with an open, standardized platform for in-car infotainment system development. Automakers developing in-car infotainment systems using the platform can tailor functionality for specific models or desired price points.
For example, a navigation system in an economy car might only provide voice prompts and a heads-up display, while a luxury model may offer a full-color LCD display featuring maps and real-time traffic information.
Because the software is upgradeable, support for new devices, applications and industry standards can be added to increase functionality for drivers and passengers over the life of the car. Software upgrades can be easily deployed by the dealer via the wireless connection or USB port.