Microsoft showed its first Connected Concept Cars during the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2004. Using a Hummer H2, Cadillac CTS and BMW X5 the vehicles demonstrate how Microsoft is bringing the Connected Car to life with the latest applications, services and technologies available for drivers and passengers.
The technology in Microsoft's Connected Concept Cars "guesstimates" on maintenance concerns such as oil level or engine status. The vehicles the company unveiled today focus on providing drivers with useful information that makes getting from place to place easier than ever. Microsoft's Connected Concept Cars is powered by Windows Automotive technology and provide these features:
Advanced speech technology. Drivers can stay focused on the road ahead by using Microsoft's powerful speech technology to get personalized traffic updates, place a phone call, ask for driving directions or play digital music.
PDA and cell phone integration. Bluetooth technology wirelessly connects a driver's Bluetooth enabled cell phone and PDA to the vehicle's electronics system, allowing drivers to speak to make and receive calls, receive meeting reminders and access important data through the car audio system.
Web services. Drivers can avoid traffic jams, get the latest headlines or find the closest gas station with the lowest prices via MSN Autos using personalized, voice-controlled Internet access.
Customised navigation with voice-controlled navigation system. Drivers can find points of interest or get turn-by-turn directions with the help of Global Positioning System (GPS) and MapPoint technology.
Hands-free phone. Drivers will never again take their eyes off the road to make a call. They can enjoy a hands-free phone conversation while behind the wheel without the distraction of manually dialing a number.
Remote diagnostics. Drivers are alerted of potential car problems and maintenance updates, potentially improving their car's performance over its lifetime.
"The power, flexibility and reliability of our Windows Automotive platform makes it possible for automakers to provide these types of driving experiences to consumers today," Brass said. "These Connected Concept Cars prove that drivers and passengers can safely and securely communicate, get timely information and be entertained at their convenience while on the road."
Recent studies from the US Department of Transportation and National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration study estimate that Americans spend more than 500 million commuter hours per week in their vehicle and that 73 percent of mobile phone users talk on their phones while driving.