DT, Continental Develop Car Apps

BONN, Germany -- The teaming up of two heavyweights Deutsche Telekom and Continental is designed to bring standard infotainment services previously seen exclusively in executive and luxury cars to the compact and mid-sized vehicle classes. The aim is to make the Internet and specific applications (apps) for drivers part of the standard equipment in all categories of vehicles. In order to achieve this, both companies are combining their automotive expertise into a technology alliance. Under the name AutoLinQ, a prototype of this idea has been installed in a VW Passat CC, which will be on show at Deutsche Telekom's CeBIT stand.

The solution is clearly based on the principle behind the iPhone cell phone which, with its simple operation and wide range of mini-programs, or apps, has set standards that are now also gaining a firm foothold in the automotive world. AutoLinQ helps vehicle manufacturers to better differentiate themselves on the market by using entertainment and information services to cement brand loyalty.

Continental has developed its own cockpit computer for the mini-programs, which uses the Android operating system developed by Google. Apps run on this cockpit computer either as permanently installed programs or via a special browser, which retrieves the data from an Internet platform. T-Systems, Deutsche Telekom's corporate customers arm, uses a combination of information and communication technology to make the Internet and mini-programs available even during journeys. The solution also incorporates the latest findings from T-Labs, Deutsche Telekom's central research and development institute.

At CeBIT, the partners will be demonstrating features such as apps for searching and downloading music using the Deutsche Telekom Musicload service, as well as for T-Online's news offering. E-mails can also be received and read out in the car, and answered using voice recording technology – without drivers having to lift a finger from the steering wheel or take their eyes off the road. The core functions of AutoLinQ also include an online address book which is linked to the navigation system. Drivers can type in journey destinations on the computer at home or at work before even getting in the car, or via their cell phone when out and about. What is more, as the vehicle is connected to Deutsche Telekom's mobile communications network, it is even possible to carry out some functions via remote control. For example, drivers can call up information that tells them where the car is parked or check whether the sunroof is open and close it directly using their cell phone.

Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT)

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