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Your Car Is Not a Cell Phone

10:45 AM -- At wireless tradeshows like CTIA , it's not uncommon to go from one meeting with a hands-free, safe driving vendor to another with a vendor promising to turn the car into a smartphone for gaming, movies, texting and more. Talk about mixed messaging.

In-vehicle connectivity is getting more attention as apps developers and operators look for more screens and Long Term Evolution (LTE) to make the connection possible. It's attracting the interest of car makers too.

Today, 11 companies teamed up to launch the Car Connectivity Consortium to innovate on in-vehicle connectivity based on the Terminal Mode standard that reflects a phone's interface on a car system. The group is made up of six major car makers and a group of consumer electronics vendors that includes LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) , Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Samsung Corp. (See Car Connectivity Consortium Starts Up.)

LR Mobile has also seen several demos from wireless operators like SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM) touting the potential for apps, movies and games as well, so the interest is widespread.

In-vehicle entertainment is a tricky concept that should be handled carefully. Unfortunately for the personal navigation device (PND) industry, mobile phones -- and even more so, tablets -- make a pretty slick replacement device. But that's for functionality that serves a utility purpose.

In my opinion, new bells and whistles in the car should really only be for utility purposes, not entertainment. Replicating the smartphone in-vehicle is definitely an interesting proposition, but it can't compromise safety. I think the companies involved get this, but the entertainment demos keep popping up.

Granted, I once crashed my SUV into my house when I mixed up the gas and brake pedal, so my driving skills may be worse than average. Even so, adding more distractions to the car just seems like a bad idea for everyone.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:10:14 PM
re: Your Car Is Not a Cell Phone

That. Is. Amazing. I need a new headline.


Is this what you eat for breakfast? http://cellfoam.com/local%20root/Large-Bannas-with-phone.jpg

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:10:14 PM
re: Your Car Is Not a Cell Phone

Cars with TVs for the kids in the back make total sense. It's just the driver-focused stuff that concerns me.

jnelson98 12/5/2012 | 5:10:13 PM
re: Your Car Is Not a Cell Phone

Hi,


I think that having more technology in the vehicle is great, so you can connect your mobile device, download a movie and have the kids watch it in the back. I would be concerned if all drivers were also watching a movie while driving. My family goes on very long road trips and have our kids, dog & boat, 10 hours to Montana. I think that we need to bring back the 3 watt kit in cars, make it standard. Everyone gets OnStar, everyone gets WiFi, everyone has a better signal even in the middle of nowhere because the 3 watt kit to boost the wireless signal is standard in all vehicles, sweet! Maybe I have just been around since the Motrola MC750 brick phone, and before that phones were installed in cars, but I never dropped a call, maybe that was because it was analog or the 3 watt kit really did help with signal strength.

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:10:13 PM
re: Your Car Is Not a Cell Phone

I think Ford has the right approach. Replicate the smartphone navigation (so you can fiddle with the phone via your steering wheel controls) but don't make the car itself "do" anything it doesn't already do.


http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=201076


 

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:10:12 PM
re: Your Car Is Not a Cell Phone

That seems like the better approach, although it still introduces a lot of new distractions. Ford isn't part of the new consortium, but that's pretty much what they're doing with the Terminal Mode standard too.

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:10:12 PM
re: Your Car Is Not a Cell Phone

I could see that being the case. That's why Oprah is pushing to make the car a "No Phone Zone." A nice idea, but doubt 421,832 people are really doing it. http://www.oprah.com/questionaire/ipledge.html?id=4

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 5:10:12 PM
re: Your Car Is Not a Cell Phone

 


You know I have heard of studies that show that hand's free doesn't really help.  Its not holding the phone that is the issue its the concentration on the conversation.  


 


seven


 

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:10:11 PM
re: Your Car Is Not a Cell Phone

I think playing Angry Birds on your car dashboard is more distracting then avoiding crossing guards at elementary schools. But, I did crash into my house, so my opinion may not be valid...

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:10:11 PM
re: Your Car Is Not a Cell Phone

I'm sorry, what? I wasn't listening.

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