Our phones and our cars are colliding. Despite a ban on in-car cellphone use, car buyers are increasingly demanding smartphone-style connectivity. And carmakers are scrambling to provide interactive systems that harness or imitate the features of popular handsets. These so-called infotainment systems have voice control and Internet connectivity, and they can run apps such as Pandora.
Arguably one of the most advanced infotainment systems on the market is Ford's Sync with MyFord Touch. Systems like MyFord Touch tap into the cellular-connection and dataprocessing power of smartphones for many of their functions, but deliver user interfaces that pale in comparison to those of the phones. All of which raises the question: why don’t carmakers just use the phone operating systems in the first place?
As it turns out, there are systems in development that can, to a degree, port your smartphone’s UI to your vehicle’s screen. One such technology is Nokia’s MirrorLink. Once the phone is connected to the car, MirrorLink essentially turns your dashboard display into a slightly modified version of your smartphone screen – as long as the phone and the vehicle display are MirrorLink-capable.
Watch this video for a closer look at the operation of Nokia Car Mode wuth MirrorLink…
Read more about smartphone integration, Internet connectivity and car manufacturers in the April 2012 issue of Popular Mechanics – on sale on 19 March.