iRadio launched in Vegas

Motorola is to launch its iRadio system at the Consumer Electronics Show currently taking place in Las Vegas.

The iRadio is being touted as an in-vehicle platform that combines entertainment, location-based information, navigation, and emergency calling and communication into one complete, driver-friendly system.

A personalised Web page will enable the iRadio system to be configured anywhere drivers and passengers have an Internet connection, whether it is in the home or in the office.

Motorola claim users can access their personal profile from multiple vehicles and support multiple profiles in one car. As an end-to-end solution, the iRadio system includes a Java computing platform, an automotive application framework and the latest user interfaces and applications.

These features will, says Motorola, enable service providers, automotive OEMs and audio manufacturers to ultimately deliver iRadio to vehicles and end users.

The system comes complete with voice recognition and text-to-speech technologies, including an embedded hands-free phone system.

Additionally, the iRadio system’s major components and hardware, including wireless voice and data, Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, automotive-grade software and other components embedded into the vehicles’ Telematics Communications Units (TCUs), can now be fully integrated into thecar. To support consumer testing of the iRadio system, which begins in early 2001, Motorola has teamed up with a number of suppliers whose services and electronic components will enable iRadio system functionality.

Several content providers have also signed up to participate in this consumer testing, including infoUSA.com, WeatherBank, SRDS(R), Reuters NewMedia, TheStreet.com and SportsTicker.

Additional hardware and integration providers for testing purposes include BAE Systems Mission Solutions and Frog Design. ‘The new enhancements to Motorola’s iRadio system combined with our strategic alliances further reinforce Motorola’s position as the leader in Telematics,’ said Marios Zenios, corporate vice president and general manager, Motorola Telematics Communications Group.

Motorola’s iRadio system pricing is expected to be similar to that of mid-to high-end car stereo systems, with final cost determined by OEMs and audio manufacturers, and the level of services requested by motorists.

Consumer testing of the Motorola iRadio system will begin in early 2001 and individual components are expected to be available in vehicles within 18 to 24 months.

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