Delphi, OnStar Work With Google and Others to Connect Your Smart Phone to Your Car

5/21/10

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you can do on the console computer. Keep the phone itself in your pocket, in the glove compartment, or center console, and forget about it.

No official partnerships have been announced, Schumacher says, but “we’re talking with everybody, there’s engineering work going on.” Delphi has two test versions, one running Windows and the other Linux. The latter grew out of the work of a consortium that Delphi helped found about 18 months ago, known as GENIVI, which is aimed at creating what the group calls “automotive grade Linux.” The consortium involves Delphi, GM, BMW, and other automotive companies and suppliers, along with Intel and other silicon and software providers.

Delphi’s computer, running Windows or Linux, will run all your infotainment systems, like satellite radio and navigation, and will connect to your Android (Google), iPhone, or Blackberry smart phone.

When the car is parked, users will have access to all their smart phone apps. “And then when you shift into drive and take off, you don’t want people being distracted in the vehicle, looking down and looking at all the little icons,” Schumacher says. So, only certain, carefully selected and validated “drive-mode” applications will work, like the navigation screen or satellite radio. Anything that involves video or “a lot of textual information” will be locked out.

The lockouts, Schumacher says, are an answer to anticipated government regulations against the use of smart phones in the car. “There’s a great opportunity to seamlessly, and responsibly, connect smart phones to cars,” he says.

Who’s going to decide what apps are appropriate for drive mode? “Well, that’s a very good point and it’s something we’re discussing with all of our vehicle manufacturers and customers right now,” Schumacher says. “There needs to be somebody to appropriately modify the apps and to validate or certify them that they’re appropriate to use in the car in drive mode.”

Schumaker says that it might turn out that Delphi might be the ones to make the modifications or determinations.,

Right now, the technology is being shown to a number of customers worldwide and Schumaker expects it to be in cars in the next few years.

“It’s very exciting,” Schumaker says. “It’s an absolute revolution in automotive electronics in the cockpit.

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