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Like a rolling home

  • Magazine Feature Article
  • AUTOOCT06_01
Published October 01, 2006 by SAE International in United States
  • English

Suppliers are helping automakers engineer vehicles that allow passengers to bring along the comforts of home.

General Motors and Ford received tons of publicity this summer for putting MP3 and Apple iPod input jacks in many 2007 lines, highlighting the drive to link consumer electronics such as cell phones and DVD players with vehicles. Navigation and telematics augment this trend, adding information to the mix that entertains drivers who spend hours in their vehicles.

The MP3/iPod jacks underscore the wave of the future, providing a way for consumers to move between their home and vehicle without sacrificing anything for the benefit of mobility Design engineers must devise schemes that mix the decade lifetime of a vehicle with rapidly evolving technologies such as the iPod, which was not introduced until late in 2001, when designs for most of the vehicles on the highway today were already cast in steel.