iPod Integration in the Top Ten Automotive Technologies of the Decade

It’s amazing how far reaching MP3 technology has become since the introduction of the iPod in 2003. Apple’s vision of the iPod has truly extended to just about anything consumers can imagine. We can play our iPods anywhere. At home, at the gym, on a hike and in the car. But it’s the car stereo application that seems to have fallen short for consumers. But its not Apple’s fault. They foresaw the OEM car stereo application when they first introduced the iPod and even approached Alpine Electronics, the OEM car stereo maker for a huge majority of vehicles you see on the road. They wanted to collaborate with Alpine to integrate the iPod with the factory car stereo’s so that consumers could enjoy having their iPods on the road. It raised the a big question, “wouldn’t that kill the CD changer market?”. The honest answer was yes. The short story is the cry that came back from the manufacturers of the CD changer was too big and the result is consumers are today left with the poor fidelity options of FM modulation, cassette adapters and 3.5mm jacks. Fear not however, because this isn’t the only option anymore.

Earlier this year Edmunds.com named iPod Integration in their Top Ten automotive technologies of the Decade. “We’ve come a long way from carrying around bulky multi-CD cases. Today drivers can bring along all their favorite music with a device that fits in a pocket and can be integrated with most vehicles.” – Automotive Industries, Jan2010, Vol. 190 Issue 1, p53-53. And it’s not as expensive as you might think. But let’s explain how it works first.

iPod and iPhone Car Modules Play HIGH QUALITY music from your iPod and iPhone HARDWIRED through various available ports of your vehicles factory car stereo (ie: CD changer port) creating a truly integrated iPod Car Stereo. One of the most innovative and simple to install and use integration solutions is from DICE Electronics. Read what Stephen Witt, Dice Electronics new VP of Marketing has to say. Steve is the former VP of marketing at Alpine Electronics and was there when the struggle of integrating the iPod with factory car stereo’s began.

“In today’s digital world, consumers want a simple plug and play and cost effective integration solution for their cars. Everyone wants easy to understand value that will work in their cars. This “keep it simple” consumer behavior plays right into our strategy of promoting the complete solution integration including the connector to hook up their iPod/iPhone.” – Stephen Witt EVP, Dice Electronics

Here is a list of the features and benefits of installing a iPod/iPhone Car Stereo Integration Module:

Hard-wired Connection
Seamless Connectivity with CD Quality Music
No Cassette Adapters
No Bulky FM Transmitter
Stereo Head-Unit Control
Music Control at Your Fingertips
Album/Artist Text Display
Album/Artist Information at a Glance
Constant Charging
Keeps Your iPod Charged on the go!
No Cigarette Lighter Charger
Steering Wheel Control
Easily Change Tracks and adjust volume
Keeps Your Hands Safely on the Wheel
Bluetooth Connectivity (optional)
Allows Hands-Free Calling
Music is Paused or Silenced When Answering Calls
Incoming Calls are Heard Over the Speakers
Vehicle-ignition-controlled playback
Music automatically pauses when ignition is off and resumes when ignition is turned back on

Significance Of Latest Automotive Technology

The last few decades have seen the advent of technology in all the spheres of life. The automotive industry is no exception. The vehicles have changed tremendously over the past decade. Vehicle manufacturers are always on the look out for new innovations to win over the customer segment. But are these new additions beneficial for a driver? The main purpose of this article is to discuss the pros and cons of the latest automotive technology:

Safety- With respect to safety, the enhanced technology has only complicated matters. In the good old days, the vehicles were not known for their speed. With the improvement in technology, the speed of vehicles has increased. But it has also lead to large number of fatalities in accidents, though technologies like shock absorbers and racing suspensions have been added to the vehicles for making driving safer and easier. Seat belt safety which became popular in the 1980′s, has certainly reduced the number of accidents. Enhancing the strength of cars is another strategy which has been adopted by various automobile producing companies.

Power Steering- In terms of power steering, the cars have certainly improved. Now, you don’t require to use power while turning cars. Also reverse parking is now a simpler process. So in this regard, you can say that new technology has generated a positive impact.

Improved side view mirrors- During the early days of the production of vehicles, the near side view mirrors were not fitted in the vehicles. But in all the contemporary vehicles, you will find near side mirrors. These mirrors are extremely helpful while changing lanes. This prevents road accidents and also makes driving easier.

Gear-less vehicles- Some people find it difficult to drive vehicles, in which gears have to be changed regularly. In order to aid such people, new vehicles which run automatically, with only adjustment of the speed being required have been invented. This innovation has acted as a boon for people with limited reflexes or senior citizens in the twilight of their life. Such people have also now got the opportunity to drive vehicles, whereas earlier they were dependent on public transport.

GPS Maps- This has been an extremely useful innovation. These involve road maps related to your destination, which can be viewed on inbuilt screens. This makes driving much more safer, as searching for an address in the directory while driving could prove to be hazardous.

Music systems and air conditioners- The new vehicles have music systems and air conditioners installed in them, which makes driving a pleasant experience. In the earlier vehicles, this facility was not available.

Alternative Fuel Cars – The Future of Automotive Technology

The future of technology in terms of fuel consumption in the average automobile is slowly changing to allow for the development of more fuel economic, energy efficient, and even alternatively fueled vehicles alternatively fueled vehicles. While it may be a long time before alternative fuel cars are used as a commonplace means of transportation around the world, the technologies that may be used in place of the standard combustion engine are already reaching a form by which the average person may expect to see some of these technologies in their vehicles on the road very soon.

One of the technologies generating the most buzz in the automotive world is the possibility of using water as a way of powering a vehicle, and with good reason. Salt water, which is the type of water that has been used in numerous experiments about the viability of burning water as a fuel, is the most abundant natural resource available to us here on Earth, as we are almost seventy percent water on this planet. The experiments that have been conducted on the water have been somewhat successful on a smaller scale, but larger scale use in vehicles may be something that could be a long time down the road.

In the short term, the most viable automotive technology for alternative fuels may be electricity. Many automotive developers have been generating a lot of different methods of using electricity in a vehicle as an alternative to the use of fossil fuels to power transportation. While an electric car would be a great technology to have in a vehicle, the reality is that most of the electricity generated worldwide is done so thanks to the use of other non-renewable resources, like coal or natural gas. If an alternative means of generating electricity is also put into effect by generating companies, the viability of the electric vehicle would greatly increase.

Whether using water or electricity as the means of fueling the vehicle, the technology of an alternative fuel as a means of driving a vehicle can only be as effective if there is a commitment to mass producing the technology on a consumer level. If these vehicles are made with a price that can appeal to the average consumer, and at a level of technology that the average consumer can maintain, or at least understand, on their own, only then can the mass acceptance and use of these alternative fuels in vehicles be realized.

New Automotive Technology to Help Improve America’s Road Safety

More than 100 Americans die every day in automobile accidents. In fact, over the last century, more have perished due to car crashes in the United States than in all the wars the country has fought. Although this is a horrible statistic, the 2006 Traffic Safety Annual Assessment from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported the largest U.S. decline in terms of both number and percentage since 1992. This vigorous reduction is a goal that automotive engineers are striving to continue year after year.

Innovative automotive engineering can make cars safer, but at the same time, drivers must also strive for improvements. Many motorists at one time or another can recall either almost being killed on the road, stories of road-rage or helplessly observing an accident happen right in front of their very eyes. According to a 1999 Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) special, Escape! Because Accidents Happen – Car Crash, the roads are, indeed, a major threat. What’s more, an automotive magazine recently published statistics which reveal that more than 95% of these accidents involve some degree of (poor) driver behavior.

Indeed, some Americans may not rank amongst the best of the world’s drivers, but it’s not entirely due to operator error, either. Poor roadway maintenance, roadway design and equipment failure have also been referenced as top factors affecting crashes. Frequently, driving behavior interacts with at least one of these other factors to produce a grave situation.

Aside from rectifying the paradox that the majority of drivers consider themselves more skillful than their counterparts, better engineering and innovative automotive technology could help improve roadway safety. Today, it is well understood that properly deployed cushions of air (i.e., airbags) can assist in saving lives. In much the same way, in the previous generation, the advantages of good restraining devices were discovered. Car navigation systems particularly aid the directionally challenged – and, what about using those fancy “carputers” for technology to help make our roads safer? Automotive engineers are answering this need by developing “active safety systems.” These systems can help reduce the number of crashes and minimize the effects of crashes that do occur.

Automotive safety is taking on a new role as active safety components are beginning to gain ground as technology and development improve. Some suppliers are developing specialized active and passive safety systems. These include forward collision and lane departure warning, electronic stability control, pre-crash mitigation, side alert systems, active night vision and road sign and pedestrian recognition – all of which do about what they sound like they should.

Imagine how different driving could be if motorists were warned before they were about to sideswipe a fellow road warrior, alerted before missing a stop sign or even just able to see what’s ahead at night. Such technologies could prove paramount to safety as humankind steps into an era of even more cars, faster speeds and the repercussions of recent population explosions.

A European study reported that 80% of drivers involved in accidents believed the other party could have done something to prevent the mishap. But what if everybody just stopped blaming each other and became better drivers? What if existing technology was utilized and built upon to reduce the number of traffic fatalities? In the end, determining fault matters more if something can be done about it, such as discovering ways to prevent other collisions.

It can be scary out there on bustling roadways. All one has to do is hop on a busy interstate or horn-chorused city street to realize roads “ain’t no horse trails.” In the chaos that is modern driving, these new “active” safety systems are promising.