Delphi Automotive, a world leader in automobile systems, and Palm Inc. have almost finished development of an in-vehicle Communiport Mobile Productivity Centre (MPC) which can dock and synchronize with a Palm V using Palm’s HotSync technology, thus allowing drivers access to their Palm content while in the vehicle. The system is designed to be used hands-free in the vehicle through voice recognition and a text-to-speech engine to retrieve information from and load information into the Palm. As currently planned, the MPC will fit into a vehicle cup holder and plug into a standard 12 volt source such as a cigarette lighter.
The two companies are planning to coordinate the development of new content delivery and services for customers using the Delphi/Palm system. Customers will be able to access today’s PalmNet services which include news, weather, sports, financial information, e-mail and Web access as well as other new value-added services. The system will include two enabling software technologies. Palm’s HotSync technology will transfer data between the Palm and the docking station.
“As with all of our Communiport technologies, we are very focused on the vehicle environment. Evolving from the 1988 innovations of ‘EyeCue’ head-up display (HUD) and steering wheel controls, we are designing the Delphi/Palm system so that drivers can keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road,” said Dave Wohleen, president of Delphi’s Electronics & Mobile Communication sector. “We are also enhancing the ownership experience for Palm owners, who are used to being able to access their information at all times.”
The Mobile Productivity Centre will be available [in North America] before the end of 2000, with pricing information to be announced at a later date.
This latest development continues Delphi’s commitment to aggressively grow its mobile multimedia business. In March this year, the company announced plans to establish the mobile multimedia business as an aggressive growth business line. Last week, the company announced a strategic partnership with Ericsson Mobile Communications to integrate Ericsson embedded cellular phone modules with Delphi’s telematics technologies used in vehicles.