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Telematics 9

We would like to begin our small walkabout with Mercedes, who can, through the road sign recognition as shown above, detect that the driver has entered the motorway in the wrong direction. There are others who can do this as well, indeed, the Mercedes can notify the driver at various points and this can possibly prevent a disaster from happening. Apart from notifying the driver via the display, the steering wheel starts to wobble and other non-ignorable actions are also planned. Something of this nature has to be done, as a safety contribution for avoiding the increasing amount of accidents caused by driving the wrong way on the motorways.

Let's go on to something much simpler. On the one hand, there are those, who would love to do without a cell-phone, on the other hand, there are those, who feel naked without it. They would like to be connected and available in their cars at all times, the same as they are in the office or in their homes. Now, the car manufacturers (still) have differing views. BMW suggests, internet via a browser, only when the vehicle is stationary, Ford on the other hand says, 'there's nothing that we can do about it'.

Online-participation, e.g., on Facebook, is hardly possible without some sort of input. Both of the above mentioned companys rely on speech-input and the choice of preset texts. At the moment only Audi has a head- start by being able to enter in single letters while driving. This is done in a very space-saving manner on the black surface of the menu-dial, similar to a touch-pad. One writes the letter with one's finger, then taps in OK when the system calls out the intended letter.

This doesn't actually have much to do with telematics, but the head-up display in BMW must be praised, where next to the road sign recognition, even the caller identity is shown. Everything perfectly clear, floating somewhere above the bonnet. As long as the message is read out, one can probably have nothing against it. Of course the icing on the cake is, that the navigation, when driving in unknown regions, can tell you all about the most important tourist attractions in the area. Indeed, the extras like road sign recognition and other features cost about 50% more and, after three years at the most, also a further monthly fee. 03/12

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