Automakers Pushing 'Connected' Cars

Gizmos proliferate amid concerns on distracted driving
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2012 3:16 PM CST
Allergy Alert through Ford SYNC.   (Photo: Business Wire)

(Newser) – Imagine cruising down the highway at 65mph while checking tweets, buying movie tickets online, or booking reservations at a restaurant. This scenario is the not-too-distant future of driving, reports the Wall Street Journal, as auto manufacturers seek to design an innovative "connected car" full of Internet-accessible gadgetry. The push for a tech-infused car comes as a national push for rules banning phones in cars seems to be fizzling out and automakers look to entice the youth demographic.

"It isn't possible to stop it," says a Kia marketing exec. "Consumers are going to continue to drive with phones and all we can do as a manufacturer is to provide what the consumers are asking for and make it as safe as possible." What's in the works? This spring, GM is unveiling an 8-inch touch screen that will link to online apps, navigation, and music. It can be activated by voice or buttons on the steering wheel. New models of Mercedes-Benz will be able to search on Google and log into Facebook, with drivers clicking on pre-selected phrases rather than entering text. And Ford already makes vehicles that show drivers their Twitter feeds and stream music through its Sync. (Read more cars stories.)

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