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Fiat believes that in-car connectivity is a major channel for improving customer relationship management (CRM).
According to Fiat EMEA product planning and strategy chief Massimo Cavazzini, vehicle maintenance and the ability to remain connected to customers outside of a yearly check-up is a key advantage of connected cars. The exec says that Fiat plans to roll out a system within the next two years which will use the Web to underpin every step of a customer's journey, from picking up the car to maintenance.
However, Fiat did admit that one problem facing the industry is conservative sales models and dealerships resistant to change, which could scupper the adoption of car connectivity and the use of the Internet in maintaining customer relationships.
Not to be left out in the cold when it comes to infotainment, Fiat and Microsoft have co-created a system called Blue&Me which allows you to make and receive calls, read texts and listen to music on any device with a USB connection in your vehicle.
Image credit: FIAT
Chrysler's UConnect is a popular infotainment system compromising of a main screen and menu with clear icons, a QWERTY layout and simple navigation. You can use the system to connect Bluetooth-enabled handsets to your car while keeping your hands on the road, and drivers can voice activate the system to make calls, mute the radio and contact emergency services. You can also transfer calls between your car and smartphone when entering or exiting a car.
Image credit: Chrysler
Nvidia is another chip maker looking to secure itself a strong position in the connected car industry. The company is developing the Tegra Visual Computing Module (VCM) which can work alongside various vehicle operating systems and will boost the processing performance of infotainment systems, according to the firm.
Image credit: Nvidia