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Microsoft's Windows in the Car
Microsoft's Windows in the Car is a concept system unveiled by the Redmond giant this year.
Revealed at the Microsoft developer conference this year, Windows in the Car -- while similar to Apple's CarPlay -- is based on a brought-in device approach which allows drivers to connect their smartphone to a vehicle and view a projection of the device on the vehicles' display.
The software understandably looks similar to Windows Phone thanks to a tiled display which shows road speed limits, maps, phone services and music. Windows in the Car will also be opened for developers, which could improve the amount of apps available in the Windows app ecosystem, sadly lacking in comparison to Android and iOS.
The MirrorLink standard is used by the concept connected car system.
While later to the party than Apple, we have to keep in mind that many in-car systems already run on the Windows operating system, and Microsoft lays claim to years of experience in the field.
Image credit: Screenshot ZDNet
General Motors is the creator of the MyLink infotainment system and OnStar connectivity platform, and has made LTE connectivity a must-have in new Chevy models. 4G connected cars are due for launch this year, and GM is overhauling its approach to connected cars entirely -- by revamping both systems and refusing to rely on the driver's smartphone to access such systems.
Instead, GM has invited developers to design applications for the interactive dashboard within an HTML5 framework, and will allow them to connect to an LTE network through embedded radios. Apps available on the dashboard platform include music streaming services, location-based apps and general information apps such as Glympse and Weather.com. New applications submitted by developers go through a screening process to make sure they are deemed safe and not a way for drivers to become too distracted.
Image credit: GM
MirrorLink, built by and managed through the Car Connectivity Consortium, is software that bridges a smartphone and car's infotainment system. Drivers connect the phone to a car via cable and gain access to smartphone applications through a car's dashboard as well as dash or steering wheel buttons.
The technology is built on existing Internet technologies and standards including Bluetooth and USB technology, and is designed to keep smartphone use safe on the road. MirrorLink has become a universal standard for this type of integration, but how it is managed is down to individual car manufacturers. MirrorLink does have one main requirement: apps must be approved by the CCC to ensure driver safety, and the group is currently creating a standard for certifying apps considered safe enough to use.
Daimler, General Motors, Honda, HTC, Hyundai, Nokia, Panasonic, Samsung, Toyota and Volkswagen are among the many companies which have signed on to become CCC members.
Image credit: MirrorLink