1. BMW: ConnectedDrive
Last week BMW announced the launch of ConnectedDrive services in South Africa and SIM connectivity as standard on vehicles produced from July 2014 onwards. Using a Vodacom SIM card embedded in the car, ConnectedDrive gives drivers unlimited access to data usage for services, except streaming video, at an annual cost of R1 300. This includes internet access, email, internet radio or whatever the driver chooses. Real-time traffic and concierge services are available at an extra cost. BMW Apps Ready lets you link your Android and iOS smartphone with the car, while Remote Services lets you control your car through your handset.
2. Chevrolet: MyLink
General Motors has introduced MyLink to its Chevrolet line of vehicles that will bring in-car infotainment services to the Trailblazer and Sonic. The MyLink system is a 7-inch touchscreen device that pairs through Bluetooth and is compatible with Android and iPhone, including Siri. You can take calls hands-free, stream music over Bluetooth – including internet radio services, and access contacts. You can also use the USB and auxiliary ports to connect other media. All devices connected to the vehicle over USB or cable gets charged at the same time. Media controls are available on the steering wheel.
3. Ford: SYNC
Ford’s in-car infotainment system is available on the current model Kuga, EcoSport, Fiesta, Focus, Tourneo and Transit vehicles. Built by Microsoft, the Sync system is compatible with any Bluetooth-enabled handset (Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Symbian). Once your handset is paired with the car, you are able to take calls, control your music and have messages read out to you. It’s completely hands-free, supporting voice commands, which lets you ask it to play tracks similar to a current song. The steering wheel has all shortcut controls for easy access.