Car tech: automakers bring connectivity to the driver's seat.

Author:Lefton, Paul
Position:TECH TRENDS
 
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Previously celebrated features like Bluetooth wireless technology and GPS navigation systems have become old hat. Automakers and aftermarket manufacturers have been scrambling to develop the next big thing, a fully interactive driver experience that marries connectivity, entertainment and practicality while also paying mind to safety considerations. Here are three picks from some of the hottest in-vehicle technologies that were unveiled at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a leading global showcase for all things tech.

Toyota Entune is the Japanese carmaker's promising multimedia infotainment system that will be available as an option in select models this year, starting in the United States. Entune uses a mobile phone to create an interactive experience that is driven by voice commands and in-vehicle touch controls, enabling you to keep your eyes on the road rather than the phone. After downloading the Entune mobile app to a Bluetooth-paired phone, the user has instant access to a variety of useful applications, such as Bing navigation and Internet or satellite radio. Entune also boasts location-based services, such as real-time traffic reports, fuel prices, stock prices, weather and sports scores.

The idea of social networking behind the wheel might sound a little scary, but you knew it was only a matter of time. Enter the Aha Radio Mobile App from electronics manufacturer Pioneer, which links your Apple iPhone to an in-dash Pioneer GPS navigation...

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