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Chrysler Most Connected?

Seems like car makers were falling all over themselves last
year to tout the latest in iPod connectivity and convenience for music lovers.
But the next step in adding computer doodads goes way beyond music and Chrysler
wants to lead the charge.

At the recent International Auto Show in Detroit, Chrysler
said its working aggressively to develop an advanced, in-vehicle wireless
communications system that provides increased security and convenience, and
goes "well beyond" what systems currently available provide.

Higher gas prices means less driving? Bah! Chrysler execs don't see that
equation playing out anytime soon.

"We recognize that customers are spending more and more
time in their vehicles, and that the automobile is becoming much like an
additional room in the home or office," Frank Klegon, Chrysler's executive
VP for product development, said in a release.

Chrysler's technology roadmap for vehicle connectivity over
the next few years starts with cellular and WiFi, but then expands to WiMax which
of course offers significantly higher speeds and bandwidth compared to WiFi and
doesn't rely on a network of hot spots.

Features Klegon said will be coming to Chrysler, Dodge and
Jeep vehicles over the next few years include:

*  Turn-by-turn
navigation combined with satellite imagery to provide more realistic maps.

*  Internet search
and email access including audio read-out of messages using text-to-text
speech, and sending messages via voice command.

*  The ability to
make on-line purchases, view streaming movies and download music.

*  Wireless audio and
video file transfer from home computer to car

And here you thought cell phones were a distraction!

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