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Mobile Multimedia Systems Will Transform the Passenger Car as We Know It!

18 January 2000

The Explosion in Growth of Mobile Multimedia Systems are set to Transform the Passenger Car as We Know It, Says A New Report From The Economist Intelligence Unit, THE ELECTRONICS REVOLUTION IN THE MOTOR INDUSTRY
    DETROIT, Jan. 18 -- The explosion in growth of mobile multimedia systems 
are set to transform the passenger car as we know it, says
a new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit, THE ELECTRONICS REVOLUTION

    Such is the growth that the total content of electronics in a vehicle will
reach more than 30% of an executive car's value.

    Written by William Kimberley, winner of the Delphi award for "outstanding
automotive technology journalism," the report identifies areas where
electronics are revolutionising the vehicle.

    The next step in the integration of electronics in the vehicle is the
connection of all computers on a "vehicle intranet."  The EIU predicts that
intranet systems will make a first appearance on passenger cars in 2001.

    The driver will have a voice-activated screen to send and receive e-mails
verbally or go on the Internet.

    Many of the controls will be taken out of the driver's hands-for example
the car may not be allowed to exceed the speed limit.

    Spark plugs of the future could use neural-network technology to double as
engine performance sensors.

    Active wheel sensors, incorporated in tyre tread patterns, will accelerate
reaction times for both ABS and ESP (electronic stability programmes) in the

    Night vision systems made their first appearance on Cadillac models
earlier this year.  However the EIU remains sceptical about the volume
adoption of this head-up display technology, despite the enhanced image which
it offers.

    The next stage in vehicle security will incorporate "biometric" access as
with early Siemens' systems which intelligently "read" individuals'
fingerprints.  Sensors will authorise access to the vehicle as well as
permitting keyless starting of the engine and fuzzy logic will set the
automatic gearbox to the individual driver's requirements.

    "Bluetooth" technology will usher in a new protocol of "open wire-less
networking"-spelling the end of the need for hands-free mobile phone
facilities in the car.

    The electronics revolution in the motor industry, 2000 edition

    Available from the Economist Intelligence Unit on 212-554 0643 or e-mail
at or at the EIU's Online Store at

    Price: US$1395/895 pounds