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Automakers Focus on the Interior

Bentley Arnage - The Ultimate Interior

Washington DC January 24, 2008; The AIADA newsletter reported that at the 2008 International Auto Show in Detroit, automakers pulled out all the stops to make their vehicle's interiors as eye catching, and comfortable as possible.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

One of the coolest new dashboard extras, according to the New York Times, is XM Satellite Radio's real-time weather service. The feature breaks the weather map into small blocks and can tell a driver what the weather is like even miles ahead.

Another popular technology displayed on the show floor is a time out button on the steering wheel that silences all entertainment and lets the driver take over the microphone to talk to, or to scold, the children in the back.

Nissan displayed this on its Forum concept minivan. The Forum also features individual speakers for each seat, allowing each occupant to listen to a personalized broadcast from either in-car systems or devices like MP3 players.

In addition, touch screens, once a designer's dream, are almost ubiquitous in even midlevel cars, and satellite downlinks are no longer fantasy.