Visteon clearly gets that people want smartphone-grade features in their car radios.
At the Consumer Electronics Show, it showed a prototype Android AV radio with a capacitive touch screen–the type found on higher end phones to allow multi-touch pinches and zooms. The radio was running Android 2.2 and instead of connecting you to the Android Market, it took you to a Visteon app store.
It also showed a concept iPad-in-the-dash system that controls not only your radio but the AC, heating and other functions (see below).
Now Visteon doesn’t plan to get into the app store business, but it wants to provide the back end store for, say, Toyota. Imagine buying a Toyota that has an Android radio and you buy your apps from the Toyota eStore.
One of the apps might show traffic camera views along your route so you can actually see the traffic flow. In fact, Visteon is already selling this app in the iTunes App Store for the iPad or iPhone. It’s called the TrafficJamCam for $2.99 and Visteon is in the process of releasing it for Android.
“The OEMs are very interested in the apps side of things,” said a spokesman.
Visteon also displayed at CES a concept system where the iPad replaced the car’s main screen. The iPad becomes the touch and tap control and display for AC, heating, radio and OBD II type info. Just tap on the iPad to turn up the AC. Then swipe to the next screen for your radio navigation map. It works via Bluetooth with a “brain” computer that’s installed in the car. Engadget says this brain box is going into production mid-year. See Engadget’s video on the iPad system here.
And while you’re at it, you may as well check out Denso’s dash system of the future with an iPhone nested in the center of your steering wheel.