Yes. In what may be a first for a car maker, Volvo will offer a car radio upgrade kit that adds a touch screen, Internet radio and other features to 2010 and later Volvo car radios.
The radio retrofit kit, in partnership with Parrot and Ericsson was shown at CES and will be available through Volvo dealers starting in May.
The kit includes a module that mounts in the glove box and a 7-inch IR overlay touch screen. It can work with a phone via Bluetooth to provide access to Google Maps or iGo navigation and access to a new Parrot app store that goes live this month. The “retrofit” radio will also permit streaming music from Deezer, TuneIn and Spotify, in the first automotive use of the subscription music service.
The kit will work with Volvo “Sensus” infotainment systems that currently use knobs, therefore adding touch screen capability in addition to cloud services like dealer service appointment reminders.
Also, Volvo is showing an OEM version of the system for new cars starting in May. Called the Sensus Connected Touch it is available on the S60, V60, XC60, S80, V70, XC70, V40, V40 CROSS COUNTRY. It also has MirrorLink.
It’s worth watching the video below to see it in action.
We expect to see more of these retrofit upgrade kits. Parrot is offering an upgrade system to other car makers. It showed at CES an OEM upgrade kit that works as either a chip that can be inserted in a current radio to add apps and other functionality, or an outboard module.
Chrysler also announced at CES that its car dealers can “unlock” an upgrade to enable navigation an existing Uconnect car radio on some models purchased without the navigation package.
It will launch on the 2013 RAM 1500, 2013 SRT Viper and the 2014 Fiat 500L. We were told by one source that the fee to unlock navigation will be $595. For more on the Chrysler upgrade program click here. http://www.autoblog.com/2013/01/07/chrysler-uconnect-gets-dealer-activated-navigation-new-infotain/#continued