Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Business

January 15, 2012

Ahead of the Curve

Delphi shows off latest products at Consumer Electronics Show

(Continued)

The phones’ applications would feed onto an LED touch screen on the dash panel. Shift to Drive from Park and safety options lock out apps, except for driving-oriented ones such as a GPS or music.

Companies can install Delphi-developed sensors on the outside of vehicles. If drivers encounter bad weather, gridlock or other potential hazards, alerts can go off inside the vehicle to make sure the person behind the wheel is paying attention.

Vehicle manufacturers have been showing more interest in safety products for electronics as government agencies have passed stricter laws, said Ronald Szabo, director of Forward Engineering for Delphi’s Infotainment and Driver Interface business unit.

The increased demand has also meant more competition in adapting consumer electronics for the vehicle.

“That whole process is happening a whole lot faster than it was the last time we were out at CES,” Szabo said.

Delphi used the show to debut one of its most recent electronics-vehicle connectivity products.

The company’s developments allow vehicles to use Windows Azure to access “the cloud.”

Delphi’s new product allows car owners to add apps and other functions through their vehicles. Drivers can use the technology to personalize their vehicles — change displays, select designs and arrange or create controls — from outside. Vehicles owners can also check diagnostics, such as tire pressure or brake life.

Many of the developments are Delphi’s way of making its products “future proof,” Winter said. Consumers can upgrade their vehicles rather than having to buy new cars for more advanced options.

“Whatever the consumers are interested in, we need to find a viable way to make it accessible,” she said.

• Daniel Human is the Kokomo Tribune business reporter. He can be reached at 765-454-8570 or at daniel.human@kokomotribune.com.

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