Chicago Auto Show Blog

Have we reached technology overload yet?

Posted by: Mark Bilek

Not by a long shot--at least in the automotive world. This past week, two automakers announced in-car entertainment systems that offer integration with Smart Phone apps. What is the world coming too? Isn't it bad enough when people thumb through their iPhone at a business lunch or check Emails on their Blackberry at the ball game? Now people will be able to do those same tasks while driving and never take their hands off the wheel.

Took me a while to figure this out, but it's a logical extension of current technology in an automotive application. It means automakers have figured out how to make the automobile an extension of your Smart Phone, opening the door for an unlimited number of enhancements to in-vehicle entertainment and utility.

The two automakers, MINI and Ford, will be offering similar voice-controlled systems in the very near future that utilize the capabilities of a Smart Phone to exponentially expand what you can do behind the wheel. The first integrations are with fairly simple apps (small programs that run on Smart Phones) that allow vehicle occupants to post comments to social applications like Facebook and Twitter or stream Web content to your vehicle's entertainment system.

What's interesting about this approach is that automakers have realized that the opportunities are endless and shouldn't be limited to what we traditionally think a vehicle entertainment system should do--play music or video or even provide directions. Using a Smart Phone as a conduit, the number of applications is limitless and the connection to the Internet is simple.

Imagine you're going out for the night. You get into your car and call up an app that helps you pick a Thai restaurant that is highly rated on Google. Then you download directions directly to the vehicle's navigation system. These directions not only provide the quickest route, but also help you avoid traffic delays. On the way, you make reservations for dinner and buy tickets to a movie over the Internet. As you get close to the restaurant, you are able to search for the least expensive parking in the area. Not once in this process have you had to take your hands off the wheel to push a button or click a mouse.

That's technology that's working for you . . . I think.

SOURCE: Ford's SYNC Applink, MINI's Connected

« Last Post Next Post »

View all Posts from this Blog

Follow Us Socially Using #CAS16



Friday, November, 13, 2015

Ford Edge Night Out

Ford’s Edge Unstoppable tour recently paid a visit to Chicago for an #EdgeNightOut. The event featured some ...

Tuesday, November, 10, 2015

Tacoma Comes Out to Play

Toyota’s corporate manager for truck operations, Rick LoFaso, shared details on the all-new Tacoma during the ...

Saturday, November, 07, 2015

Truly Grand Opening!

Usually when a dealership holds a grand opening, it's celebrating a new building or a new location, but in the ...

Tuesday, October, 20, 2015

Mazda Drive for Good Program Returns

Now through Oct. 28, Mazda and NBCUniversal are encouraging people to nominate an organization or individual who is ...

Monday, October, 19, 2015

BMW takes Uber Users for a Ride in the Forthcoming BMW 7 Series

Today only, BMW and Uber are giving Chicagoans the ride of a lifetime – to be among the first to experience ...

Tuesday, October, 13, 2015

Fall Rally Picks: MAMA Family Vehicle of the Year

Each year during the Chicago Auto Show Media Preview, the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) hosts a ...

Friday, October, 09, 2015

Jeep and Ram Blaze the Trail

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) took MAMA members on a wild ride this past week at the Midwest Automotive Media ...

Friday, October, 09, 2015

Mazda Likes the Power of 3

Mazda is one automaker that follows its own road. For years the Asian iconoclast has built cars that are fun to ...

Thursday, October, 08, 2015

Scion Gets Back to Its Roots

Toyota’s youth-oriented division recently launched two new small cars for 2016, the subcompact iA sedan and ...

Tuesday, September, 29, 2015

Honda, Not Your Average Car Company

In a recent ad campaign Honda has outdone itself. This ad stands out because it highlights Honda’s many ...


11/25/2015 1:38:13 PM

This just in: #CAS16 ticket sales are NOW LIVE! Tag a friend you want to bring to the nation's largest auto show, the Chicago Auto Show (Feb. 13-21), and we'll select one winner each day this week to get free tickets! #TagAFriend

11/25/2015 1:09:38 PM

I really like the new website! Looks great

11/25/2015 9:30:18 AM

In light of #GivingTuesday approaching, if you're planning to donate to any of these 18 local charities this holiday season, consider purchasing a First Look for Charity ticket to get a first look of the nation's largest auto show amid opulence! Visit for more details. #FLFC16

11/23/2015 10:10:45 AM

We asked you to cast your votes for the look of the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, and the jury is in! The official poster this year will be #3

11/23/2015 8:03:04 AM

Starting today (through Jan. 4, 2016), Mazda will donate $150 to a local charity of your choice for every new car purchased or leased through its #MazdaDrive4Good program. Visit to find a dealership near you. To learn more, visit:

11/20/2015 9:30:03 PM

When do tickets go on sale online??? I know it says mid-November on the site...sorry if this has been answered

11/20/2015 8:28:06 AM

Flashback Friday! Did you know? Chicago’s Coliseum was home to the Chicago Auto Show from 1901-1935, where general admission for the public was just 50 cents per ticket

11/19/2015 8:28:03 AM

The struggle is no longer real now that Jaguar has invented a car key system that takes shape around your wrist. The 2017 F-Pace has created a wristband that is water and shockproof! The activity key will be ideal for adventurous consumers. #Jaguar #innovation

11/18/2015 5:16:18 PM

Cool concept from Scion, the C-HR. #LAAutoShow

11/18/2015 3:45:02 PM

Did you know? For every new Mazda sold or leased between Nov. 23, 2015, & Jan. 4, 2016, Mazda will donate $150 to a local charity of your choice. Find more details here:


11/25/2015 5:09:08 PM

RT @FordMustang: Guess who's going to be at the @ChiAutoShow? The all-new Shelby® GT350! #Ford #Mustang #FordCAS

11/25/2015 4:53:19 PM

@ChiAutoShow @Cameron5770 #CAS16

11/25/2015 3:24:27 PM

@ChiAutoShow #CAS16 #TagAFriend @sydneysheely the time has come ??

11/25/2015 2:08:08 PM

RT @ChiAutoShow: #CAS16 tix are NOW LIVE! Tag a friend you want to bring and you may just receive free tix!

11/25/2015 2:07:58 PM

RT @ChiAutoShow: #CAS16 tix are NOW LIVE! Tag a friend you want to bring and you may just receive free tix!

11/25/2015 1:50:24 PM

@ChiAutoShow @ronthinksthat

11/25/2015 1:49:59 PM

RT @ChiAutoShow: #CAS16 tix are NOW LIVE! Tag a friend you want to bring and you may just receive free tix!

11/25/2015 1:49:49 PM

@ChiAutoShow @jordanbibbs98

11/25/2015 1:49:48 PM

RT @ChiAutoShow: #CAS16 tix are NOW LIVE! Tag a friend you want to bring and you may just receive free tix!

11/25/2015 1:49:02 PM

#CAS16 tix are NOW LIVE! Tag a friend you want to bring and you may just receive free tix!