Edmunds.com: iPod integration is top auto technology of the decade

Jan. 6, 2010

The integration of iPod technology into vehicle audio platforms is the most important automotive technology development of the decade, according to an analysis by Edmunds.com that identified the top 10 automotive advances of 2000 – 2009.

Most of the technology on the list involves driver and passenger entertainment, such as MP3 file access for music, satellite radio, and better audio systems. Exterior cameras to prevent accidents while backing up also made the list.

Edmunds' top 10 vehicle technology of 2000 – 2009:

iPod integration: Today drivers can bring along all their favorite music with a device that fits in a pocket and can be integrated with most vehicles.

MP3 file access: Most stock radios now offer CD players or DVD drives that can read MP3-encoded discs, which store hundreds of tunes. Many cars now offer an aux-in for plugging in an MP3 player, and more vehicles now have a USB port or SD card slot for reading music files on flash media.

Bluetooth: Hands-free laws gave this technology an added boost. Bluetooth is becoming even more popular now that wireless music streaming is catching on with carmakers and consumers.

Satellite radio: Radio is now produced in high sound quality, huge variety, largely commercial-free and does not fade in areas with low radio signal.

High-end branded audio systems: Good-sounding, name-brand OEM audio systems from Bose, Infinity, Pioneer and others were available for years, but premium systems from Mark Levinson, Bang & Olufsen, B&W and others set a new benchmark during this decade.

Exterior cameras: Backup cameras became popular in giant-size SUVs and have since proliferated in a variety of large and small vehicles.

Navigation: Portable navigation systems debuted in the early part of the decade with retail prices in excess of $1,000. Now smartphone navigation applications, which are much cheaper, are further democratizing the availability of navigation.

Voice activation: Voice activation began as a novelty, but in the past few years it’s become more accurate and reliable, and is available on more cars.

Ford Sync: Ford Sync has become a reliable tool for its voice recognition, affordability, 911 assist services, traffic services, directions, information, and its easy upgradeability.

Location-based services: Location-based services (LBS) help drivers get local fuel prices, traffic, weather reports, movie show times and sports scores, to name a few uses.

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