1st February 2006.
It is not a new model to be presented
at the 76th Geneva Motor Show (2-12 March 2006).
But it may be more important than that,
as its innovation can be interesting for different car
models, from different brands and... for different
The innovation in question is called Blue&MeTM,
and will be presented as a world premiere by Fiat Auto. It
is the first step in an industrial partnership signed in
July 2004 between Fiat and Microsoft’s Automotive
Business Unit, with the objective to co-design innovative
automotive telematics systems.
Based on Windows Mobile™ for
Automotive, Blue&Me is a new system designed to change
the paradigms of communication and car infotainment. Easy
to use, it is supposed to be accessible and competitive,
making trips safer and more comfortable.
Blue&Me will be
available exclusively on new Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo
cars as well as on Fiat Light Commercial Vehicles. Grande
Punto, Alfa Romeo 159, 159 Sportwagon, Brera and Spider
will be equipped this spring, soon to be followed by the
other models of Fiat Auto’s product range.
Based on Windows MobileTM
for Automotive, Fiat Auto’s Blue&Me
relies on a flexible, open system which is
always upgradeable to stay up-to-date.
Being content modular, Blue&Me
can be matched with a wide service offer.
Instead of costly and rigid hardware, Fiat Auto and
Microsoft - with the support of Magneti Marelli - will
offer a platform that can be adapted to most mobile
phones, digital media players and other
mobile devices. The customer is free to change them
with new models without compromising compatibility with
More importantly, Blue&Me
guarantees maximum security levels and user-friendliness.
The voice-activated system, the complete integration of
steering wheel control buttons and information on the
dashboard display will allow users to utilize any
Bluetooth® based mobile phone - also if this is in a
pocket or handbag - without removing hands from the
Thanks to a modern voice-recognition
system, no preliminary voice training is needed, and even
incoming SMS are visualized and read.
Among audio functions, it is possible
to listen to preferred music stored on a mobile phone, in
the newest smart phones, and in MP3 readers or USB
removable sticks. All this thanks to a USB port, in the
glove box, which enables the connection to any digital
device with the correspondent port.
The collaboration between Fiat and
Microsoft allows Blue&Me to be based on an open
platform, compatible with the largest number of devices
such as mobile phones, Palms and MP3 players, with the
benefit of continuously catching up with market
innovations, thus maintaining the perfect integration with
the car at an entry-level price.
A further short-term evolution will
offer a particularly simple and interactive navigation
system, and access to a set of services among which
are a personal assistant to check addresses, weather
and traffic forecasts, satellite localization in
case of theft, SOS, and other services
currently under development.
Since 1995, Microsoft’s Automotive
Business Unit has worked with the auto industry on
advanced in-car information, navigation and entertainment
systems. Microsoft provides the automotive industry with
its advanced telematics platform, Windows Automotive,
and its technology is on the road today in 61 preinstalled
and aftermarket devices from 18 automakers and suppliers,
including BMW, Citroën, Clarion Co. Ltd.,
DaimlerChrysler, Fiat, Honda, Hyundai, Mitsubishi,
NexTech, Subaru, Toyota and Volvo.