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New Fiat 500 minicar: Blue&Me

Fiat 500 with navigation system.

iPod holder

Blue&Me navigation map, and  (below) the iPod holder.

The new Fiat 500 is optionally available with either the first level Blue&MeTM (including a hands-free function with Bluetooth® interface, voice recognition, USB port, MP3 player and SMS text message interpreter), or the latest version of the device, Blue&Me Nav, which adds a navigation function.

The Blue&Me Nav will be available after the launch and is already wired to enable a range of telematic services such as SOS Emergency, Info Service and insurance services.

Blue&Me Nav offers an intuitive pictogram navigation system that features an innovative method of introducing the destination using voice controls.

The destination is located in real time: the map of the country is memorised on the USB pen drive, and this makes access to the data faster and quieter than when a CD is used. All the functions are built-in, and the telephone, music and navigation information is available on the instrument panel.

With the Blue&Me Nav system, the customer receives a navigation kit comprising a USB pen drive with the memorised map, and a back-up CD that can be used to transfer the map onto a personal MP3 player or iPod.

As he navigates, the driver can listen to his favourite music, which he has memorised, together with the map, on the same USB pen drive or media player, or make a telephone call using the hands-free device.

Blue&Me™ origin

Blue&Me™ was developed in 3 years by Fiat Auto and Microsoft. The partnership was ratified in June 2004, with the long-term goal of designing innovative telematic systems for cars, exploiting an integrated technology that is in harmony with the user.

Based on the Windows Mobile for Automotive system, this device features an open system that is always updateable, flexible and modular.

With the help of Magneti Marelli, Fiat Group Automobiles and Microsoft offer a platform that adapts to most cell phones, music players and other personal devices, replacing rigid hardware, with the benefit of being able to constantly adapt to innovations on the market, remaining integrated into the car, and all at an accessible price.

Blue&Me™ is safe and easy to use. The voice control system, which is integrated into the controls on the steering wheel and the information on the instrument panel, allows a customer with a Bluetooth® cell phone to use it even if the phone is in a jacket or bag, without taking his hands off the wheel. And the advanced voice recognition system allows immediate interaction, because the voice does not have to be ‘learned’, even allowing incoming text messages to be interpreted aloud.

Occupants can listen to hours of digital music in MP3, WMA and WAV format recorded on an iPod, a cell phone, an MP3 player or a USB pen drive, by connecting the digital device to the USB port.

Blue&Me™ MAP 500

Six months after the launch of the Blue&Me Nav™ system, Fiat Automobiles now announces the world première of a new development for the Blue&Me™ platform: MAP 500, a multifunction portable navigator with an original design developed for the Fiat 500 that is incorporated in the car using innovative technology.

Available after the launch and developed with Magneti Marelli, the device represents a new kind of portable navigation system.

This new architecture offers numerous advantages via the Blue&Me™ technology, which simplifies the direct integration of the portable navigator and the car: the data from the CAN network on the vehicle improve the accuracy of the navigator and the voice messages are reproduced through the car audio system. This guarantees higher standards in terms of comfort and of safety.

In addition to map satellite navigation, the Blue&Me™ MAP 500 system also incorporates a number of multimedia functions that can be exploited in portable mode, such as the reproduction of music and the display of films and pictures.

Another feature of the device is the mechanical and electrical integration on the car, which does not call for loose cables or temporary supports. Fiat Automobiles has taken care of the incorporation and ergonomic positioning of the new device in the facia so that it is easy to install and to remove, respecting the latest automotive standards.

The new portable navigator uses a wireless connection with the Blue&Me to exchange information, so that it can be used in complete safety and the comfort.

The advantages for the user include a more accurate navigation compared to conventional portables; the possibility of navigating even in tunnels or areas where GPS reception is poor, simultaneous management of all the audio, radio, CD, telephone and navigation source, plus all the Blue&Me functions: hands-free, USB port, steering-wheel controls, voice recognition and text message reader.

The Nav key on the dedicated control board on the roof panel connects directly to the navigation menu, which can also be accessed via the controls on the steering wheel, or vocally. The USB key is inserted to start navigating, and the driver uses the keys on the steering wheel to choose his destination by selecting the initial letters of the address; he can even complete it vocally.

Like all other information, navigation details can be displayed on the control panel: destination address, pictograms of the directions to follow, information on arrival and the usual vocal suggestions of the manoeuvres to make, reproduced through the speakers.

Unlike other navigators, on which it is not possible to navigate and listen to music CDs at the same time without a CD changer, with Blue&Me Nav the driver can navigate as he listens to the music saved in the media player.

The navigation program can be used on a personal computer together with the back-up CD, to save the maps of a number of countries, purchased separately, on the USB pen drive. Then the driver can select a whole country (for example Italy, France, Germany, etc.), or part of a country (for example northern/central/southern Italy), or even a region that groups together maps of different countries (for example northern Italy and Switzerland, Austria and southern Germany).

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