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PHOTO CAPTION: MyFord Touch display

Consumers Want Electric Cars Connected

Research group finds consumers interested in buying electric cars are also want them to offer Internet connected features.

Published: 18-Jan-2011

It looks like EVs (electric vehicles) of the future will be connected to much more than a charging station. Automakers Audi, GM, and Ford all have recently announced plans to add a wide range of connectivity services to future EV designs.

“What you are seeing here is that the ideas of electronics, lifestyle, and automobiles are becoming ever more closely tied,” said Rupert Stadler, Audi’s chairman of the board of management, in a keynote speech at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “In part, that is because mobility will require sustainability, especially in the future. That’s why we’re investing heavily in hybrid and electric vehicles that meet the whole range of consumer driving needs.”

In his keynote, Stadler introduced Audi’s MMI touchpad, a mobile Internet computer specifically tailored for the automotive environment. In addition to providing access to infotainment, the pad also has voice recognition capabilities, including voice search for points of interest with Google. In every other aspect of our lives, the internet and all it has to offer has become increasingly mobile,” Stadler said. “For the first time, we’re making the internet mobile in an automobile.”

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