Samsung (KRX:005935) and Tata Motors (NYSE:TTM), one of India’s largest automobile companies, announced a partnership on Thursday at the New Delhi Auto Expo 2014 that will offer an in-car infotainment system in Tata Motors' passenger vehicles.
The new technology, based on Samsung’s “Drive Link app,” is designed to offer in-car access to the smartphone features and content, without creating any distraction to the driver. The infotainment system will provide drivers and passengers with dashboard-mounted access to music, navigation, apps, hands-free calling and other services available on their smartphones.
“Samsung’s Drive Link application on MirroLink technology, for controlling nearby smartphones from the steering wheel or via dashboard buttons or touch screen, ensures that users retain the core functionality of their smartphones, while making sure their experience of hands free in-vehicle services is as safe as possible,” Sameer Garde, Samsung’s country head for enterprise business, said in a statement. “The Drive Link’s interface is clear and uncluttered, perfect for quick and intuitive use when on the move.”
In addition to access to all music libraries on the phone, the users will also be allowed to access Internet music through other apps. Drive Link will also include a “Text-to-Speech” feature, which will enable all incoming messages, emails and updates from social media websites to be automatically read via the car’s speaker system.
Drive Link connects smartphones to a car’s infotainment system or head units via MirrorLink, which is a new standard connectivity protocol between smartphone and car head units from the Car Connectivity Consortium, an industry body that includes most major smartphone and car manufacturers.
“We see technology as a key enabler and are delighted to partner with another industry leader, Samsung, to offer what our consumers, especially our young, professional consumers, demand from their vehicles,” said Ranjit Yadav, president of the passenger vehicle business unit at Tata Motors, which acquired British car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover in 2008.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) also unveiled a similar feature called “iOS in the car” at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, which allows users to connect their iOS devices to an in-car display either via wired or wireless connections. The technology has led Apple into partnerships with BMW (FRA:BMW), Daimler’s (FRA:DAI) Mercedes-Benz division, General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) and Honda Motor Co. (NYSE:HMC).