|世界名人网 | 名人文摘 | 新月文摘 | 微信版 | 关闭窗口|
全屏显示 大字显示 小字显示 加入收藏 设为首页
Microsoft steers for car market
REDMOND -- The car of the future will speak up when it needs an oil change.
It'll shout to warn drivers of a wreck ahead, and plot a detour on high-quality maps.
It'll pay freeway tolls automatically. The software running its brakes will wirelessly upgrade itself.
And in the driver's seat? Microsoft.
The company that put a computer in every home now wants one in every vehicle.
``We'd like to have one of our operating systems in every car on earth,'' said Dick Brass, vice-president of Microsoft's automotive business unit. ``It's a lofty goal.''
The Microsoft platform already is in 23 different cars, including the BMW 7 series, Citroen, Daimler, Fiat, Volvo, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Subaru and Toyota.
Brass' comments were made this week to 250 key politicians and transportation experts at a technology, tolls and transportation conference held at Microsoft. The conference was sponsored by the Discovery Institute's Cascadia Project, which has received a multi-year Gates Foundation grant.
There are 650 million cars in the world and 50 million new cars produced every year, comparable to the market for desktop computers, Brass said.
Microprocessors already control major vehicle functions, Brass said.
Microsoft has been making inroads in automotive telematics -- a combination of computers and telecommunications -- for years.
Rain, wind and snow dominated people's concerns 50 to 100 years ago, Brass said. Today, it's traffic congestion.
``I believe traffic is weather,'' Brass said. ``People want to know, `How is the wind blowing on the street?'''
Collectively, drivers spend millions of hours commuting in traffic and are distracted by a myriad of gadgets, Brass said. PDAs and other hand-held viewers now carry traffic condition reports from the Washington Department of Transportation.
Brass said Microsoft's ``TBox'' -- available in 12 to 36 months -- can connect them all and make them hands-free.
``The idea is to make it easy to bring phones and laptops into the car and work shamelessly and connect to networks around it,'' Brass said. ``Our goal is to put a TBox in every vehicle.''
The TBox device has a processor, memory and a hard drive with no moving parts, said Peter Wengert, marketing manager for Microsoft's automotive unit.
At the conference, Brass showed on-the-street interviews asking what gadgets future cars should carry. One man said ``I don't want Ford making PDAs, and I don't want Microsoft making cars.''
The two working together, though, seems inevitable.
Brass said drivers could tap into the system to create 21st century vanpools and help reduce congestion.
``It's possible to imagine setting a system in place with 5,000 to 10,000 vans and have a dramatic reduction in traffic,'' Brass told the group. ``With GPS and TBox, we have the tools we would need to put this all together.''
Telematics are rife with promise and privacy concerns. Doug Klunder, director of the Privacy Project at the American Civil Liberties Union asked Brass how Microsoft plans to protect individual information.
Brass told a story about OnStar -- GM's car tracking technology -- after a driver called in to report his car was missing. Truth was, he was losing his wife in a nasty divorce and wanted to know where she was, Brass said.
``We really, really, really understand the need for security and privacy,'' Brass said. He said encryption and not storing the information are ways to approach concerns.
回 [ 企业百强 ] [世界名人网]