Ford's Alan Mulally, Audi's Rupert Stadler Give CES Keynote Speeches

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Like it or not, infotainment systems are becoming increasingly important to new car shoppers. For the third time, Ford CEO Alan Mulally will deliver the keynote speech at the Consumer electronics Show in Las Vegas come January. Audi Chairman Rupert Stadler is also scheduled to deliver a keynote speech.

Highly recognized as a leader in integrating connectivity into vehicles, Ford first introduced its Sync system at CES in 2007. Now installed on more than 2.5 million vehicles, Sync offers Bluetooth integration, USB input, and audible text message readback among others. Ford shocked the industry with Sync, leaving its competition to play catch up. Last year, Mulally introduced the next generation of Ford's latest technology advancements with its MyFord Touch system.

The first noticeable difference in a vehicle equipped with MyFord Touch is that the instrument panel features three screens, while a separate center infotainment screen is present in the center stack. Along with the plethora of viewing options, MyFord Touch adds on to the conveniences available on Sync, with the addition of WiFi connectivity and broadcasting, navigation, and an SD card slot. Unlike others, Ford has made its technologies available for the masses with Sync or MyFord Touch available on nearly every vehicle in the automakers' portfolio.

"It's an honor to be invited back to deliver a keynote address," Mulally said in a statement. "The consumer electronics industry plays a really important role, and there's no better place to deliver technology news than the International CES." With the introduction of two new technologies at two previous CES shows, we have high hopes for this year's address.

Audi Chairman Rupert Stadler is also scheduled to speak about the German automaker's methodology for developing new in-car technology. "I am pleased to have been invited to Las Vegas and to have the opportunity to present the holistic approach and the expertise of our company to those visiting the show," said Stadler.

Audi -- also an industry technology leader -- recently debuted its second-generation Multi Media Interface infotainment system. In its application, Audi added a touch pad that allows the driver to enter text without the guessing game associated with voice-activated input. With the 3G internet connection enabled, Audi's new MMI utilizes search and maps from Google's overwhelming database. The live search function rids the system of preloaded information that's dated the day the car leaves the factory. Like Ford, we expect Audi will make some sort of announcement regarding its latest advancements for vehicle connectivity.

The annual CES Show is scheduled for January 6 -9 2011 in Las Vegas, with some 2000 exhibitors scheduled to display the latest in consumer electronics. Audi's Rupert Stadler is scheduled to speak on January 6th, while Ford's Alan Mulally is scheduled for the 7th.

Source: Ford, Audi

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