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Buick Launches IntelliLink Connectivity System at New York Auto Show

Earlier this year Chevrolet revealed its new MyLink touchscreen infotainment system, and today Buick announced its own variation of the technology. Called IntelliLink, Buick will introduce the connectivity system later this year in several of its models.

Similar to MyLink, Buick's connectivity system brings a host of features beyond that of standard Bluetooth pairing. For starters, users have the ability to control many functions through simple voice commands. GM tapped voice-recognition specialists Nuance for its top-notch software, which allows drivers to initiate phone calls, select artists or songs from their library, or tune to specific stations on their smartphones among other conveniences.

If voice commands aren't your thing, the ability to control many of the system's functions through the standard 7 or 8-inch center-mounted touchscreen is another option. Reports suggest half of Americans will be toting smartphones by the end of the year -- most of which will easily harmonize with the system -- but Buick notes nearly all features are present and available without one. The system works with all Bluetooth-enabled phones and USB devices, and all Onstar features are still offered, including on-screen directions.

"Today's tech-savvy consumers expect more from their cars' infotainment systems," said Buick marketing vice president Tony DiSalle. "They want a system that allows them to customize their in-vehicle experience with smartphones and other portable media devices. The availability of IntelliLink on every Buick sedan in 2012 and every Buick model in 2013 takes connectivity and media personalization to a new level."

Pricing has yet to be announced, but we suspect it'll be comparable to competitors' offerings. Buick suggests some 70 percent of new car buyers desire some sort of enhanced connectivity system in their cars. What's your take, is smartphone connectivity a must, or just an expensive option? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.