Continental AutoLinq Android car stereo calms paranoid parents

Following up Parrot's Android-based Asteroid car stereo is another music system based on Google's mobile OS, the Continental AutoLinq.

Android is well on the way to lording it over the mobile phone and tablet worlds, and now Google's mobile operating system is also cropping up in other portable devices -- notably cars.

Yesterday we brought you news of Parrot's Android-based Asteroid car stereo and this morning we bring word of another, the Continental AutoLinq. Our buddies over at spotted the prototype system at CES 2011 and were treated to a very interesting demonstration of its capabilities.

Continental reps showed off a teen driver app with a range of features, including the ability to display the speed limit of whatever road the vehicle is being driven on, as well as a visual and audible warning whenever the driver exceeds that limit.

If the car continues to speed, the app flashes a warning that it's about to send a text message to the car's owner. If the driver persists, the car delivers on its promise, sending an SMS letting parents know how naughty little Johnny has been.

The Teen Driver app also contains a nasty little feature known as geo-fencing. Parents specify how many miles away from home their sprog is permitted to drive and if the car is driven beyond that zone, a text alert is sent to the car's paranoid, bitter and untrusting owner.

More helpfully, the Continental AutoLinq demo also included a range map application designed for electric cars. Unlike ordinary sat-navs, the map used here only contains areas that your car can physically drive to based on the level of charge remaining in its battery, helping you ensure you never stray beyond the car's physical range.

Continental also demonstrated an app with real-time traffic information, the Pandora music app, and a vehicle diagnostic system that analyses error codes sent through the car's OBD-II port.

Sadly, Continental has no current plans to sell AutoLinq systems, but given how good it looks and how useful it could be, it's surely only a matter of time before you can buy it.

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