Carmakers, suppliers ready Sync rivals

Automotive news reports on Denso's and Kia's technology rivals to Ford Sync.

Automotive News

Automotive News

Denso Corp. plans to launch its system, called Blue Harmony, in 2011. The supplier is demonstrating prototypes to potential customers, which Denso spokeswoman Bridgette Gollinger declined to identify.

This year, Kia Motors America will introduce a similar system developed by Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group on the 2011 Kia Sorento compact SUV. Visteon Corp. and Delphi Automotive also are developing competing technologies.

Blue Harmony offers drivers music, directions, e-mail, Internet radio, news headlines, and other information and entertainment options, all managed through voice commands. The information is displayed on a touch screen in the center of the instrument panel, Craig Matichuk, Denso telematics systems engineer, said last week at the Detroit auto show. Matichuk led development of Blue Harmony at Denso's North American headquarters in suburban Detroit.

The BlueHarmony system allows the user to customize the touch-screen layout and download Denso-developed applications to run services such as Pandora Internet radio, the social networking Web site Facebook, and the photo-sharing Web site Flickr.

(Source: Automotive News)