As part of its ConnectNext initiative, Tata Motors today announced that it would be teaming up with mobile phone giant Samsung to work on infotainment systems in its future cars. Samsung has developed an interface called Drive Link that Tata will incorporate into its models to allow for better smartphone integration.
Tata says its infotainment systems must cover five basic areas – multimedia, communication, navigation, internet connectivity and safety. Multimedia covers the areas of entertainment, be it via audio or video, communication involves using your phone for calls, text messages, email and social networking, navigation to provide route guidance, and internet connectivity to be able to access the web on the go.
The safety aspect involves being able to achieve all this without being distracted from the road, which is an area in which Tata and Samsung are working very hard – allowing you to control as much of the system as possible using steering controls and voice commands. To this end, the systems will also feature text-to-speech and speech-to-text – allowing your emails, messages and social media alerts to be read out to you, and also be fed in via voice commands only.
Samsung also says that thanks to technology that it calls ‘Mirror Link’ just about any smartphone can be integrated with this system. It will also offer vehicle data, HVAC controls, service reminders and on-board diagnostics.
The Tata Motors ConnectNext initiative has already teamed up with the likes of Harman and MapMyIndia for the infotainment system in the Tata Bolt hatchback and Tata Zest compact saloon, and with Samsung also on board, it’ll be great to see what the company’s future cars have in store.