The Microsoft Windows Mobile for Automotive platform was named Best Telematics Solution at the Telematics Detroit 2006 conference and exhibition, held recently in Detroit, Microsoft Corp. confirmed. Windows Mobile for Automotive defines the state of the art in automotive-grade operating system software for in-car communications and infotainment solutions. Automakers and their suppliers commend Windows Mobile for Automotive for its reliability, flexibility and fast time to market. Consumers value Windows Mobile for Automotive-based solutions for their ease of use, rich features, upgradeability and affordability.

Fiat Auto SpA was the first automaker to commercially release systems based on the Windows Mobile for Automotive platform at the Geneva Auto Show in February. The Fiat solution, marketed as Blue&Me, provides hands-free mobile phone support for over 140 models of mobile phones, portable media player integration via Universal Serial Bus and voice-guided navigation. Consumers have the convenience of being able to control their mobile phone and digital music player using either their voice or controls built into the steering wheel. Drivers and passengers can use their voices to receive calls, browse their phone book, or search and play music from their portable music player. The software is easily upgradeable to support future generations of mobile phones and portable devices, designed to allow consumers to enjoy their in-car digital lifestyle as new devices and technologies emerge.

“We are honored to receive the Best Telematics Solution Award for Windows Mobile for Automotive. At Microsoft, our focus is to help motorists stay connected with the people, information and entertainment they want, with enhanced safety features and convenience,” said Mark Spain, director of the Automotive Business Unit at Microsoft. “We’re delighted with progress we have made, but this is just the beginning. The advances in software and technology are taking us into a new era of rich, personalized in-car experiences unlike anything we’ve seen before.”

“When we decided to work with Microsoft on the Blue&Me project, we knew that it would be a highly successful collaboration,” said Giuseppe Bonollo, vice president of Product Portfolio Management at Fiat Auto. “This award represents a clear statement by the industry in favor of standardized platforms on which to develop flexible ‘infotainment’ solutions like Blue&Me with a short time to market.”

“People spend a large amount of time in their vehicles, and telematics is changing part of peoples’ lives for the better,” said Ven Pedro, event director for Telematics Detroit 2006. “The more the industry matures, the more this technology will filter down from the high end into the mass market and change driving for everyone, forever. The winning companies in the 2006 awards have achieved a lot in the past year and are taking strides to make this future a reality.”