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More QNX-powered cars and infotainment systems from 2011 CES

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The second installment in our CES Cars of Fame series. Today, we look at several systems from the 2011 CES event, starting with this week's inductee, a BMW Z4.

Paul Leroux
I've led you astray — sort of. Last week I stated that the LTE Connected Car, the first QNX-powered technology concept car, appeared at 2011 CES. But I didn't mention that QNX technology was at the core of several other innovative vehicles and infotainment systems at CES that year.

So let me set the record straight. And the best place to start is the QNX booth at 2011 CES, where a BMW Z4 roadster was the front-and-center attraction.

BMW Z4 Roadster with ConnectedDrive
The Z4 wasn't a technology concept car, but a true production car straight off the dealer lot. It was equipped with the QNX-based BMW ConnectedDrive system, which offers real-time traffic information, automatic emergency calling, and a text-to-speech feature that can read aloud emails, appointments, text messages, and other information from Bluetooth smartphones. It's a cool system right at home in this equally cool cockpit:



Heck, the whole car was cool, from the wheels up:



Audi A8 with Google Earth
Mind you, the coolness didn't stop at the QNX booth. Just down the hall, Audi showcased an A8 sedan equipped with the QNX-based 3G MMI infotainment system, featuring Google Earth. This same model drove home with the 2011 Edmunds Breakthrough Technology award a short while later.

I don't have any photos of the Audi from the CES show floor, but if you head over to the On Q blog, you can see some snaps from an automotive event that QNX hosted in Stuttgart two months earlier. The photos highlight the A8's innovative touchpad, which lets you input destination names by tracing them with your finger.

Toyota Entune infotainment system
And now to another award-winning QNX-based system. Toyota Entune embraces a simple, yet hard-to-achieve concept: help drivers interact with mobile content and applications in a non-distracting, handsfree fashion. For instance, if you are searching for a nearby restaurant, Entune lets you ask for it in a conversational fashion; no need for specific voice commands.

You could tell the judges for the CNET Best of CES awards were impressed, because they awarded Entune first prize, in the Car Tech category — the first of three QNX-powered systems to do. QNX Software Systems went on to win in 2011 for its QNX CAR Platform and then Chevy won in 2012 for its MyLink system. Not too shabby.

A cluster of clusters
We've looked at just three of the many QNX-based automotive systems showcased at 2011 CES. For instance, QNX also demonstrated digital instrument clusters built by Visteon for the Land Rover Range Rover and for the Jaguar XJ sedan, below:



Freescale, NVIDIA, TeleNav, and Texas Instruments also got into the act, demonstrating QNX systems in their booths and meeting areas.

Do you have any memories of 2011 CES? I'd love to hear them.

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