Delphi Connected Car Gives Drivers of Older Vehicles High-Tech Security Option

With all the news of in-car apps, streaming radio, and Facebook news feeds and Tweets delivered straight to your car, owners of older vehicles may feel left out in the rush to embrace new technology. Delphi, a major component supplier to the automotive industry, has come up with a way to give high-tech vehicle security options to drivers of vehicles going back as far as 1996.

It starts with a receiver module that plugs into the vehicle's OBD-II port. With the associated app, drivers can use their mobile phones as a virtual enhanced key fob to locate, unlock, receive alerts, and log mileage. The system can also provide vehicle diagnostic data. If you're locked out of your car and you're buried deep in an underground parking garage with no cellular service, once the receiver and mobile device have been paired over a Bluetooth connection, a cellular signal is not needed for the unlocking function. The app is available for Android 2.2 or later, and Apple iOS5 or later operating systems. The data services for the system and app are provided by Verizon Wireless.

Pioneer Showcases Multimedia Receivers, AppRadio, MixTrax Technology

GM, Ford and Subaru all talked about app development and integration at their 2013 CES press conferences, but where does that leave those of us who might not be able to afford a brand-new car, but still want to enjoy the benefits of advanced technology? Pioneer Electronics has stepped up to the plate with a line of single and double-DIN head units that incorporate many of the new features found on current and future new cars, as well as launching their own app developer initiative to add even more features and functions to those it already offers.

The only downside to going the aftermarket route, is that most of the apps require a physical wired connection between the mobile device and head unit via a proprietary cable. But considering the difference of about $600 (plus installation) versus $30,000 for a new car with the latest built-in gadgets, it seems a small sacrifice.

Among the apps supported by Pioneer's AppRadio platform include Aha, Inrix Traffic, Rdio, Pandora, Waze, Beej!, Glympse, Parkopedia, and iHeartAuto. The company's new line of AppRadio head units will be available through authorized retailers in March.

To showcase its new MixTrax technology, Pioneer had Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker's 1951 Chevrolet pickup in its booth. MixTrax is Pioneer's proprietary technology that allows users to insert virtual DJ transitions between songs, or add effects to music played through a portable digital music device or storage medium.