Car Makers Continue Adding Internet-Access to Cars

May 21, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. satisfy (v.) 
[sat-is-fahy] – to meet a desire or need
Example: Shopping satisfies her desire for more clothing.

2. varied (adj.) [vair-eed] – having different kinds or types
Example: Different kinds of music allow people to have varied tastes in music.

3. embedded (adj.) [em-bed-did] – placed into a whole as necessary part
Example: Laptops and mobile phones cannot work without embedded microchips.

4. preference (n.) [pref-er-uhns, pref-ruhns] – something that a person likes over other choices
Example: Many people like iPhone, but my preference is for Android phone.

5. debut (v.) [dey-byoo, di-, dey-byoodeb-yoo] – to make a first public appearance
Example: The latest smartphone is expected to debut in next month’s technology festival.

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

Automakers are currently competing to satisfy consumer demand for connected-car services.

At the New York International Auto Show last April, companies showcased the varied ways cars can connect to the Internet—through smartphones, through embedded systems, or through both.

Ford’s MyFord Touch uses smartphones to access Internet-based apps. It uses a program called “Applink” to check which apps from the phone can be used in the car. Additionally, MyFord Touch can also read aloud text messages or directions from smartphones.

Honda and Subaru, meanwhile, announced that they will be adding embedded systems that directly connect cars to the Web. Drivers will be able to access online travel guides and “Aha,” a service that lets users listen to Internet radio stations.

More expensive brands, including Mercedes-Benz and General Motor’s Cadillac, can run  apps using a connected smartphone, but also have embedded security and communications features. A feature such as “Family Link” lets users find their car using any Internet-capable device.

Each service has advantages and disadvantages. There are no additional fees for connecting with a smartphone, while embedded systems have monthly service charges.

A smartphone-connected car may give a better experience for each driver, since a person’s preferences in music or apps are saved in a phone and not in the car itself. However, embedded systems ensure that the car is always connected, with features that let a driver access the car even from far away.

All this means consumers will face no shortage of choices in connected-car services, especially when 2013 models debut in showrooms later this year.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Would you like to have a connected-car? Why or why not?
·         If you were to get a connected-car, would you prefer one with an embedded system or a smartphone-based system? Why would that be your choice?

Discussion B

·         Do you think it’s it is important to have internet connection while driving or commuting? Why or why not?
·         What may be the benefits in having internet access while driving? What problems can result from it? 


May 21, 2012