Previously I have covered the issue of Internet radio and networked audio in the automotive context and raised the possible scenarios that apply to this application. They were either a smartphone or MiFi device acting as a network router between a mobile broadband service and a Wi-Fi segment in the car with the car radio being an Internet radio; a car infotainment system with an integrated mobile broadband router; or a smartphone or tablet with the appropriate app working as an Internet radio or network audio endpoint and connected to the car stereo typically via USB, Bluetooth or line-level connection.
Vehicle builders and, to some extent, car-audio manufacturers are implementing a two-way setup which integrates the smartphone with the car infotainment system. In most cases, the link would be fulfilled by a Bluetooth wireless connection for control, communications audio and entertainment audio and, depending on the setup, an interface app installed on the iOS or Android smartphone that works with particular information, music and other apps.
Holden, like most of the GM nameplates around the world, have followed this path for their infotainment by introducing the MyLink system to the Barina CDX small car. Here, this would require the use of an iOS or Android smartphone with a bridge app linked by Bluetooth to the car. But the phone would be managed at least using the touchscreen on the dashboard. Initially the Holden solution is to work with the Stitcher Internet-radio platform but they are intending to have it work with Pandora and TuneIn Radio.
There is an intent to allow you to work your smartphone platform’s navigation function on the dash using the “BringGo” software so you are not needing to have the phone on a “cobra mount” if you want to use Google Maps or Apple Maps.
What I see of this is that vehicle builders are integrating your smartphone or tablet as a part of the vehicle not just for communications but for information, entertainment and navigation.