In the introduction of its Lincoln C Concept at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, the manufacturer provided a foretaste of what its production cars of the future will feature in terms of in-car connectivity, such as the ground-breaking Human Machine Interface (HMI) and numerous technologies that will ultimately be shared by the newer range of Lincoln vehicles.
The fundamental elements in this latest interface are simplicity and intelligent format that keeps the driver informed without distracting him from his main focus: driving. The key here is how the driver is informed and where information can be accessed. For instance, all car-related information, such as fuel economy, trip information and vehicle diagnostics, are on the right of the speedometer.
On the other hand passenger-related functions, such as audio, climate, navigation and phone are located to the right of the instrument cluster.
Accessible to the driver are steering wheel mounted switches, touch screens and voice-activated software. A host of SYNC technologies provide hands-free functions, such as hands-free cell phone, text messaging and digital media player integration including security and safety features like 911 Assist and Vehicle Health Reports.
Also featured are Bluetooth-enabled phone to access internet-based services, namely: traffic reports, turn-by-turn navigation, business directory listing in excess of 14 million entries, weather forecasts, the latest sports updates and many more.
One of the more interesting highlights of the new concept is an in-car companion named 'EVA' who is basically a computer-generated personality who is able to respond to conversational speech and controls all vehicle and SYNC-enabled functions and information. Other functions of EVA include sensing the driver's mood via voice and driving style and respond accordingly, for instance, with a song suggestion from the SYNC-connected MP3 music library.
This Artificial Intelligence feature can also surf the Web, read online news headlines or restaurant reviews, check e-mail, or access a friend's website, even advise the driver where to refuel based on the remaining fuel, driving habits, location of fuel stations and current fuel pricing.