Delphi working on smartphone integration; plans to certify apps for in-car use

Speaking to and, Delphi has revealed details about its next generation infotainment system.

The following are excerpts from

Delphi has a radio in production that doesn’t need a CD or DVD player and that gets all music, GPS and Internet from your smartphone. And it mirrors your smartphone screen.

Since not all smartphone apps are safe in a 50-mph environment, Delphi is considering becoming a clearinghouse to determine which apps may safely stream to your radio.

The new Delphi OEM radio (as yet simply called “connecting platform”) provides a WiFi connection to the smartphone for Internet, texting and email, Google Voice searches, navigation and traffic, controlled from the radio.

It’s faster than the Ford Sync is now because it will use a WiFi connection from the phone to the radio for data says Bob Schumacher, Delphi general director of advanced development of electronics and safety. The slower Bluetooth connection will be used for music.

At least one car company will use Delphi’s new “connecting” radios in cars to be available in Q4 2012.

Since many smartphone apps are unsafe while driving Delphi may become a clearinghouse. “Someone has to validate all those apps to be safe and not distracting…We’re looking at that,” said Schumacher.

The company believes it’s in a strong position to take on the task because of guidelines it developed since it launched the first factory-installed radio in 1936 in a Cadillac. “We have standards on the size of text for a display, on how deep menus can go, on how long it typically takes to glance off the road down to the minute and back again. We try to keep those glances down to less than 2 seconds; total time on task less than 15 seconds.

There’s even talk of using radar sensors around the car to determine the driving conditions and to know when certain apps are appropriate” added Schumacher.

Which phones will work with the radio depends on agreements reached with the phone makers. Delphi is hoping that a proposed standard called Terminal Mode will take effect, creating an open platform to easily connect any smartphone to a car radio. Supporters of Terminal Mode so far include Nokia, Clarion, Alpine, Harman and many European car makers.

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