10/17/2000 – Ford shows multimedia Navigator with IDB-1394


Source: Ford Motor Company.

Ford shows multimedia Navigator
with IDB-1394



DETROIT, MI, October 17, 2000 – Buyers of Ford Motor Company
vehicles could soon be able to “plug and play” their favorite
electronic devices into any car, minivan or sport utility.


Ford Motor Company’s Lincoln Navigator on display at Convergence
2000 provides a preview of how having a standardized multimedia
network interface for electronics opens a new door for automakers to
deliver up-to-date built-in audio and video content in any vehicle.


The Lincoln Navigator, for example, features a Sony Playstation 2, a
device that will be showing up soon on U.S. store shelves. The
game interfaces with two in-vehicle 1394 video displays. In the
past, portable consumer electronic multimedia devices could not
interface with vehicles without major electronic modifications,
slowing the time it took to bring such features to market. The
ability to interface consumer electronic devices along with the
quick installation is made possible because of a standard global
interface that Ford Motor Company and nearly a dozen of the world’s
automakers are developing through the Automotive Multimedia
Interface Collaboration (AMI-C), an industry group working to
establish a standard way to deliver multimedia content in new
vehicles. The network on display in the Lincoln Navigator is known
in the industry as the IEEE 1394 serial bus, a high-speed network
for transporting digital audio/video. The automotive supplement is
dubbed IDB-1394 and is being developed by the 1394 Joint Automotive
Working Group. This group was formed January 2000 by the 1394 Trade
Association (in cooperation with the IDB-Forum) to expressly develop
the 1394 automotive supplement.


The Navigator features an interchangeable CD player, Camcorder and
DVD to demonstrate the advantages IDB 1394 brings to a vehicle in
terms of consumer plug & play electronics. A “customer convenience
port” in the Navigator allows consumers to plug their favorite
multimedia devices in the vehicle, such as a laptop computer or palm
held device, using the same cable in their home, interchangeably.

“This standard will allow Ford Motor Company to provide state of
the art electronic packages to its customers more quickly,” said
Cary Wilson, director, Ford Motor Company electrical/electronics
systems engineering. “We call the 1394 interface the customer
convenience port because it allows our customers to bring popular
consumer products into the car.”


Having an industry standard interface, such as IDB 1394, not only
allows consumers to interface portable devices within the car, it
also allows auto companies to more quickly bring multimedia vehicles
to market and then easily add, remove and upgrade the electronic
devices in them. It also allows these same devices to work
interchangeably among competitive vehicles.


“Providing the 1394 Customer Convenience Port will allow people to
plug-in their latest portable electronic devices into the vehicle,”
said Frank Desjarlais, co-chairman of the 1394 Automotive Working
Group and a Ford Motor Company network systems engineer: “The fact
that 1394 is an existing standard and capable of supporting digital
video makes it ideally suited for this purpose.”

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