Fiat Auto and Microsoft will launch an in-car communication and entertainment (ICE) system at the end of the month – the first product to emerge since they signed a partnership deal in 2004.
Blue&Me, which is based on Windows Mobile for Automotive, will allow Fiat and Alfa Romeo owners to plug their mobile phones and MP3 players into their cars and operate them via controls on the wheel.
Blue&Me is also likely to contain a navigation system, weather and traffic forecasts and satellite location that can be triggered in cases of theft and emergency.
The system, which will be unveiled at next month’s Geneva Motor Show, will be available exclusively on new Fiat and Alfa Romeo cars, as well as on Fiat commercial vehicles.
The Fiat Grande Punto and Alfa Romeo’s 159, Brera and Spider will be the first cars to be equipped with the system, followed by other models in due course.
The voice-activated system will allow users to utilise any Bluetooth-based mobile phone, even if it is in a pocket or handbag, without removing their hands from the steering wheel. Even incoming SMS messages are read aloud to the driver.