12/10/2003 - CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio) announced that its BlueCore Bluetooth silicon is being used by Saab to supply Bluetooth wireless technology to its 9-3 models. The Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan with Bluetooth option has been available since early 2003, but Saab has now chosen CSR as its Bluetooth silicon supplier. This also includes the recently launched new Saab 9-3 Convertible. Bluetooth hands-free options are expected to become increasingly in demand as more governments introduce legislation to restrict the use of handheld mobile devices in a vehicle. The Saab Bluetooth option includes an embedded GSM phone, which does not have a traditional handset but is used with a Bluetooth headset. A headset enables safer hands-free calls using a range of voice-activated functions as well as improved privacy and convenience outside the vehicle, and improved sound quality when used in the cabriolet model with roof down. The 9-3 with the Bluetooth option is available now worldwide through Saab's global dealer network.
As of 1st December 2003, the handheld use of mobile phones in a vehicle will become illegal in the UK with fines up to £1,000, or £2,500 for heavy goods or certain passenger vehicles. This will bring the UK into line with many European and Asian countries, which have already implemented such legislation. Certain US states or municipalities, such as New York, have also already taken steps to ban the use of phones and other handheld devices while driving. Saab's 9-3 Bluetooth option will ensure drivers adhere to these regulations by facilitating safer, hands-free communication.
Saab's Bluetooth kit integrates with the 9-3's multimedia infotainment system through a MOST (media oriented systems transport) databus which uses fiber optic links within the vehicle to facilitate high-speed connection to a range of devices such as communication systems, video players, games consoles, GPS navigation equipment.
In support of the 9-3's multimedia capabilities, other functions enabled by the Bluetooth option includes wireless dial-up networking which is possible by connecting the embedded Bluetooth phone to a Bluetooth PDA or laptop; this will allow passengers to surf the internet or access email while on the move.
The Bluetooth enabled infotainment system, developed by Mecel AB, containing the Mecel Bluetooth(tm) SDK and CSR silicon, incorporates the necessary profiles to allow the system to benefit from wireless connections to headsets, PDAs, mobile phones and notebook computers (dial up networking, OBEX and headset profiles). OBEX (object embedded exchange) allows a mobile phone's address book to be copied into the vehicle for use with the embedded Bluetooth phone.
Using any standard Bluetooth wireless headset with the embedded Bluetooth system allows the user to make calls up to a range of 10 meters outside the vehicle. Voice recognition through a Bluetooth headset means that there is no need for direct contact with the embedded phone. In addition to offering mobility when the vehicle is parked, the use of a Bluetooth headset also allows drivers to make and receive calls in private.
Mikael Rosengren, Saab commented, "Bluetooth provides a virtual bridge to all of the 9-3's advanced in-car infotainment equipment. The additional safety benefits for the user delivered by Bluetooth wireless technology makes this a very useful option." Rosengren continued, "CSR's BlueCore Bluetooth silicon used by the vehicle system provides a reliable connection to a full range of Bluetooth devices including headsets, Bluetooth enabled PDAs and notebooks."
Anthony Murray, Bluetooth automotive specialist at CSR, commented, "CSR continues to work with automotive manufacturers to find better ways to implement communications systems which adhere to regulations such as the ban on the use of handheld mobile phones." Murray continued, "CSR and Mecel worked closely with the engineering departments at Saab to implement a system which is not only safe but benefits from wireless access to a wide range of multimedia features available in the 9-3."
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