We’ve had radios in cars for 80 years, but mobile electronics now include devices for entertainment-including audio and video, navigation and security. This year, we’ll buy $1 billion in electronics for our vehicles. Jim Barry, the Consumer Electronics Association Digital Answer Man, brings us up to speed.
1) What’s the hottest electronic item for the car today? Two items are very hot right now-hands-free devices for wireless phones and satellite radio for entertainment. XM and Sirius satellite radio each deliver 100 channels of music, sports, comedy and news. Combined, they have about nine million subscribers. Satellite receivers are being built into more new cars and many listeners are buying the portable models that work in their vehicles or out.
2) Is it legal to use a cell phone while driving? Some states require drivers to use “hands-free” headphones or speakers when talking on a wireless phone while driving. There are many hands-free devices available, but remember it’s best to keep both your hands on the wheel and your mind on the road when driving.
3) Are CDs still the most popular music format for cars? They...