(ARA) - With motorists spending record amounts of time in their vehicles, drivers are changing drive time into entertainment and work time. |
A national survey reported that the typical motorist is spending more than 56 minutes a day behind the wheel, up 7 percent from 1990. What's more, the average household is logging 4,000 more miles annually than in 1990, according to the Federal Highway Administration study.
To make up for the time spent on the road, drivers are moving their home entertainment systems and offices into their cars. DVD players will soon be found in more cars along with navigational systems and other computer products.
Those who want to know more are turning to Crutchfield (www.crutchfield.com), the leading consumer electronics catalog and Web retailer, which draws from 25 years of do-it-yourself car audio experience to help drivers pick the right equipment.
"People are in their cars more than ever, so that's the next logical place for a complete entertainment and communications center," said Carl Mathews, Merchandising Manager for Crutchfield. "The new products and new technologies really can make the time people spend in the car more productive and more enjoyable."
Experts predict strong growth for automotive electronics. The Henson Report on Automotive Electronics estimated a worldwide market of $1 billion by 2005 for in-vehicle multimedia systems with speech recognition. One such visionary tool is the Clarion AutoPC, the first in-dash personal assistant.
Innovative Car Entertainment and Computer Technology Products
The Clarion AutoPC is a voice-controlled car stereo equipped with the Windows CE operating system. Not only can you tell it to switch tracks on the CD player, but you can also get step-by-step directions to your destination with a satellite navigation system, access e-mail, check an address book, or keep an online expense ledger all while keeping both hands on the wheel.
The Steel Horse Video Traveler provides a VHS video cassette player and LCD monitor for the car. The product allows families to watch video tapes (or TV, with the top-of-the-line model), and installs easily in most vehicles.
Since a lot of these products are new to the market, people may be confused about how to install these after-market vehicle components or if they would even fit in their cars.
"That's where Crutchfield comes into play," says Dan Hodgson, Senior Vice President, Merchandising for Crutchfield. "We've amassed an enormous database of profiles on some 5,500 vehicle types and can supply adapters, kits and wiring harnesses to simplify installations in most cars, trucks and vans. That database, the largest of its kind, is available on the company's Web site. Users can enter their vehicle make and model into Crutchfield's Vehicle Selector Guide, and learn what products and accessories will meet their needs."
The hoard of information on Crutchfield's Vehicle Selector Guide has even impressed outside reviewers. "For fun, I asked it to find an in-dash CD head unit for a 1973 Mustang," Car Stereo Review recently reported. "It came back with a list of at least 75 models. Impressive. As a real test, I entered a 1969 MGB. It asked me, 'convertible or coupe?'"
With its extensive research and evaluation process, Crutchfield provides phone, mail, and Internet buyers up to date detailed instructions on how to install the products in their specific vehicles. Much of the information is developed in the form of trademarked Crutchfield MasterSheet installation guides, which accompany customer orders and give step-by-step diagram instructions to install the equipment in their vehicle.
Erford Edmondson of Manistee, Mich. said his wife was amazed when he installed a new Kenwood KDC-4009 CD receiver and two pairs of speakers in his car using Crutchfield MasterSheets. "My wife says the authors of your instruction sheets are miracle workers."
Among the car stereo and entertainment items available are:
- The Panasonic DVD-L50, is a self-contained 5" widescreen DVD/CD player smaller than a notebook computer that is a great way to keep the kids amused.
- The Sony PBD-V30 portable DVD/CD player can be hooked up to an external backseat monitor for viewing.
- The first in-dash DVD player for the car, the Panasonic CX-DV1500, fits in many standard dashboard openings. This product turns your car into a mobile movie theater. A wireless remote lets viewers scan through scenes from the backseat.
© Copyright 2006 by CarJunky®
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