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Ford Sirius Bring Information Technology to Your Dashboard

The Sirius Travel Link service was announced by Sirius Satellite Radio at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2007. Initially, the system was to be placed exclusively in the new 2009 luxury Lincoln MKS sedan as a companion to the Ford Motor Company's own next generation navigational unit. In January 2008, however, the carmaker expanded that placement to include the 2009 Ford Flex and F-150 pickup.

Among the many capabilities offered by the Travel Link system will be assistance for the driver to find less expensive gasoline by comparing prices at nearby stations. Fuel price information will be drawn from data supplied by more than 120,000 stations. Travel Link sorts the information according to price, driving distance, or alphabetically depending on what the driver requests.

The companion navigation system can then route the driver to the selected station. Additionally, the Travel Link system provides information on traffic data, weather, sports, and movies. Real time information on traffic speed and flow including the presence of accidents and other impediments allows navigational re-routing around problem areas. Weather data covering the nation coast-to-coast supplies current conditions, storm tracking, wind speed, and five-day forecasts. Where applicable, Travel Link will even tell you how the conditions are rated at the nearest ski resort.

Sports enthusiasts will find much to love in the data system, which can return scores and scheduling information for football, basketball, hockey, automobile racing, and golf among others at both the professional and college levels. The user personalizes the delivery of the material by their individual teams and areas of interest. Movie listings are drawn from more than 4,500 movie theaters with the system providing show times and lengths, theatre addresses, and even ratings for the film in question. Combine these extra services with the wide variety of radio programming for which Sirius is already known and the goal is to create an "in-car" experience in tandem with a knowledge database suited to the needs of both drivers and passengers. The information available is intended to meet the driver's needs for safe, efficient driving as well as to augment leisure and recreational outings for the driver and passengers. For the included Ford and Lincoln models an introductory subscription of six months for both the Travel Link service and SIRIUS Satellite Radio will be included.

This marriage of entertainment, data, and navigational systems is a foreshadowing of the level of in-cab information technology that will become prevalent in 2009 and later models as drivers come to expect more and more of their vehicle's onboard systems. SIRIUS and Ford will be showcasing their joint technology at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas the week of January 7 and working systems will begin to appear late in 2008 as the 2009 models reach dealer lots.

New car prices include many high tech options. Find out what your car is capable of doing today.

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