Fiat Group Automobiles is represented at the 31st Consumer Electronics Show (CES) which is currently on the go in Las Vegas. The exhibition, the most important of its kind in the world, dating back from 1967 and reserved to specialist manufacturers and traders, will draw some 2,700 exhibitors over an area of 1.8 million square meters, with more than 140 000 professional visitors expected.
Microsoft, since 2004 partnering with Fiat in the development of innovative telematics platforms for automotive applications, will exhibit a Fiat 500 – its first appearance at an event in the USA – and an Alfa Romeo Spider.
On the Fiat 500 US visitors will be able to admire and test Blue&Me Map, developed by Fiat Group Automobiles and Magneti Marelli specifically for the Fiat 500 on platform Blue&Me.
On the Spider, the Fiat Group Automobiles and Magneti Marelli engineers will demonstrate the operational features of Blue&Me Nav, presented a year ago during the launch of the new Fiat Bravo and introduced since on other Fiat Group models.
Blue&Me, the result of a cooperative effort between Fiat Group Automobiles and Microsoft, was presented in world preview at the Geneva Motor Show 2006. Fiat Group Automobiles was the first motor manufacturer with whom Microsoft worked at developing a completely new platform. In the subsequent eighteen month period, this platform was followed by three further satnav versions, namely Nav and Map and environment friendly EcoDrive.
Since the launch, a year and a half ago, 250,000 Blue&Me systems were sold, all fitted to Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Fiat and Fiat Professional vehicles, with average placement in excess of 20%. Seven out of ten Fiat 500 incorporate Blue&Me as standard, confirming the wider appeal of a solution which is easy to use, flexible and cost effective.
In South Africa Blue&Me is available on selected Fiat and Alfa Romeo models (Bravo and 159), but at this stage without the navigation and EcoDrive applications.