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Test Driving the Techno-Car

Boot Camp feature for Monday, June 11, 2001

How many gadgets can you fit in a techno-car? Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. If you think a cell phone in a vehicle is distracting, take a look at this... .

"This is CEA's techno-car. It's a modified retail store display that we've put a collection of the latest consumer electronics gear in."

Matt Swanston, the CEA's certified expert on mobile electronics. So what do we have here?

"We're looking at, starting from the top, a head unit, a traditional CD player that also runs an MP3 changer."

So you can carry enough music to drive cross country and back without listening to the same song twice. There's a navigation system that interrupts with turn by turn directions. But the real wizardry is reserved to keep the kids occupied in the back seat. LCD screens are connected to a DVD changer, a VCR and a Playstation game console...

"I mean the kids are trapped in the back seat. So that's why we're all familiar with kicking the back of the seat on the way to the beach and are we there yet and you sort of have to feel for how bored they get. And this is really a great way to keep them entertained so they're letting you drive and not distracting the parents."

The CEA emphasizes... .the movies and video games... cannot be seen by the driver. As for the sound... Well it could be less distracting than the usual clamor from the kids in the back seat. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.