Sprint Unveils In-Vehicle Infotainment System Velocity At LA Auto Show

Posted Nov 30, 2012

At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Sprint Nextel Corporation revealed a new infotainment system that they hope automakers will consider integrating into their upcoming vehicles.  Sprint Velocity will let drivers connect their mobile phones to applications like voice-activated texting and e-mail.  The infotainment system also has navigation, news, sports updates, and music.

“They know how to make great cars. They assemble these vehicles that we all fall in love with,” stated Sprint VP of emerging solutions Wayne Ward at the LA Auto Show. “But when it comes to this stuff, they are not in the communications business.”

Sprint Velocity is already powering the Chrysler’s Uconnect system used in the Ram 1500 pickup truck and the SRT Viper.  The Uconnect packages on the truck range for between $465 and $970 depending on their screen size.

The Sprint Velocity is similar to other infotainment systems like Ford Sync and GM’s Cue system.  Since consumers have been reporting quite a bit of bugs in Ford’s MyFord Touch system, which is why Consumer Reports penalized the Ford brand as a whole.  Consumer Reports even said that GM’s CUE system for the Cadillac is “convoluted and frustrating.”

“This stuff is pretty hard,” added Ward in an interview with Reuters. He said that automakers “traditionally have had to deal with every single applications vendor and tried to put these things together from a systems integration perspective themselves. And not doing it with a background and a legacy of understanding mobility.”