June 27, 2006 Volkswagen is well known for its futuristic outlook and in keeping with this it has become the first manufacturer to make a USB audio interface module available across a wide range of Volkswagen vehicles. The USB module is a versatile music and data source that allows users to connect USB sticks and portable media players to the vehicle's audio system and listen to music without carrying CDs in the car. Available across Europe for the current Volkswagen Golf, Golf Plus, Jetta, Touran and Passat and the new Eos, the product is distributed exclusively via VW's accessories arm, Volkswagen Individual, as an aftermarket option.
In the Volkswagen solution, the USB audio interface is mounted in the centre console. The system's plug-and-play design supports quick and easy handling of data transfer from the USB stick to the car's audio system. The USB audio interface, which supports MP3 and other common digital music formats, allows music to be selected and controlled via the audio interface or the optional multifunction steering wheel.
The new module has been sourced from technology specialist Visteon. "The integration of consumer electronics into the vehicle environment is becoming increasingly seamless," said Hans Eric Destree, director, mobile electronics business unit, Visteon Aftermarket operations, Europe. "USB sticks and MP3 players are becoming the data carriers of choice for the 18 to 40 age group. We are seeing a high degree of consumer acceptance and fast take-up rates."
"The use of portable media devices in the vehicle is a rapidly growing consumer trend," noted Destree. "Visteon has focused on that trend, taken consumer feedback and applied it to this product. It's not the first product that has evolved from consumer research -- our satellite radio system and dockable family entertainment systems are prime examples."