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Citroen claims first production WinCE car
The Xsara Windows CE - does it have a sticker on the front too?
Citroen claims to have become the first manufacturer to go into volume production with a "communicating car." It's got email, it's got voice recognition and control, GSM, GPS and in-car navigation, and it was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show yesterday. It is, says Citroen, "the first Windows car," and with the flair for marketing that has made Citroen what it is today (i.e., a subsidiary of Peugeot), the company has named it the Xsara Windows CE. Yes folks, it's the biggest CE appliance so far. It'll be available in two successive series of 250 (the level of volume production that made Citroen what it is today) in the first half. As far as the electronics kit is concerned, the Xsara has radio, CD player, address book, phone (an Ericsson T28), and a data transfer facility. The CE unit itself is linked to a GPS receiver and a six CD stacker. Curiously, although it uses the Internet for email, it doesn't offer Web access. But Citroen is predicting GPRS and UMTS vehicles Real Soon Now. Citroen does however have a concept vehicle, the XM Multimedia, which adds a monitor and keyboard in the rear. This project includes an interesting list of partners: Cap Gemini, Sagem, France Telecom, Microsoft, Intel and navigation specialist Magneti Marelli. Potential future Citroen customers who're unaccountably nervous about CE-based vehicles may wish to take on board the fact that the company proposes to offer drive and brake by wire systems in the relatively near future. ®