HTC has said in recent months, that they are looking for new segments to jump into and release products. That started with the RE Camera in 2014, which was a pretty decent camera, but it just didn’t do as well as HTC had hoped. They then announced Vive with Valve earlier this year and that is slated to be released in early 2016. But that’s not all that HTC is doing, outside of the smartphone world, as they have just announced a new partnership with German auto-maker Volkswagen.
Yes, that’s the same Volkswagen that has that scandal to do with their diesel engines, but that’s got nothing to do with this partnership. HTC and Volkswagen have put together a new car solution called Customer-Link Bridge. This will come in the package for the car (you’ll likely need the tech package for this), you’ll also get a dedicated app which will give you information about traffic as well as vehicle data instantly. The purpose of the Customer-Link Bridge is actually to improve security and efficiency while you are driving. And giving you the ability to keep an eye on the vehicle’s data in case there is something going on with it. You’re probably thinking “isn’t dangerous to be looking at my smartphone when driving?” And you would be correct. Volkswagen will show this data on both the smartphone as well as the monitor inside the vehicle, which can be looked at without being too distracting.
Volkswagen has stated that this new Customer-Link Bridge will be available all new Volkswagen vehicles that are sold beginning in May of 2016. Right now it’s only slated for the Taiwanese market (or HTC’s home market). Volkswagen will be showing off this new feature to everyone attending the Taipei International Auto Show, for those that might be attending. For those that might be attending the Auto shows here in the US in the next few months (that includes Detroit, Chicago and New York City), it’s unlikely that the demos will be available, since this is slated to only be available in Taiwan. The Customer-Link Bridge may make its way out of Taiwan, but not anytime soon.