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Lexus IS Offers Subscription-Free Traffic, Weather Info

Sections: Infotainment, Navigation

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(Photo courtesy ridelust.com.)

Lexus isn’t the first car company to offer traffic and weather information in its cars, but it claims to be the first to do so without charging a subscription fee.

According to a Lexus press release, the information comes courtesy of a partnershp with iBiquity, the company some may know as the driving force behind the HD radio format that has struggled to catch on over the last decade.

Quoting Lexus Vice President of Connected Vehicle Technology and Planning, Sandy Lobenstein:

“At Lexus, we strive for partnerships that bring the most advanced connected vehicle technologies to our customers at a great value. As a result of our partnership with iBiquity, our owners will be the first in the industry to have access to subscription-free real-time traffic and weather data on multimedia systems across our vehicle lineup.”

The free weather and traffic updates will be available on the car company’s Integrated Audio Systems, starting with the Lexus IS sport sedan that will debut Tuesday, Jan. 15 at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, MI. The release said the model would arrive in dealerships Summer 2013.

There will be two flavors of Integrated Audio System, according to Lexus:

  1. Vehicles with available navigation will be capable of receiving weather and traffic information from both the HD radio stations nearby and from the cellular phone network, the latter working by connecting the driver’s smartphone to the car via the Lexus Enform system.
  2. Vehicles without available navigation will get a standard Display Audio system capable of displaying weather and traffic information from HD stations across the country.

Those interested in checking out the new technology before NAIAS have the chance this week, as iBiquity put it on display at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

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