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XM Debuts Personal Weather Tracking With GPS

Washington — XM Satellite Radio will display a concept vehicle which will include what it claims is the first personal weather tracking system for GPS navigation during CES at booth 4606 in the Las Vegas Convention Center’s North Hall.

The system tracks specific, real-time weather conditions between the driver’s current location and a user’s final destination and provides near-term weather forecast for the driver’s route path. Rather than simply give general weather conditions for a region, the system focuses on the weather on the individual route. The weather information is continuously updated and delivered to the navigation system via satellite, XM said.

The weather technology, which is expected to be introduced in summer 2007, is developed by XM and its weather solutions partner Baron Services. XM and Baron, through its division WxWorx (pronounced “weather works”), currently offer professional weather services for airplanes, boats and emergency responders, which have set the standard for mobile weather solutions in these markets.

“XM is offering the first system that alerts consumers to real-time weather threats on the road ahead,” said Rod Mackenzie, XM’s advanced applications VP. “You’re not just getting the temperature and the forecast for a city. You get the weather that will impact your specific journey, and this information is constantly being updated. It’s a major breakthrough in providing consumers with comprehensive, personalized weather information.”

This real-time weather service builds on the success of XM NavTraffic, the real-time traffic service introduced by XM in fall 2004.

Beyond the new weather technology, the XM “infotainment” vehicle on display at CES will feature a broad variety of information and entertainment that XM can deliver to the automobile, including concepts such as in-car video.

The XM vehicle will have in-car video systems developed by XM and On2 Technologies that can receive video and audio from XM. XM will demonstrate how video content can be sent to the vehicle by the same satellites and ground repeaters that XM uses to deliver satellite radio, the company said.

Other innovations inside the concept vehicle are voice-recognition and parking-locator technology. XM will show the latest software for voice-enabled XM radios developed by VoiceBox Technologies, which offers voice controls for the radio, as well as commands for weather, traffic, stock quotes and sports scores. ParkingLink, a project of XM, Quixote Transportation Technologies and Standard Parking Corporation, locates parking facilities on the vehicle’s navigation screen and tells the driver how many parking spaces are currently available.