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What's On Your Car's Online Dashboard?

BMW is adding Yelp to BMW Online. The application will give drivers access to the typical content on Yelp, such as highly-reviewed local restaurants or pubs or banks or parking garages.

As with many online auto services, the reviews are read out to drivers via the vehicle's text-to-speech feature. BMW recently updated the service’s layout, Yelp explained, thus allowing it to add applications. Yelp is the first and there will be more to follow.

More Agreements in the Works

Expect to see more such integrations, writes Greg Sterling at Search Engine Land.  Google, Bing and Mapquest have mapping and local search deals with various car makers, he noted, as well as Ford, which has also invested in making its Sync in-dash navigation and content system compatible with numerous smartphones. "This is the direction that we’ll see more and more carmakers go: integration of smartphone apps into in-dash content systems."

Internet-friendly Cars

At the same time, more auto manufacturers are making their products more internet-friendly. Toyota recently debuted a concept car called Fun-Vii at the Tokyo Motor Show. Its sleek exterior mimics the look of a smartphone, with both the exterior and interior able to be adjusted to fit the driver’s mood via "skins" and other custom elements.

The exterior can also display motion video and a user interface.

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