New tech offers in-car Web access

LOS ANGELES We seem to spend a lot of our waking hours in the car whether commuting to work or hitting the road for fun.

But technology keeps making the experience a little more tolerable with new innovations.

Audi is rolling out a new system on its models starting with the new S5 coupe. It is called the MMI and it simplifies the navigation system experience. You can just speak up and ask for things.

Lexus is updating its navigation system with something called Remote Touch. It behaves more like a computer mouse -- you can just rest your palm on it and scroll through all the various functions with positive feedback when you move it over an icon, just like on a video game.

Another nice feature is the ability to get weather alerts while you travel.

Most of us are attached to the Internet in some way. Chrysler is now offering in-car Web access. UConnect Web essentially turns the whole car into a Wi-Fi hot spot and is available on many Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep models.

Obviously if you are driving the Internet should never be used because that is completely unsafe. But for a business person on the go it could turn your whole car into a wireless hot spot so you can catch up between work and appointments. Also if you have kids they too can get online.

To further keep the kids entertained, it's now somewhat easy to add live satellite TV to your existing flat screen monitors.

"We are bringing AT&T CruiseCast to the market so live satellite TV with 42 channels," said Winston Guillory, RaySat Broadcasting.

The big news here is the size of the dish is much smaller than previous systems.

The decoder box hides out of sight like in a center console. CruiseCast isn't cheap, at about $1,300, plus monthly subscription fees. Some parents say it's worth it to keep the kids quiet.

With the right high-tech equipment, you can make the miles go by faster for every member of the family.

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