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Connect to the world from your car

February 3, 2010

Opera uncovers the potential of in-vehicle browsing in its new report

Oslo, Norway - February 3, 2010

Opera Software today released a comprehensive report on bringing the Web to in-vehicle computer systems,entitled "Web on wheels". In this study, Opera takes a look at its partnership with Ford Motor Company to bring in-dash Web browsing to Ford trucks and vans. While Ford is the company's first browser-to-car deployment, Opera predicts a growing need for remote access to the office while on-the-road.

According to market analysis firm Strategy Analytics, almost 90 percent of vehicles produced in North America and Europe will have some form of wireless connectivity in 2016. "The rapid market adoption of Bluetooth, 3G, GPS and smartphones will drive huge growth in the demand for connected infotainment in the vehicle", says Jo Blight, Director, Global Automotive Practice. "Our surveys show email, maps, navigation, music and radio are the top priorities for consumers, but it will be in HMI and software where the automotive competitive battles are set to be won and lost."

Ford required an on-board, full-featured browser that could be integrated and deployed in multiple vehicles. With the growing requirements of professional mobility, vehicle makers are looking to deliver traffic, weather, news, e-mail and more to drivers, seamlessly and safely.

"Using Opera Web technology, vehicle manufacturers can eliminate "button overload" on the dash and instead offer a familiar screen experience, one that can be customized and operated by voice input," said Christen Krogh, Chief Development Officer, Opera Software. "Opera believes that in-vehicle browsing comes down to convenience, staying competitive and customization. As the leading Web innovator, Opera has just the flexible, cross-platform solution that vehicle manufacturers need."

"Web on wheels" report highlights:

  • Web technology enables and streamlines the existing features and functions of a car, as well as making new and unique features possible.
  • In-vehicle Web technology is being leveraged to provide "professional mobility" both for individuals and, more importantly, for small and large businesses alike. The addition of an integrated, in-car computer will give users remote access to their offices or work-related information.
  • In the automotive sector, having a no-tolerance-for-error mentality, integration and seamless interoperability are of the greatest importance.
  • Using a traditional PC while driving is not safe without specific modifications for in-car usability and safety. While the experience cancreate an approximation of the full home or office Web experience and should be comfortable and useful for the driver, a driver may not actually need the full array of functions s/he has when not on-the-go.
  • The "connected vehicle" concept and all it offers is one more way for carmakers to compete for scarcer automobile buyers and to differentiate their offerings in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
  • The nature of the Opera browser allows automakers to adapt Opera technology to give their customers a customized Web experience using Web-standards-based interactive applications - the features drivers need most.

Ford Motor Company was recently honored with a 2010 CES Innovation award for their in-vehicle computer system, under the category "in-vehicle accessories". For more information on Ford's Work Solutions In-dash Computer visit www.fordworksolutions.com.

To read "Web on wheels" in its entirety, visit http://team.opera.com/marcom/web_on_wheels/Web_on_wheels_white_paper.pdf.

About Opera

Opera enables more than 350 million internet consumers worldwide to connect with the content and services that matter most to them. Opera also helps publishers monetize their content through advertising and advertisers reach the audiences that build value for their businesses, capitalizing on a global consumer audience reach that exceeds 1 billion.

Opera is a trademark of Opera Software AS.