Following a recent competition by Orange Magazine “O”, it was annouced by Daimler Chrysler (maker of the “Smart” car) that a run of 100 Orange smart city-coupé cars will be made.
Now, I’m a little hung over right now to be honest. The screen is vErRrrYyy blurry and I’m not quite sure what I’m typing here – so bear with me – it’s 8.50 AM and things will probably only go downhill from here. :) Anyway.. where was I ?
The Smart car will come equipped with Bluetooth technology, allowing anyone with a Bluetooth enabled phone to simply drive the vehicle and then use voice-activation and the hi-fi system plus inbuilt microphone to make a call. All we need now is a bluetooth Smartphone to go with it (come on Orange… “Smart” Car, “Smart” Phone? Let’s do it!) ;) ;) ;)
The car will go on sale at every Smart dealership in the UK for a mere Â£8995 on the road, which (according to Smart) is Â£400 less than the costs of the standard model! One unfortunate thing though, which we’ll try our best to ignore, is the fact that the car comes bundled with a six-month Orange contract or pay-as-you-go package and a Sony Ericsson T610 handset (Booo!!). Come on Orange, I’ll say it again.. Smart Car, SmartPhone.. ;)
Orange are using this as part of a programme focusing on promoting mobile networking technology in the car market. This includes communications and entertainment within the car. Orange are also looking at connecting remote diagnostics and monitoring systems.
All this follows the UK Governments ban the use of handheld mobile phones in moving vehicles. This comes into force on December 1st 2003 and anyone found to be on the phone without a car kit will face on the spot fines of between Â£30 and Â£1000 ($49-1663).
Personally, I think this is quite a good idea (the ban) – even though I must confess that I’ve done it myself once or twice, I’ve also lost count of the sheer amount of people weaving across lanes on the motorway or around traffic islands. Anyhow…
(Picture right from Orange “O” magazine)