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The Thinker

Watch out! Your car may be getting smarter than you.

By Jill Amadio

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

How smart is your car? Lexus has an optional navigational systemso intelligent, it can steer you clear of ferries and toll roadswith a choice of three routes to your destination, display two mapssimultaneously on its 7-inch screen, and give address points foralmost 10 million locations-in French or English. The system,called Lexus Link, also has a dual-mode phone and a vocabulary of300 voice commands for its call center. Just announce,"I'm hungry!" and get a list of nearbyrestaurants.

State-of-the-art wireless telematics combine computing andtelephony to send and receive data for navigation systems, providevoice activation for cell phones and handle messaging. In addition,if a theft-deterrent system indicates the car is being stolen,telematics alerts the service center and tracks the vehicle'slocation.

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