TOKYO, JAPAN, October 23, 2003 - - Officials from Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) today announced that the company is supplying the HandsFreeLinkTM telematics system for the 2004 Acura TL sedan. The system will be standard equipment in the vehicle.
HandsFreeLink system is a BluetoothTM-enabled, hands-free phone system. This system creates a wireless connection to mobile phones using Bluetooth technology, allowing drivers to make and receive calls using the TL's voice recognition and audio systems. HandsFreeLink offers a wide range of features connected to and enabled through the driver's personal mobile phone.
HandsFreeLink utilizes Bluetooth technology, an open standard for short-distance, wireless communications.
The system works with a Bluetooth-enabled cellular phone which can be placed anywhere in the vehicle. HandsFreeLink contains an electronic control module and microphone in the overhead console. The electronic control module contains the voice recognition system, noise cancellation system and Bluetooth chipset. HandsFreeLink is activated by pushbuttons located on the steering wheel.
"Johnson Controls is pleased to be the supplier of the HandsFreeLink system for the Acura TL," said Jeff Edwards, group vice president and general manager, North America / Japan for the Automotive Group of Johnson Controls. "We believe there are many benefits of using Bluetooth technology, including having drivers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel."
HandsFreeLink works with a driver's Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone and is carrier-independent and service-independent. HandsFreeLink requires no monthly subscription fees. The only fee a consumer pays is their regular monthly cellular phone bill.
HandsFreeLink has been tested and validated at Johnson Controls' WAVE acoustics laboratory in Holland, Michigan, to conduct in-vehicle evaluations of the voice transmission quality of the product. It also has been tested at the company's radio frequency test facility, the first of its kind to receive Federal Communications Commission (FCC) certification in North America.
To bring the system to market, Johnson Controls has teamed up with a group of key partners including:
IBM Corporation - which provides its premier voice recognition software, Embedded ViaVoiceTM. With this IBM speech technology, users can dial telephone numbers or access an audio address book by speaking preprogrammed commands;
Wavemakers of Harman International Inc. - which provides their ClearStream® noise cancellation and speech enhancement software modules; and
QNX Software Systems - which supplies the core operating system for flexible telematics, ensuring reliability and performance. The QNX Neutrino® RTOS provides a fault-tolerant, dynamically upgradeable software platform to build automotive grade telematics systems and next-generation products.
In addition to supplying HandsFreeLink, Johnson Controls manufactures sun visors and overhead consoles for the Acura TL model. The overhead console is equipped with the HomeLink® Wireless Control System. HomeLink - one of Johnson Controls' most successful brand-name products - can be used to remotely operate garage doors, estate gates, locks, home security and lighting systems, and other convenience and safety devices.
Two Johnson Controls joint ventures supply seat systems and instrument panels for the Acura TL. Setex, a Johnson Controls joint venture with Tachi-S Corporation, supplies seating systems. Intertec Systems, a Johnson Controls joint venture with Inoac Corporation, produces TL instrument panels.
Johnson Controls is a global market leader in automotive systems and facility management and control. In the automotive market, it is a major supplier of integrated seating and interior systems, and batteries. For non-residential facilities, Johnson Controls provides control systems and services, including comfort, energy and security management. Johnson Controls (NYSE:JCI), founded in 1885, has headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (U.S.A.).
For access to other Johnson Controls news releases and additional company information, visit the company"s web site on the World Wide Web at www.johnsoncontrols.com.
HandsFreeLinkTM is a trademark of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.