Microsoft Takes Us ‘Back to the Future’

Imagine a three-day road trip with the family, but without the kids getting impatient and irritable. Sounds too good to be true? Well, it’s possible with the new customized technology of the Ford Mustang.

Microsoft teamed up with Ryan Friedlinghaus, an award-winning automotive designer and star of Discovery Channel's reality TV series "Inside West Coast Customs," to create a dream machine resembling a 1967 Mustang.

Titled "Project Detroit,” this vehicle is equipped with a wireless network, an Xbox 360 with Kinect and a rear-windshield projector screen. The Xbox 360 is fitted to the passenger side, and a heads-up display is added on the windshield. The rear windshield serves as an alternative display to stream videos, play video games, and show pictures and messages viewable from outside the car (a mild warning for instance:  “Hey Biker, don’t forget your reflectors at night next time”). The software is controlled via the Windows Azure platform.

The driver is guided with Kinect cameras displaying a live feed of people and objects in front of and behind the car, external speakers, customizable car-horn "ringtones" and the ability to remotely find, unlock and start the car using Windows Phone apps. The windscreen is fitted with a fighter-jet-style, heads-up display that shows such information as map directions, powered by Bing.

This “car of the future” shows Microsoft’s investment in advanced technology for the future and contributions of ingenuity, creativity and technology in applied scenarios. Project Detroit’s open-sourced code is now available to developers, enlarging the possibilities for building futuristic consumer experiences. For more information, please visit the Microsoft News Center.

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