Why It’s Called a USB Drive

By | September 18, 2005

The USB is finding its way into your car. CNN.com/AP reports of two new USB connections in cars:

Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest automaker, is … making the USB connection an option on its Golf, Golf Plus and Touran models in December and on remaining models next year.

Just plug your device into a built-in console in the center armrest. The option comes in two varieties, one for the iPod, another for other USB-based players. Up to six of the player’s folders will be displayed on the car stereo system, and the radio buttons can be used to scan, search or shuffle your mix. The setup will cost $240.

This works well for USB-based players without displays, I guess, since most folk just plug their MP3 players into the stereo’s input jack (or use a cassette-shaped adapter) and choose the music from the player’s own display. (One Slashdot poster points to the improved audio that the digital USB connection offers.) And other posters on the same page point to existing in-car stereos that offer USB inputs, such as Goodmans’ CD/Radio.)

Perhaps more interestingly:

Also at the International Auto Show this week, Mazda Motor Corp. unveiled its Sassou concept car. Instead of a key, motorists use a special USB drive to lock, unlock or start the car. The drive can also carry your favorite tunes.

(More on this at Slashdot.)

Now we’re talking. As readers know, I’m a big fan of the USB drive as a place to carry not just files but records and programs. This seems the next logical step. But why stop at cars? What about other keys: offices, homes, IDs, lockers, etc? Could the USB stick become the key that drives everything?

3 thoughts on “Why It’s Called a USB Drive

  1. wicak

    Hi J,
    wanted to let you know that iPods in cars (with a proper attachement, either fire-wire or USB) have been introduced for quite some time now. The earliest I remember is about Nov ’04 (http://tunertricks.com/blog/index.php?p=20) and the “official list” of iPod compatible cars is http://www.autoblog.com/entry/1234000180057882/

    Actually at TunerTricks, he has integrated a Mac Mini into one of his clients cars.
    I know this is a bit further than your articles USB for security angle, but I just thot youd like to know that “convergence” for computer technology and automobiles are alive and well.

    Actually I know some professional race drivers who realtime monitor the performance of their engines via notebook and adjust on the spot (i.e. turn #8). The notebooks are connected to the ECU (engine control unit, CMIIW) which in turn control the engine, from a timing standpoint.

    cheers. W/

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