XM was showing off a "Concept Infotainment Vehicle" at its Auto Show booth (next to Sirius's, natch). Basically, it was an SUV outfitted with a integrated pack of XM services: Weather, ParkingLink, and voice controls were the main showing points.
It was also demoing in-car video, but the XM rep said not to expect it for a while because they're unsure of how viable it would be and rolling it out would commit them to the service for years, even if it was flop, chewing up tons of bandwidth.
The screen uses touch controls, but in actual production models it will be built into the dashboard rather than stuck up on the windshield, so it will be much easier to reach. Rundown and gallery of the "info" features after the jump.
The point of XM Weather—besides sating Weather Channel junkies—is to give you an idea of what kind of conditions you're driving into, and offer alternative paths if you want to avoid minor inconveniences like rain or tornadoes. All the data's live (obviously) and has an impressive amount of depth and customization options, in terms of what data you want to see and how.
ParkingLink tells you how many spots are left in a parking garage in a given location, though for now the only garages in the database are those owned by Standard Parking Corporation. Not exciting, but useful.
I obviously can't show you any pictures, but the voice controls seemed to work well enough—as long as you had key words in the phrase, it seemed to sort out of the fluff of normal speech to get at what you wanted, though the woman's robotic tone and the weird modem dialing sound in between responses has got to go.
New York Auto Show [NY Auto Show]