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For car owners who are perfectly happy with their classic cars, and prefer to hold off getting an electric until they cost half the price, there is now a simple option to still have an Apple CarPlay experience while driving. The Fesco Group, a manufacturer of innovative consumer technology solutions, introduced the Intellidash Pro, the much-anticipated wireless version in a series of plug-and-play dashboard-mounted IPS touchscreen smart displays.
Founded in 1962, Brooklyn-based Fesco Group has grown over the last six decades from a retail store to a distributor of branded electronics and now also a manufacturer. Fesco offers audio, mobile accessories, small appliances, electric mobility and home technology solutions under multiple licensed brands, recognized by consumers in each market segment.
Launched in partnership with Car and Driver magazine, published by Hearst Media, the Intellidash Pro is a simple integrated solution that allows drivers to wirelessly integrate their smartphones for a complete Apple CarPlay experience. (It also does Android Auto, but who wants that?)
Owners of older model cars can now enjoy the luxuries of advanced technology without purchasing a new car (especially when there is a market shortage) or investing in expensive hardware installations. With the Intellidash Pro, installation is easy: drivers just mount the unit on the dashboard, plug it into the 12-volt port and link their phone. There's also an add-on backup camera that will automatically engage when the vehicle is put in reverse.
"The Intellidash Pro offers drivers all the cutting-edge new car technology anyone would want with a five-minute installation," says Raymond Levy, Chief Operating Officer at The Fesco Group. "We're pleased to add the Intellidash Pro to our lineup of products and continue to provide innovative solutions for our customers under the Car and Driver brand."
In addition to its smart display and simple installation, features of the Intellidash Pro include SiriusXM Radio capability (subscription required), Google / Siri voice controls and a short range FM transmitter so drivers can hear phone calls and music through the car's stereo system. The system also includes a USB-C Charging Port for charging smartphones or other USB devices with the included charging port.
The device also offers a jack aux output, which means that it can be connected to any car sound system if there is one of those old iPod inputs. If the car supports Bluetooth (just not a fancy-display with mirror features) the audio from the Intellidash can be connected via Bluetooth, even allowing steering wheel controls for volume and track control. It will probably sound poor, and users might as well connect the iPhone directly instead. Also the Intellidash Pro screen is not much bigger than an iPhone Pro and it's not as responsive. Finally, there is a big question about updates to CarPlay eventually not being supported.
Still, the Intellidash Pro follows the success of the Intellidash+, a top-selling Car and Driver product with a more than four-star rating on Amazon. As more car manufacturers insist on offering ugly Android-base infotainment systems or useless proprietary systems that don't support CarPlay, this product just serves to show that there is indeed a valuable aftermarket opportunity. Maybe a simple holder/adapter for an iPad would be a better idea?
The Intellidash Pro retails for $399.99 and is available now on Amazon.