Skip to main content
March 23, 2012

When smartphone meets muscle car: It’s Project Detroit!

The Windows Phone used in Project Detroit can tap into real-time feeds from Kinect sensors on the car.

Forget Knight Rider reruns. If car tech’s your thing, you’ll want to tune into “Inside West Coast Customs” on Discovery’s Velocity network this Sunday at 9 p.m. Eastern for the unveiling of Project Detroit, a rad marriage of cutting-edge apps and auto tech.

The car, a collaboration between Microsoft and award-winning automotive designer Ryan Friedlinghaus of West Coast Customs, melds a 2012 Ford Mustang with a 1967 Mustang fastback body—plus some neon flair thrown in for good measure.

Inside, Project Detroit incorporates several Microsoft technologies—from Kinect to Windows 8. But Windows Phone also gets a star turn.

The vehicle can be located, locked, and started using a Viper SmartStart app for Windows Phone (pre-release, I’m guessing, since it’s not in Marketplace). Windows Phone also doubles as its eyes and ears, thanks to real-time feeds from multiple Kinect cameras and mics studding its body.

But the trick that really made me jealous was this: You can say something into the phone and have it blasted through the car’s external PA speaker system. Just imagine the delicious possibilities next time you get cut off in traffic.

Project Detroit is a collaboration between Microsoft and an award-winning auto designer. The goal is to inspire app and auto makers.