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BMW to Integrate Web Radio in Mini Cooper

Demos capability with RadioTime at Geneva auto show

BMW is going to offer Internet radio as an option in one of its Mini Cooper models this year. The feature is being demonstrated at the International Motor Show in Geneva through March 10.

RadioTime, a technology developer for finding and listening to Internet radio, said Mini has included the RadioTime Web radio service in its Mini Connected option, which has a USB interface so drivers can integrate their Apple iPhone in the car’s audio and infotainment system.

Drivers can choose analog AM/FM as well as Internet stations using the in-dash display and “Mini Joystick” to tune to Web radio. Mini Connected system will be available in the 2011 Mini Countryman, Mini’s version of a small SUV. The automaker plans to offer it in additional vehicles this year.

Ford and Chrysler will incorporate Internet radio into their entertainment offerings using hands-free communications systems this year and Alpine and Pioneer have introduced aftermarket navigation systems that also offer Internet radio as a choice, in addition to HD Radio and satellite radio.