Thursday 15 October 2009

Mini decides not to sell MMC (UK)

Mini will not sell Mini Mission Control to UK buyers, which is only available on the special-edition 50 Camden. So what is it? It’s a wacky in-car voice system that talks to drivers and gives advice and puns on the move.

MMC includes 1,500 pre-recorded messages that range as wide as warnings for undone seatbelts to cheeky comments about cornering speeds.

Although Mini had earlier indicated that the 50 Camden would be sold in the UK with Mission Control, it has now decided not to.

“There are worries that it doesn’t fit with our brand image in the UK and might just disturb some drivers. Although there’s still a chance we could reconsider our decision,” says Mini.

During a test demo in Munich, the quips flowed free and fast and it’s easy to see why the system could wind-up drivers. The UK is the second angriest nation in Europe, after Portugal.

Although the concept of a car with ‘personality’ talking to the driver in a friendly and funny manner also brings a smile to the face.

Unprompted conversational gambits from the computer include “Mini won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1968” while others encourage drivers in traffic to use the fuel-saving stop-start system.

All the comments have been voiced by actors, all-English speaking, so 50 Camdens sold elsewhere in the world will all get the English language version.

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