Sunday, September 11, 2005

Electric car gives audio tour of Spanish city

Attention, tourists: Forget about stumbling on cobblestone and fumbling through guide books in stifling heat. Entrepreneurs in the Spanish city of Cordoba have devised battery-powered sightseeing cars with computers that talk.

The vehicles boast Global Positioning Satellite technology that provides passengers with their location and explains attractions with its tactile screen or audio recordings.
A memory card stuck into a USB port provides information in Spanish, French or English on more than 150 attractions.

A trio of entrepreneurs launched the business, called Blobject, in May after concluding that monument-rich Cordoba, featuring an exquisite old quarter and a Moorish mosque with a Catholic cathedral built around it, often got overlooked by tourists lured to other southern Spanish cities, such as Seville or Granada.

"Cordoba's marketing was very poor," said co-founder Alfredo Romeo.
The project joins GPS tourism efforts in places including Montgomery, Ala., where IntelliTours LLC offers audio tours of Civil War and civil-rights sites using similar technology.


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