Delphi has introduced a Universal Serial Bus (USB) consumer port that serves as an interface between the vehicle's electrical system and external consumer equipment. This is the supplier's first high-volume USB automotive application in Europe.

The Delphi USB consumer port is installed in the glove compartment or on the dashboard and enables passengers to download MP3 music files from pen-drives and listen to them through the vehicle's audio system.  Long-term applications will include multiple ports to also accommodate audio/video, telematics and global positioning exchange.

Production costs are highly competitive and pale in comparison to the benefit the USB consumer port provides in value-added service and convenience, Delphi claimed.

Installation is simple and requires no special tools. Assemblers simply plug the rear lever lock connector into place and click the USB port into the corresponding slot in the cockpit.

The front cover is stylised to customer specifications and is adjoined to a USB connector, a PCB with LEDs to light the USB symbols on the front cover - LEDs are available in orange, red and green - and a header connector that interfaces to a standard 0.64 MTS automotive harness connector.

The USB interface is specially designed of stainless steel, which provides for a strong, highly reliable product suitable for repeated mating/unmating cycles. The board-mounted USB connectors are the industry standard I/O interface used to connect peripheral devices to computers and the metal shields help protect contacts from physical and electro static discharge damage.

Damaged USB consumer ports are easily replaced by disengaging the rear connector. There is no need to rework the harness, which has a positive impact on warranty costs.

Current design of the USB consumer port is optimized for USB 1.1 data protocol, is adaptable to USB 2.0 or 1394 (Firewall) connection and is USCAR- 30 compliant.