NEW YORK - Within the next two years millions of people will be able to bank and buy investment products while they drive, according to a report released Thursday by Meridian Research.

Christine Barry, an analyst for Meridian, said "telematics," a combination of wireless, global positioning satellite, and voice-recognition technology, will be installed in nine million automobiles by 2003. The hands-free devices will not be restricted by laws barring drivers from using hand-held cell phones, she said.

Fidelity Investments has partnered with OnStar, a unit of General Motors, to provide balances and stock quotes while people are driving.

Americans spend an average of 540 hours in their cars each year.

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