Car manufacturers are investigating how technology found in smartphones can change the way we use our cars. We were interested to read that this could mean ‘mobile app’ style features appearing on car dashboards, from parking space finders to coupons for restaurants, or directions that pop up on the windscreen. This would all rely on the car being connected to the internet, with a lot more focus on voice commands and minimal touching of screens or buttons, reports the BBC.
The connected car is already the third fastest growing technological device after phones and tablets, Intel believes. Analysts are predicting that every big brand car will feature some sort of connectivity by 2014, with 50% of consumers being swayed by the presence of an ‘internet-capable device’ in their car.
Many cars already feature digital information entertainment systems, or ‘infotainment’, with carmakers spending billions on digital gadgetry. Integrating more useful, driving related apps would take this concept to a new level.
There are already ‘connected car’ apps that show local petrol stations and their prices or locate car parking spaces. A system whereby drivers are alerted to the amount of time before the lights change is also being trialled. It’s estimated that billions of pounds have been spent so far on the development of these services. We wonder whether a tyre safety app could be developed – we created a tyre pressure app for smartphones on behalf of TyreSafe, for instance. Why not extend this to the dashboard of a car?
Interestingly, ‘connected car’ technology is more likely to be made by a tech giant such as Apple or Facebook, and could well become a thriving market. Intel alone is planning to invest $100m in companies that can quicken the adoption of connected cars.
Concerns have been raised over the safety implications of ‘digitising’ the car, as well as the technology security implications – could the ‘connected car’ be hacked, for instance? These questions will no doubt be examined carefully by car manufacturers, as consumer safety continues to be a major priority. We’ll be interested to see the end result!