Several years ago, if you drove a connected vehicle, it was the exception, but now more and more new vehicles are connected as we enter the age of full connectivity in our cars. Nearly every carmaker on the planet is lining up as the race to connected cars takes off and some major high-tech companies are also jumping into the connectivity game. At Mike’s Auto Body we love the amazing, cutting-edge technology that has so dramatically changed automotive transportation that we can see literally every day at one of our 17 East Bay Area locations.
Luxury high-end manufacturers (BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Tesla…) are more actively pushing connected car features along with big technology players such as Google, Microsoft or Apple.
In-Car Safety. These features are both flashy and useful. Integrated cameras, proximity sensors, adaptive headlights, self-braking, parking assist or lane tracking are useful features that have little to do with connectivity but are nonetheless technological advancements that create value for drivers. In the m2m sphere, the enforcement of eCall in many countries is a big step forward as 5-10% of lives can be saved in accidents by including this feature. Voice control is taking some time to catch on but it is still deemed both useful and part of the future of connected cars.
Vehicle to Vehicle Safety. In the same safety realm and fully related to m2m are Vehicle to Vehicle (v2v) platforms that allow cars to anonymously share information in a meshed way to prevent accidents and inform on traffic conditions or events to other drivers and authorities. This type of system can even prevent potentially dangerous situations like stopping a car before it goes into a no-entry street by accident or to avoid a collision of two cars sharing information. Some countries are drafting guidelines to enable and regulate v2v systems.
Data tracking. Information is collected to mainly track vehicle usage, engine diagnostics and driver behavior. Information is most commonly accessed through mobile phone apps. This data can also be cross used for insurance telematics purposes.
Intelligent infotainment. Connected to the driver’s devices and home. Carmakers are nowadays expected to provide information and entertainment streaming preferred music or radio stations, offering intelligent onboard navigation and contextual information of points of interest such as the nearest petrol station when the vehicle is running low on fuel or nearby restaurants if it is lunchtime.
4G Wi-Fi Hotspots. Still not mainstream but with obvious potential, connected cars will be expected to become more and more connection spots for passengers through shared usage of their m2m card, moreover in self-driving cars where all passengers are ‘idle’ with the possibility of also offering contextual information while on the move.
Sources: Wikipedia and Reuters