Just 50 years ago, we imagined that by the year 2015, we’d all have flying cars. There are several reasons we never managed to get there, but technology in the automotive industry is accelerating faster than ever towards connected cars.
Technological developments in the automotive industry today arguably fall into two areas: connectivity and sustainability. We now have hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles, vehicles that run on salt water, and even wind-powered electric vehicles. Connectivity has given rise to new developments in vehicles, from infotainment and satellite radio to GPS routing and roadside assistance.
Vehicle connectivity also provides access to valuable information about our vehicles. Automile, for example, provides deep insights into driving behavior and vehicle health, capable of detecting speeding and idling in real-time, and reporting potential diagnostic issues. How we interact with the data now available to us is where we will see the trajectory of connected cars in the future.
Imagine your vehicle telling you your oil is low and instantly routing you to the nearest (or least expensive) service center, providing the brand names and motor oil that is most compatible with your vehicle. Or perhaps your vehicle is able to detect an irregularity in your driving behavior and is able to assist in ensuring you’re driving safely. A car that automatically slows when you are speeding, or a radio system that detects and plays local traffic warnings automatically. We’re not far from this reality.
As we get closer and closer to widespread availability and use of driverless cars, connected features will be more prevalent. As drivers are given less to do in the day-to-day operation and maneuvering of their vehicles, we will see more connected features related to vehicle safety and entertainment.
Connected cars can already do so much more than help you save money on gas or guide you to your next location. They can help you be a safer driver by providing data and alerting you to risky driving behavior. They can help you properly maintain the health of your vehicle by providing diagnostic information and preventative maintenance. They can even reduce the likelihood that you’ll be in an accident.
In the future, they can keep you safer, predict your needs, and provide rich audiovisual experiences. If you don’t have to drive while in your vehicle, imagine everything else you could spend that time doing. What do you think about the future of connected cars? What features would you most like to see in 10 years? We’d love to hear your thoughts.