The future for automobiles is looking more like the ultimate mobile device. Connectivity is a reality, and consumers are eating it up. What we are seeing today in the automobile industry is something right out of a sci-fi movie, literally from a few decades ago. A connected car basically means Internet capability, but at the end of the day, if top manufactures have anything to do with it, there will be plenty more to come.
Connected Cars: Time to Get Excited
Wi-Fi connections, Bluetooth, Smartphone apps are all words synonymous with mobile phones, software, hardware and the like. Now, we can include cars as well. It’s a fact, we are on the ‘road’ to something truly amazing; and yes, we should be excited.
Recently at CES, we got to see some top automobile manufacturers display their future cars. By the looks of things, for at least the next few years, our journeys will include a multimedia-filled and app friendly experience. Both General Motors and Ford announced open development platforms, subsequently opening them up to thousands of new apps and services.
Ford for example is pushing its Sync AppLink program and opening up the APIs within the sync system. This will allow the car to act as an alternate interface for apps that run on smartphones. GM is letting developers dig a bit deeper into the dashboard, with hopes of building software that will run over GM’s three connected car systems. The possibilities seem endless.
What Do Consumers Really Want?
We don’t need to completely throw away other technological aspects of older automobiles. Simplicity can still be a huge consumer point. A hand free experience is still what we want; along with a user-friendly media center – features we have all gotten used to.
Take the 2013 Dodge Caliber for example; a more user-friendly approach, which includes simplicity and a sleuth of features most drivers can wrap their heads around. The Uconnect system on the Dodge Caliber offers drivers two connected media centers, along with voice command (perfect!), streaming music wirelessly from our mobile devices via Bluetooth. Exactly the kind of stuff we’ve gotten used to. Of course it’s not to say we don’t want the other stuff! And we certainly have every right to let our imaginations run wild.
Make Way for Apps and Luxury
At the Consumers Electronic show in Las Vegas, we got a peak at the future of cars from one of the biggest names – Audi.
Audi showed off some of the most amazing possibilities and future visions the automobile manufacturing sector has ever seen.
- Valet parking done by your phone
- Smartphone apps and Wifi parking programs
- Find a space and park at the touch of a button – from outside the car
Audi promises to take the hassle out of parking at shopping centres, though a system in which;
The parking facility’s central computer takes over part of the control function and guides the vehicle via WLAN to the nearest available parking space.
And that’s only the tip of the ice-berg! Most of what Audi showed the public may not be available until 2020, but it’s a definite sign we will be living large and driving even larger.
What do you think? What app would you develop if you could? How do you want your future car to act? Let us know in the comments below.