A Slice of The Future – Connected Cars
The future of connectivity started with the birth of the internet. The internet has now sneaked its way into anything and everything from air conditioners to automobiles. And while the integration of the internet in modern appliances and technologies is not necessarily a good or bad thing it is certainly a sigh of relief. Connected cars are one such example. The use of internet in cars has really made a big difference in the driving experience of modern drivers. How? Let’s delve into the concept deeper but first let’s talk about what the concept of connected vehicles really stands for.
What Is A Connected Vehicle?
By definition, a vehicle in which all devices are interconnected with each other through the use of a local area network is a connected vehicle. The way it works is a bit complicated but basically, you are looking at an internet network which can warn you against collisions and of your safety when in the car. It can also let you connect with the car in a way that car theft becomes impossible. You are always kept aware of your vehicle’s location through your smartphone. Land Rover recently came up with a technology based on the idea of connected vehicles that allows you to park the car through your phone. In short, the applications of this technology are only limited by our imaginations.
Features of a Connected Car System
As we mentioned before, the possibilities of this technology are endless. However, there are some common ways through which this concept is exploited.
· Infotainment Systems
The most popular way, marques use connectivity is through their vehicle’s infotainment system. Through it, you can use voice commands and gestures to operate the various functions of your vehicle. Not only that, you are able to listen to your favorite tunes on the radio using 4G Wi-Fi hotspot tech.
Connectivity being used for safety is perhaps the first ever documented use of the technology. OnStar came out in 1996, thanks to General Motors and their partners. OnStar helps people in distress especially when they have met an accident or if they have car trouble. Road agents sense the calamity and contact rescue services for you so that you can get out of any fix as soon as possible.
Furthermore, if connected to navigation software like Google Maps or Waze, you can be notified of roadblocks, construction, traffic, potholes and much more. Your life is literally made better, you save a lot of time on the road by using smart technology.
· Help with Diagnosis
All modern vehicles have an onboard computer that allows them to track the health of the vehicle and notify the driver through a warning if anything is wrong. Moreover, you can save a lot of trips to the mechanic and especially a lot of money if you are able to learn of the actual problem you have with your vehicle.
· Live Updates
Using a connected car, you will be able to get live information of the weather, the road ahead and things like news. Not only that, but you will be able to play a part in bettering the technology by giving off information about your location.
General Motors first came up with the idea of making payments through your car. Hyundai later followed suit. Using the technology, you are able to pay for your drive through food without flashing your debit card or using your phone. Though limited, this technology is slowly increasing in popularity.
Is It For The Better?
This is a tough question to answer, as there are always positives and negatives for everything. However, looking at the applications of this technology it is safe to say that the positives outnumber the negatives. Connected cars make our lives more efficient. Navigation, tracking traffic, finding parking spots with ease, parking your car through a smartphone and getting help from road agents in times of need are all benefits you receive from this technology. You save time, fuel, money and that leads to overall happiness.
The only concern could be that humans become lazy and dependent on this technology to an extent that they cannot free themselves from it. Having said that, it really depends on us as humans to distinguish between the good and the bad and with connected cars, the idea is the same.