Recent market research shows that the Connected Cars market can grow really big. According to these reports, the US market alone will grow at 6.92% CAGR over a period of five years, from 2013 to 2018. We asked how ready the world, the consumers and businesses, is for connected cars. Eventually, we will. But do we know what we are getting ourselves ready for?
At the rate that the connected world and Internet of Things are going, connecting virtually everything, from phones, to smart homes, to cities, we are in for the ride of our life. The future of car technology is really about connections. It’s about connecting our car to the outside world and perhaps to other cars as well. At the most recent Connected Car Expo in Los Angeles, exhibitors showcased their inventions and innovations, showing the world how different cars are becoming in terms of connectivity. The expo displayed new technologies in car navigational systems, online shopping capabilities, self-parking and driverless driving.
Needless to mention, car manufacturers are very exuberant in this area. Ford, for example has introduced the Edge Concept car that comes with a fully assisted parking aid. A similar feature is already available in some Ford cars today using an active park-assist technology. The fully assisted parking system, however, allows the driver to park his car while outside the car with a use of a remote control. And it can also find parking spaces using ultrasonic sensors. This technology brings in the next most talked about technology when it comes to Connected Cars – Driverless Cars. This has been in the works for quite some time, although no fully functional vehicle is capable of this yet. Nonetheless, Ford’s self-parking technology clearly suggests that this could happen in the very near future.
Other technologies in the expo included, the 2015 Audi A3 sedan, which is designed with a faster, smoother and easier to operate navigational system. It is equipped with an 4G LTE capacity that allows better rendering of Google Earth and Google Street View. It can also create in-vehicle hot spot that can connect up to eight devices and yet still allowing high-definition streaming and faster downloads. Audi also plans to use high speed wireless connections in future to access more connected services such as finding open spaces in parking areas.
TeleNav, the company known for their built-in navigation systems, is also on a mission to make navigation even easier to use and more efficient. TeleNav added functions that use a single search box instead of the usual multi-step method and a recent destination function on the home screen allowing the system to remember and store most recent searches and destinations. Currently, TeleNav is working on integrating the Scout app to the navigation system so that you can search for your destination on your smartphone while still at home, and transfer the information to the in-car system once you begin driving.
While automakers add more high tech feature to their new cars, innovators made sure that older cars are not left out. An app called Automatic is paired with a gadget that plugs into the car’s diagnostic ports and sends information to a smartphone, allowing drivers to check driving habits and eventually help them save on gas. In addition, it can also help them remember where they parked, decode and clear check engine alerts, automatically call for help and notify loved ones in case of a vehicular accident.