Apple and Google are driving toward the connected car. Government and car manufacturers are working with them to achieve this. This isn't just about sending emails or music playback -- driving will be changed forever. Your car will speak to you. Here are 10 ways driving will change:
[ABOVE: Apple CarPlay in a Ferrari.]
Car: "Your heart rate and pulse show me you're a little tired. Would you like me to cool the cabin and play loud music?"
Plessey Semiconductors is developing seat sensors that mean your car will respond to your physical condition. As in-car telematics become accessible using smartphones, further opportunities will emerge.
Car: "You seem to be driving to the theatre, would you like me to find and book you a parking space?"
[ABOVE: Automatic lets your iPhone read your in-car telematics.]
Car: "You need to top up the engine fluids and the tires need inflating."
Your car carries a ton of sensors. These are already used in crash scene evidence collection and an app called Automatic can access this information in some cars now. One day, all your mobile devices will do the same.
Phone rings: "Hi there, this is your car, I'm just calling to let you know someone else is sitting in the driver's seat. Do you want me to authorize them to drive, or shall I disable myself."
Car: "I see we are in slow moving traffic. Would you like me to take over so you can read some emails?"
Renault's vision for self-driving cars sees you in control. Drive your car if you want, or hand over to autopilot when that makes sense.
Car: "A driver in the next street is driving erratically. Slow down. Beware."
Cars won't just talk to you and to service providers. They will also speak with each other. They will know how you drive, and warn their drivers accordingly.
[ABOVE: A car accident c/o Leonid Mamchenkov.]
Phone call to emergency services: "Hi there, this is a silver Audi on Route 57. I've been in an accident. Please send help."
Europe's 'eCall' law comes into effect in 2015. All new cars will be required to host an embedded SIM and mobile connectivity to alert emergency services in case of theft of accident.
Car: "You have been speeding. I have contacted law enforcement and you have been issued a ticket."
How much will you pay? Making it compulsory for new cars to carry SIMs mean they must be online. Carriers will want to charge. Drivers will pay. Carriers will offer additional services for additional fees.
Insurers will love this. Insurance firms are already offering Pay How You Drive policies, in which drivers agree to put connected sensors in their cars which measure things like braking speed, acceleration and more. The theory is solid -- safe drivers pay less -- but will there come a point when car insurance is no longer necessary? One thing's for sure, car insurers will do everything they can to maintain the existence of the vehicle insurance cash cow.
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