I keep hearing the term “connected cars.” What does it really mean?
Connected cars share Internet access with smartphones and other mobile devices—typically along with a local wireless network—to provide you with new features and functionality that can be used both remotely and in your car.
Where can I find and access connected features for my car?
Car manufacturers work with third-party vendors in the communications, software, and Intel verticals (also: Artificial Intelligence) to create apps that can be accessed from your smartphone, tablet, smartwatch, or other compatible device. These Connected Vehicle (CV) apps are engineered to make your drive safer, more convenient, more comfortable, more energy-efficient, and allow you to make more informed decisions.
What types of things can I do right now with a connected car?
There are a variety of offerings available that make use of this technology by participating car manufacturers who offer their own unique CV apps, some of which are packaged as personal assistants. Right now, here are some common things you can do with connected cars:
- Lock and unlock your car from a remote location
- Locate your car in a parking lot
- Start your car remotely
- Adjust your car’s climate controls remotely
- Monitor your car’s fluid levels
- Monitor and improve fuel consumption
- Review the best prices on gas at nearby gas stations
- Monitor and improve your driving performance
- Locate your car in the event of an emergency, accident, or theft
- Access and program your car’s navigation remotely
- Get detailed trip information in real-time
- Receive alternate route suggestions that save time (traffic) and reduce stress (poor road surfaces)
What types of things will connected cars of the future do?
The sky is not the limit when it comes to connected cars of the future. There are infinite possibilities with connected cars of the future. Here is a list of some things they are working on at present, and a few things that exist only in our minds:
- Unlock and relock our cars at set times
- Provide detailed parking space information
- Predict traffic light changes (rolled out in some metropolitan regions at present)
- Monitor drivers’ levels of fatigue (just coming out now)
- Anticipate our future wants and needs
- Drive 100% autonomously
How is all this information shared?
Technology in use includes sensor data sent to the cloud or peer-to-peer data exchange using vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) conduits, in part. Real-time traffic information as well as road hazards and weather pattern changes are supplied from third-party vendors working in tandem with local and regional infrastructure agencies.
What is the role of Driver’s Assist platforms and car connectivity?
The majority of Driver’s Assist features have the end goal of keeping us safer in our cars on the roads. They help us stay alert and warn us when we are potentially putting our lives and the lives of others in danger. They tune us in to traffic signals, pedestrians, other vehicles, and all types of obstacles that may come suddenly into our paths. You’ve probably heard of at least some of these helpful driver’s aids, like Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Drift and Departure Warning, Collision Mitigation and Prevention, among others.
Which car manufacturers already have car connectivity or CV apps available?
You can get a full suite of car connectivity functionality currently with most car manufacturers, including BMW Connected Digital Services, Audi connect®, General Motors OnStar, and Ford SYNC technology, just to name a few. As always, we encourage you to try out some of this amazing technology in cars you can find at your local AutoNation dealership.