Connected Car – you get the idea instantly , a car that is connected to the internet and can use them to provide relevant contextual information to the users . There are some attempts that have been made in past in this area .One of the most significant development was pioneered by Ford Sync in collaboration with Microsoft for voice recognition, navigation and some streaming apps like Pandora developed for purpose of streaming music by connecting to a smart phone.
Ford Sync has now been installed in over 5 million vehicles exclusively on Ford over a period of 5 years .Though the growth in this area is not that remarkable, it has prompted other auto manufacturers to come up with their own standards . As a result , this whole connected car is kind of fragmented with the manufacturer’s own implementation that cannot be extended outside.
Most connected car definition pertains to getting connected to the internet , access social networking sites and maps information.
Google Self Driving car
Google’s self driving car that is doing some serious mile crunching in US after getting real driving license actually uses Google’s Street View and maps information through the cloud to process the live camera and drive accordingly.Still there are no clear information as to how the implementation is being carried . Moreover there is no road map as such on whether will there be any android involvement that could make some sort of unified implementation with other manufacturers as well.
What can Connected Car could become ?
This article provides a good summary on the state of Connected Car and the challenges around them. Innovation in Connected Car should come outside of automobile industry. Perhaps a technology company like Apple or Google can extend their OS from smart phone that can be deployed in all the cars which could sync all the information between devices through cloud. Only such scenario will have a wide-spread mass adoption.
Ford and Facebook have recently worked together for Facebook & Ford SYNC Hackathon to make a social car. There are some interesting ideas that have come up as to how to integrate facebook with in-car dashboard.These are some of the ideas that could potentially take the concept of connected car to the next level.
I wish the following features be available in a connected car of the future:
- Option to send periodic onboard diagnostics to the manufacturer that can detect any potential defect in advance and take preventive action.
- Send location updates to help line in case of emergency accident or flat tyre.
- Remind you before passing through the store in which you planned to do shopping based on to-do list that is created in your mobile and synced with the car.
The options are endless but one of the challenges is the cost of data plan and other infrastructure challenges that could limit the potential of innovation and technology explosion.The below infographic from Mashable provides some real cool use cases and innovations behind the Connected Car concept.
Concept of Connected car has a long way to go but with proper infrastructure and right kind of co-operation among automobile manufacturers and technology companies can bring a new wave of being connected even while you are driving all the time