If you dream of a driverless car, then there is something better to consider. The connected car offers that and even more than you expect.
Imagine a connected car that drives your vehicle, monitors all systems at your home, and connects to other road indicators, traffic signals, and even other cars for safe driving. Powered by artificial intelligence, it is an attempt to bring you the ultimate car experience never seen before. While some argue that it gets difficult to imagine a complete connected car anytime soon, most automotive companies would like to differ.
However, there’s more to a connected car than automation. The technology is high-end and might make some people suspicious of its viability in the future. Of course, there are many elements to its existence which we explore in the next section. We bring you these and some more questions that are on the mind of many car-buyers looking to purchase a connected car at some point. Let’s dig in.
The Connected Car: A Quick Guide to Futuristic Cars
As always with new things or products, there are doubts, anxieties, and a host of questions to consider. And, if you are considering buying one, you will want the facts with you. Even as the concept of connected cars is yet to catch up among people, take the lead and know everything before it becomes mainstream. Please take a look at our quick guide on the connected car as the future of automobiles.
What is a connected car?
A connected car lets you seamlessly travel without you having to monitor the driving. It also lets you keep an eye on safety rules and a tab on devices at home, in the office, or on the road with the help of the internet and Wi-Fi access. It is the medium where the Internet Of Things (IoT) plays a significant role in connecting all devices for an interrupted experience through multiple mechanisms.
And that's not all. It simplifies the multiply devices you interact with to create a network. This includes infotainment and information, navigation, payments and also safety, all in a few steps. That also means that you don’t have to log onto multiple devices at a time. Rather, merely connect your services like concierge, car service, hotel booking, and many more all with your scheduled calendar to set yourself up for a hassle-free experience.
How is a connected car different from the other cars?
Now you might feel that a connected car is much like your standard vehicle -- that it communicates with your internal system with location mapping and infotainment seamlessly.
However, what makes the connected car different is that it also interacts with the external environment. This includes the likes of other cars, road safety indicators, other devices at your office, and smart home systems. It’s not only the interaction, but the simplicity which makes your life easy.
Since you don’t have to monitor many devices for multiple places like home, office, and the car, you are free to focus on other aspects. Of course, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t monitor the devices. After all, machines are known to breakdown or act weird sometimes. But, as with all machines, regular monitoring can let you avoid reaching such a state.
What is the history of connected cars?
The concept of a connected car is not new and has been in existence since the 1990s. While initially it was only about using voice applications as a means to reach out to distressed drivers or broken down cars, it has evolved. With better technology came GPS to send across location to the call center who would connect to the driver.
Over time, automotive companies have invested heavily in the concept of taking this a step further. With improved technology and mass availability of such techniques, the idea of a connected car took a deeper meaning. By 2003, remote car diagnostics grew. And, it was not only about the car service, but monitoring the car health, giving directions, and suggesting networks to access.
In 2014, Audi introduced LTE and Wi-Fi hotspots for people on a larger scale for internally connected cars. Thereby, they opened the doors for automotive companies to explore the possibility even further.
What comes in a connected car?
If the idea of connected car sounds exciting, wait until you know what’s in store for you. A connected car comes with all connected car systems. It means most of your devices in the vehicle are connected for simple touch activation. Besides, you also receive smart driving assistance. Additionally, there are driver safety mechanisms that enable the car to be driven safely on any road, and in any condition.
Furthermore, the cloud-based infotainment solutions are another advantage of the connected car. You'll experience the infotainment without any limitations on utilizing other in-car options. In fact, remote access of infotainment is a reality.
If this wasn't enough, you get automated emergency management, real-time fleet management, and also optimized logistics. No matter whether you use the vehicle for personal use or work, you'll stay in the know with the outside world.
How does a connected car work with IoT?
Even though the technology used in the connected car is high-end, it works on basic principles of connectivity through the use of the IoT (Internet of Things) which is fast gaining ground.
The WAVE (Wireless Access in Vehicular Environments) decides on the architecture, communication model, as well as management and physical structure for high-speed. In other words, it determines the necessary SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) for wireless access.
There are many wireless technologies used, like WiFi, Bluetooth, and a cellular network that works together for this. For this to turn into reality, the availability of these systems on all roads is a must. As a result, the concept of smart cities has to spread across major locales in the world to make connected vehicles a reality among people.
How has the connected car evolved?
About two decades ago, a connected car was a distant dream. The basic idea came from giving rapid access in an emergency or a car breakdown, irrespective of the location. While voice was the first mode, location mapping and use of advanced technology made way. Decades later, with increased connectivity among devices, people have adapted devices to make life easier.
Since a car gives immense flexibility and location independence, the idea to have greater freedom without losing access to all gadgets bore fruits. That’s why the concept of a connected car is going strong. Since people are now actively pursuing better connectivity, lesser complexity, and even simpler solutions, the connected car is going to be a reality soon.
What technology does a connected car have?
With so many devices being inter-connected, it is no surprise that the technology enabling a connected car will be even more intricate. Because the automated, connected car will be able to ‘talk’ to other cars and devices, it will need a robust communication system. At the same time, the artificial intelligence and machine learning will enable the vehicles to receive data and use it as and when needed.
But, adaptability will be a significant need on the road. Besides, other technologies must work together, including telematics and Saas platforms to provide different support to all interconnected devices.
The other technologies to support a connected car include the vehicular information that reaches out to multiple systems like V2I (Vehicle to Infrastructure), V2V (Vehicle to Vehicle), V2C (Vehicle to Cloud), V2P (Vehicle to Pedestrian), and V2X (Vehicle to Everything).
What are the features of connected cars?
The elements of a connected car are multi-fold. And, because they make your life easy, it is not limited to only functional features of the vehicle, but far beyond it. Some of the key features include controlling everything with your mobile device and communicating with all vehicles through car sensors along with the help of advanced technology. And, to add to it, there will be data tracking, intelligent infotainment, 4G Wi-Fi hotspots, and vehicle safety as a priority.
Since most of the cars will connect through the use of advanced systems on the road, it is vital that they have the right tools. Among these is hazard avoidance, driving alerts, monitoring teenagers’ habits, and keeping track of vehicle maintenance. Vehicle maintenance becomes a critical factor considering it is a self-driven car.
Is a connected car safe?
Like all new things that face resistance, the connected car comes with its own set of concerns. Even as we see many futuristic features in a connected car for a driving free experience, many users are skeptical of the idea of sharing their data with others. Data breaches brings along with it privacy concerns and a need to secure personal and private information.
Secondly, when there are many features, some are going to be paid or subscription-based, which users might not want to spend considering they might not need it at all. Besides, safety is related to the smart cities and smart roads that will enable this vehicle interaction to be uniform across all places. But, it is yet to take form in most cities.
What the pros and cons of having a connected car?
A connected car can make your life simple. It reduces the stress of monitoring many channels, having multiple accounts, and also keeping up with new technologies every day. In turn, you end up piling on many devices which are not useful and become redundant in a short time. However, the connected car aims to reduce all this with a single access. While this is a good thing, it also means you share your personal information with others for a smooth transition.
That’s not all. For a connected car to function extremely well, you need to keep it in good condition always. A minor slip in maintaining any part means you might face a breakdown in the middle of a drive leading to loss of multiple accesses to many devices. So, while you enjoy the benefits of having a connected car, there are disadvantages too.
Should you get a connected car for yourself?
If you do plan to buy a connected car soon, then do bear in mind that it does come with its pros and cons. So, if you do want to reduce the stress associated with handling many devices or keeping track of all your work in one place, then the connected car is right for you.
Additionally, if driving is something you wish to hand over to someone else to make time for other important work, then you could try a connected car that completes all the administrative tasks like booking services, managing your schedule, or planning a trip. Besides, with most cars in the future planning to go the connected way, it is not long before it goes mainstream.
What is the future for connected cars?
The future of a connected car lies as much in the businesses that invest in the technology for such cars as in the users. We already have Uber using data to build a business model that is equipped with better usability. While we are not there yet, there are signs of things going northward.
Some automotive companies look into user data to see the trends, customer acceptance for connectivity, and an even higher emphasis on logistics, artificial intelligence, and big data penetrating most industries. Although we are not far from reaching the stage of a fully operational connected car system soon, there is much to be done to ensure the infrastructure is up and continuously running on all roads to avoid any breakdown at any point.
Factors in Favor of a Connected Car
Most automotive companies are looking to reduce the carbon footprint. Another factor in favor of the connected car are environmental hazards and the need to reduce the impact of cars on the road. With improved technologies hitting the market in short intervals, most of them will be outdated soon. It means there is a need to meet user demand soon and yet be relevant.
The connected car is one such means to reach users with the need to stay connected without losing control of their life and means of transportation. Hence, this not only fulfills the pressing need for better connectivity, but improved service.
How will connected cars interact with smart homes?
Finally, the one aspect that will make life easy for all is the exciting opportunity of inter-linking work and play seamlessly merely by asking. FORD SYNC has taken the initiative. And so in association with Amazon Alexa, it gives remote access to starting the car, shopping, searching, and smart home access.
Also, you get voice control over connected devices from inside your car. This means it lets you perform actions, even while outside the home. In turn, this improves your productivity and also helps in better decision making.
The connected car will soon be a reality with all the features and benefits you can expect.
We hope you enjoyed this comprehensive guide to all your connected vehicle questions. While it’s no longer a far-fetched idea, there are a few concerns to look into. In time there might only be a connected car to take you around.
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