Future Cars will connect with our lives in a deeper way
【Summary】Cars in the future might connect with every bit of your daily life.
By Claire Peng
How will the cars of the future impact your life?
Imaging a car that will drive by itself, produce drinkable water when you feel thirsty, play movies on dashboard screen, transform into a living room that has bed or armchair, communicate with other cars and connect you to your house
In regard to a vehicle's communication capabilities, there are a few automakers striving for new heights. And some of them have already made remarkable progress. General Motors was the first major car company to commit, announcing in September 2015, that it would release a vehicle to vehicle (V2V) equipped Cadillac by 2017. Tesla also can monitor its cars remotely and one can even upgrade autopilot software system in the car.
According to a new report from Gartner, Wi-Fi communications in vehicles, whether from the factory or in aftermarket devices, will increase from 6.9 million per year in 2015 to 61 million per year in 2020 -- and this will usher in a new era of consumer services and applications,
"The first generation of connected systems like G.M.'s OnStar were focused on helping drivers when they were lost or their cars broke down, and the second generation has been about connecting the dashboard to smartphones for streaming live traffic information or audio services like Pandora. The next generation, will focus on managing our entire digital lives …Once we get to the world of autonomous driving, these cars are not going to be about horsepower but about the in-vehicle experience and how it's connected to your lifestyle. The car will talk to all your connected things, whether it's your refrigerator or your home security system." Kamyar Moinzadeh, chief executive of Airbiquity, a Seattle software company focusing on automotive telematics, told the New York Times in a recent interview.
Cars can connect to your home. As Amazon puts forward the popular home assistant "Alexa", many carmakers and tech companies are already building connections with it. Alexia can order an Uber ride or find out how much gas is in a car's tank while the driver is still in the house. BMW announced this month that its Connected services can enable Alexa owners to lock car doors and check car battery levels remotely. Ford Motors also plans to introduce Alexia integration into vehicles, so that everyday chores such as shopping lists could be transferred from Alexa to the car to alert a housewife what to buy.
Cars can connect to your work. Holding a conference call while you are stuck in the traffic jam, scheduling and changing appointments based on your calendar — these can be realized soon, at least Mercedes-Benz's chief executive Dieter Zetsche says so. He confirmed last month at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, that the company's In Car Office services will enable drivers to engage in the aforementioned work conveniences.
We also know that cars in the future might monitor your personal health, it might help you pay parking and gas fees remotely, it might connect to your PC, printer, cellphone or smart wearables, and it might even connect to the daily chores of your life.
However, building car connections needs to set up a common standard just like TCP/IP to the Internet, and how to prevent information leakage or hacking is yet another big issue that's yet to be solved.
Claire Peng has over 6 years of professional experience in the media industry, covering TV, newspaper and online media. She was once a reporter and producer for Fairchild Television based in Toronto Canada, and worked as an English news reporter for the Global Times in Beijing. She writes mainly about self-driving, companies investment, and the enterprise lab.
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