Navigating the Connected Car

September 2016

As smartphone use continues to rise, technology companies are constantly on the lookout for new ways to connect objects in a way that simplifies the lives of mobile users. Over the past few years, the automobile sector has embraced the internet of things trend, incorporating features such as geo-location and GPS, voice commands, traffic-aware cruise control, and permanent internet connection into new models. These features are not only designed to increase passenger safety; they also play a key role in making passengers more productive.


The Connected Car

By definition, the connected car is an automobile that is equipped with internet access, and (usually) a wireless local area network (LAN). This connectivity allows the car to share internet access with other devices both inside and outside the vehicle.

Most connected cars come equipped with a touch screen computer that houses multiple applications and features, also known as the infotainment system. This informatic entertainment system works with mobile data on the driver's smartphone, and can connect to WiFi if the vehicle is equipped. Infotainment modules are compatible with the most common mobile operating systems, including iOS and Android.

Features of a Connected Car

Navigation and Geolocation

First and foremost, the connected car provides users with navigation and geolocation technology. While GPS technology (or global positioning systems) has long been integrated in automobiles, updated data services permit users to monitor traffic data, speed limits, and points of interest along a driver's route (i.e. parking lots, gas stations, shops). Geolocation technology also allows drivers to easily find their cars in a parking lot via smartphone application.

On-Board WiFi

Most connected cars are equipped with onboard WiFi or an onboard hotspot. This connection provides better access to useful driving applications. Onboard WiFi allows users to access and use the internet much more easily, opening many doors for on-board entertainment and productivity.

Voice Commands

A connected car's onboard computer allows passengers to use the basic calling and messaging features of a telephone completely hands-free. Thanks to voice control, drivers can communicate securely without diverting their attention from the road.

Dashboard Indicators

Connected cars also provide drivers with a variety of dashboard indicators, which can help drivers monitor their speed, mileage, engine use, fuel consumption, and CO2 emissions.

Image © Martial Red - Shutterstock.com

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