| CARCHEX Research Center

The Internet Car – Seeing The Future Now

Flying cars may not be available to the public any time soon, but the reality of car connectivity is booming. Self-driving cars, for example, have been on the roads for years, and the technology is advancing rapidly. Let’s look at some other trends that modern technology brings to automobiles.

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It’s Your World

Apps like Zubie are already serving many drivers. Via smartphone, Zubie connects your car to the Internet and provides real time location, trip history, maintenance alerts, engine diagnostics and driving insights.

As more vehicles come with the factory installed connectivity, the car itself will offer information much like a smartphone. This could include suggestions for places to eat, park, and how to get around traffic. Apps such as Waze give users real-time community data about traffic patterns. We could easily imagine this built directly into a vehicle’s hard drive.

As you spend more time in your car, programming would learn about your preferences. This could allow the vehicle to offer answers that fit your history. We can already see how things like climate control, seat position, and sound system can be adapted to past preferences.

Car Avatar

According to TechCrunch, this personalization will be ultimately manifested in the form of an avatar, or a virtual you. Your car will know when, where, and even how, you drive. The data will be stored and retrieved to continuously update the personalization process. This really insn’t so far fetched when you consider that web search engines and social media already use browsing data to present pages (and ads) suited to your particular tastes.

Driving Experience

This fine tuning could be adapted to much more than just selecting a place to shop. Your driving habits, such as braking, cornering, and acceleration could be processed as well. This type of data is already accessed by insurance companies to calculate premiums and offer discounts to safer drivers. Eventually, used car histories may include this type of data to help improve pricing (and purchase) decisions.

In the future, a car’s computer may even adapt engine, suspension, and braking controls to make the vehicle safer. Vehicle responsiveness could be modified according to your personal driving habits. Plus, all your avatar data could be transferred to any car you choose to drive.

Safety

Perhaps the biggest benefit is the big data that could be collected from vehicle sensors. How a car responds to emergency situations or bad weather could be analyzed over thousands of models. Future versions could then be made safer based on data analysis. Even individual cars could get periodic performance updates.

Challenges

Just like all things on the Internet, the biggest challenge with connected cars will be safety and security. We can already see how some safety measures, such as automatic emergency braking, can create other security issues. For example, some car computers can be hacked and controlled from a distance.

Given the vast amount of personal data that connected cars will generate, it will important that companies ensure privacy and safety measures are in place that protect the consumer.

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