Facts About Connected Cars and the IoT
In merely 70 years, computers have gone from 50-ton boxes inhabiting 1,800 square feet to palm-sized gadgets that accompany us virtually everywhere. They’ve infiltrated (or eliminated) many of the devices we’ve invented, from phones and fax machines, to televisions and vehicles. Cars are a particularly hot topic as the Internet of Things sweeps the globe, connecting and automating many of our machines in 2017.
Taking the App Store on the Road
Several of next year’s vehicles are already out, boasting the most impressive features the automotive world has ever seen. Apple, Ford, Lexus and others have developed mobile operating systems specifically designed to offer on-demand infotainment at the press of a button (or voice request). Apple’s CarPlay, docketed as “the ultimate copilot,” is now being used by 43 of the major car manufacturers in the world, including BMW, Land Rover, Toyota, GM, Chrysler and Honda.
CarPlay reiterates the need for extended wireless connectivity and hybrid mobility by introducing apps of all kinds to your car’s dashboard. Audible, NPR1, Pandora and Spotify are some of the companies with apps already featured in the system. CarPlay also allows you to take calls, listen to text messages read aloud by Siri, and respond just by speaking back.
Think Outside the App
Other connected cars, like the Tesla Model S, also feature an impressive mobile interface that’s all their own. But, is that solidarity sustainable? Apparently not, because CEO Elon Musk revealed that Tesla would be moving away from using its own SDK at an owners’ event in Hong Kong earlier this year. Instead, Tesla’s 17” display will likely mirror the apps its users already have on their iPhones and Androids. However, we can still bask in the unconventional glory that is the Tesla command center. The car’s native system is equipped with several comical “Easter eggs” including Ludicrous Mode, which displays an animated graphic from the movie Space Balls and cuts the Model S P90D’s quarter mile down to a truly ludicrous 10.8 seconds, as well as James Bond Submarine Mode, which changes the car’s simulated image into the Lotus Espirit Submarine from the James Bond movie, The Spy Who Loved Me. There’s even a “psychedelic cowbell road” feature, where the navigation path turns into an everlasting rainbow, which makes one wonder if Musk is a big fan of Mario Kart… or something else.
Tesla, along with many other manufacturers, will also be improving autopilot features that control speed, braking, maneuvering and parking for you. One life has been lost due to Tesla’s autopilot malfunctioning, but another was potentially saved when the car guided a man to his local ER. The jury is still out on the reliability of such features, but the progress will no doubt continue.
Bring it Home
Finally, and perhaps most sensibly, is Mercedes-Benz’s move to directly link cars and homes via the Nest Labs home automation system. This feature adjusts the temperature of drivers’ homes depending on their departure and arrival times. This will undoubtedly include adjusting the lights and opening the garage door to enhance safety and convenience (read: laziness) in the near future.
All of these revolutionary advances are nothing short of thrilling for drivers, developers and tech-enthusiasts, alike. At 7T, we love to connect the dots between superior mobility and the IoT, regardless of industry.