The term “connected cars” is one you’ll often hear alongside the latest advancements in the auto industry–like driverless cars. But the concept isn’t actually all that new. The first iteration of a connected car hit the market back in 1996 with the introduction of OnStar. Cell phones of the time weren’t as reliable or prevalent as they are today, so OnStar gave drivers in a pinch a way to communicate with a call center with reliability. Two decades later and cell phones are far away from what they used to be–and so are connected cars. Today, having your vehicle connected to bluetooth and GPS has become standard. In an age of rapid advancement, we quickly become accustomed, even jaded, to the kind of tech that would raise eyebrows just a few years ago. But if we zoom our perspective out a bit, the headway made in just 20 years is nothing short of astounding. And the technologies to define the next phase of connected cars promise to be even more impressive and impactful.
Here are a few of the most talked about technologies currently in development:
Vehicles that communicate with one another will be able to share data of travel speeds, construction, road hazards, and more. Plus, getting “cut-off” by other drivers will be a thing of the past since you’d know what they to you plan to do before they do it. This ought to ease driver tension while also reducing congestion and accidents by preventing unpredictable and frustrating stop-and-go situations.
Many experts believe that all new vehicles will be equipped with vehicle-to-infrastructure capability as early as 2023. This would allow your car to communicate with things like traffic signals, parking meters, and gas pumps to name a few. You could find parking quickly and conduct transactions without leaving your car. You’d also kiss waiting at red lights with no other cars in sight goodbye.
You read that right. While this certainly won’t be of interest to some drivers, vehicle-to-brain technology will have practical applications. Communication will be delivered by way of a driver-worn headset fitted with electrodes. This would allow your vehicle to alert you of abrupt lane changes or sound off an alert when it detects you getting drowsy.