Tech and Auto Companies Work to Bring the Internet to Your Car

It seems like all anyone wants to talk about these days when it comes to automobiles is the concept of the connected car.

And nearly every major automaker has joined the race to produce the first real contender. Sure there are already plenty of vehicles on the market that feature hands-free, Bluetooth technology, along with in-dash infotainment options (navigation plus music and video functionality, for example).

But if you’ve heard any of the buzz pertaining to some of the concept cars popping up at auto shows across the globe, you know that cars of the future are slated to feature everything from dashboards that charge your devices wirelessly, to cars that can interface with your home and office computers (not to mention the computers in nearby cars and other buildings), to hands-free, talk-to-text functions that will allow you to read your texts, tweets, and even web pages without ever having to look at a screen.

But those days are a long way off…aren’t they?

In truth, such options could be available to the average consumer sooner than you might expect (some are predicting within the next five years). Did you know that many car companies now have a job position detailed as Chief Infotainment Officer? It’s true, and this should be your first clue that the connected car has gone beyond the realm of simple concept. It’s right on the horizon and car-makers are in a mad dash to make it a reality.

Ford, for example, has been shopping around for several months in search of a company that can help them to develop a secure cloud connection so that drivers can access their home desktop (and potentially sensitive data) from their cars.

And Google is well into the process of developing a car that is entirely hands-free. Their self-driving vehicle has already undergone extensive testing, even going so far as to take a blind man out to run errands. In short, computer-savvy cars are right around the corner.

For some, these advances sound like great news. How about anyone who has a teen driver that seems to be permanently attached to a cell phone? With new advances in talk-to-text options for cars, a truly hands-free texting experience is possible.

This is not to say that teens won’t still be distracted by incoming and outgoing messages, but at least they’ll keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road. And for those that suffer a long commute, unfettered access to the online arena could reduce the waste of time spent in gridlock. Of course, there is always a downside.

As you may have guessed, many companies are already seeking “safe” ways to push in-car advertising through any new means of communication presented by technological advances.

For the most part, though, these strides seem inevitable. With the advent of online and mobile technologies we gained the ability to connect to our family, friends, and the world at large from anywhere at any time.

You can check your email, transfer money, shop for clothing and housewares, look up discount auto insurance quotes online, and virtually complete nearly all of the tasks on your to-do list at home, in the office, or on the go.

So it is only natural that the next step would be to take this connection to the car. The only question is whether or not the technology installed in cars will last for the life of the vehicle. The answer at this point is almost certainly a no, so hopefully automakers will be smart enough to plan for upgrade options.

Evan Fischer
Evan Fischer is a freelance writer and part-time student at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California. He enjoys writing about the latest tech news for a variety of companies and discovering new and innovative gadgets.
If you wish to write for techchai, you can get in touch using the write for us form above.

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