Friday, March 21, 2008

The Future of In Car Tech

We've seen the promise from Ford with the Sync system. Seen the in dash navigation systems. Watched a DVD in the back seat with the kids. So what technology is heading for the car and which of the new devices is important to the driver/audience?

Recently Forbes Auto did a survey and an article on 5 trends in the dashboard that are coming on and followed up with a survey on their usefulness and which ones the audience is excited about. Along with a general survey of the options they wanted the most in their cars.

The innovations included:

In Car Computing - A full WiFi based system that goes on-line and can store videos and music as well as surf the net and listen to Internet radio.

Factory Infusion - A complete control system for the car controlled by speaking. It's like the Ford Sync system but it goes further to heat, defrost, traction control, wipers, headlamps, etc.

In Car Navigation - We've all seen this and it's pretty much heading towards standard equipment.

Blue Tooth - We've also seen this and it's probably going to be standard as more cities outlaw driving while talking on a cell phone without a headset or hands free.

MP3/Ipod connectivity - From just having a jack to plug in to having a full interface with an Ipod to connect to the radio with full quality.
On to the survey - which innovations impressed the drivers?

A study conducted by GfK Custom Research, based in New York, asked adults what options they would be interested in having on their car: GPS Navigation was the most-desired technology out of the five spotlighted in this article. Internet access was the least desired of all, with 24 percent of respondents expressing interest. Built-in Bluetooth capability was likewise near the bottom in terms of desirability, with 38 percent of those surveyed expressing interest.

Low-tech and long-used remote starting systems that allow vehicles to be started and warmed up without having to get in the car and turn the ignition topped GfK's list.

Gee they see the advantages of GPS and getting the car started from the store before you get in. The rest of all the high tech stuff looks like it's cool for the geeks and makes the car companies think they are going to sell more with all this innovation and gadgets. The reality is that driving the vehicle comes first and surfing the Internet or trying to control the car by yelling at it isn't high on the list. While we may all fear the Internet coming to the car it doesn't look like the audience sees a lot of advantages in having it on the dashboard. Perhaps they are worried that driving is already getting distracting enough as we watch people weaving down the road as if they are drunk only to see at the light that they are just talking on their cell phones.
You can read the article from Yahoo here.

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