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Connected cars

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Connectivity and communication capabilities are becoming premium features of a modern car. Car manufacturers have been introducing technology that enables vehicle owners to communicate with other cars and connect to a wider database. Through these reimagined cars, driving becomes a social experience and cabins can become entertainment and information hubs.

Primarily a safety solution, Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communication technology allows drivers to talk with each other using their vehicles. V2V uses GPS and Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) to exchange vehicle data such as location, speed, direction and braking status. Apart from providing other vehicle data, V2V gives drivers the ideal speed or braking alert for every situation. It is imagined that through this technology, a connected group of drivers will make better decisions on the road and semi-automated and automated cars can be controlled based on the suggested ideal driving conditions.

Meanwhile, Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) technology, like the name suggests, allows cars to communicate with infrastructure. It is imagined that this technology will give drivers information about traffic lights and warn them about the ideal speed to a manner of approaching intersections.

In the United States of America, the Department of Transportation is studying to make V2V and V2I technology mandatory for all cars being sold. It is expected that by implementing this rule, car crashes can be prevented. These technologies are also seen as a way to decrease the carbon footprint as the system will provide drivers with the data to drive efficiently and avoid unnecessary speeding and braking.

Newer cars are also expected to have more connectivity options as they allow existing technologies to be integrated into cabin design. It is presumed that more cars will be compatible with Android technology. Both android and IOS technology will also be adopted and recognized by some car entertainment systems that will allow apps on these devices to be displayed and accessed through the car.

In addition, car manufacturers are now providing Bluetooth technology in some of their models. Bluetooth technology may have been around for quite some time but it has not been available in cars until recently. With Bluetooth technology, car owners can personalize their riding experience by accessing their smart devices via wireless technology. Music can be streamed better and other app-based entertainment functions can be shared through the cabin with ease. Cars will also have WiFi and 4G functions that will open to a broader library of entertainment and information.

As more cars are becoming interconnected, some manufacturers will be offering “over the air” updates. This means that advanced cars will be updated remotely via cloud. These cars will receive the necessary security features while saving their owners the hassle of driving to the shop.

More car safety and security applications are also becoming available. There are luxury cars offering 360 video recording options that can serve as a security tool or a parking assist tool. Some cars can also be parked remotely using an application but cautions that this feature must only be practiced in a private parking slot. — Sigourney V. Tulfo

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