The days of just using your car to get from Point A to Point B are over. Today, cars are not only collections of gears and steel, but they are also becoming as technologically innovative and connected as the average smartphone.
Today’s cars have features that make common and everyday tasks much easier and straightforward. As OEMs start to infuse more technology into today’s cars, it is likely that consumers will walk into your dealerships with more technology preferences and questions. So, what can you expect to see more of regarding car connectivity? Read on for some of the most innovative connected car features in current and upcoming car models.
App to Car Connectivity
Smartphone apps may seem like a pain, but they are giving consumers greater connectivity to their cars. A great example is the Ford Escape. The 2017 model gave consumers three to five years of free access to SYNC, an app that provides connectivity between consumers and cars. With the app, car buyers could remotely unlock or lock the car while checking the fuel status and locating the vehicle’s location. Other OEMs have followed suit to allow car buyers to use their smartphones for simple tasks concerning their cars.
Protecting Young Drivers With “Curfews”
Because of the startling accident statistics regarding teenage drivers, many OEMs have created ways for parents to keep better track of their young drivers. Hyundai has set up a program that “alerts” parents to if their child is driving out of predetermined hours, or if the car is traveling outside of a “pre-defined” geographic area. Parents can easily track where their children are driving and how long they are behind the wheel.
Find the Lowest Gas Prices
OEMs understand that consumers want more information regarding the financial cost of their car. Due to commute times, one of the most substantial monthly expenses that many car owners are facing are gas costs. One OEM is trying to solve this problem.
Buyers of the Audi A8 are taking advantage of a connectivity and information feature that can help them mitigate this cost. Audi teamed up with Google earth to provide real-time and accurate navigational technologies. In addition to this, car buyers could look up nearby gas stations and view prices to find the lowest costs.
Intelligent Vehicle to Vehicle Communication
The telematics technology installed in most of today’s cars can allow them to speak to other cars. As a result, the information shared can prevent accidents and even facilitate gas transactions. Cars can also share their speed, and also interact with intelligent traffic signals. Many OEMs have realized the benefits of vehicle-to-vehicle technology, and it is estimated that all new cars will have the capability in 2023.
Connect to the Internet Within Your Car
While some vehicles have already ventured down this path, the technology is still rare and somewhat primitive. However, the time is coming where anyone driving a new car can connect to the internet wherever they go. The vehicle will itself act as a digital hotspot that can be used to access the internet on a phone or a computer. This capability also increases the possibility of what cars themselves can do regarding information sharing and security. It is predicted that by 2020, 90 percent of new vehicles will have the ability to connect to the internet.
Skip the Dealership Visit with Wireless Update Technology
Not only can connectivity prevent accidents and provide car buyers with gas prices, but it can also prevent car buyers from having to walk into the dealership. The electric car company, Tesla, has perfected “air updates.” The connectivity of the Tesla S model allows the company to update the software of the vehicle without the customer having to bring it in. Not only does it increase customer satisfaction, but it also frees up the service department to only deal with actual body repair cases.
Today’s cars are becoming smarter and more connected. While issues like privacy and data collection will always be an issue, innovations regarding connectivity make the lives of car buyers much easier. The goal of these technologies should be to provide value to the customers they serve, and many of them are doing just that. As we approach 2020 and beyond, OEMs will likely continue to innovate on technologies that will provide convenience for years to come.