Cars to be ‘most-connected’ place by 2013


12 Jan 2012
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Cars to be ‘most-connected’ place by 2013

Until self-driving cars become routine, automobile makers are focussing on adding comprehensive connectivity to cars.

This implies that Facebook might tell you where that event is happening, and warn your friends that traffic is holding you up.

By next year the car will be the third most-connected place in which people spend time, the Telegraph quoted Intel's Staci Palmer as saying.

"And by 2016," she claims, "how connected a car is will be a critical buying decision".

That is why Intel has invested 100m dollars over the next three to five years to act as a catalyst for innovation and to build relationships with manufacturers.

Palmer said that today's one-year olds already expect technology to provide the functionality of iPads.

"Imagine what sort of user experience they will demand when they reach driving age," she said.

In the future, if car ownership declines but increased use is still required, connectivity might allow users to "log-on" to a vehicle.

So it could also change colour and add the accessories of the user's choice. Just like a PC desktop, a machine would take on the personality of its user.

Areas of focus for Intel could comprise in-vehicle applications, text to speech voice recognition, and the integration of connected car services into car design, the company said.

Palmer asserted that technology had made "improvements to lives, safety and productivity. There's no better place to demonstrate that than inside cars."

"In the US, the average driver spends the equivalent of two months of every year in car; it's impractical for us to give up connectivity inside of the vehicle. The car is the mobile device of the future."

Although existing schemes are firm on improving entertainment in cars, future applications could also regulate music and lighting to calm stressed drivers.

Intel is employing social anthropologists to look at other possibilities, and has already carried out studies on what objects most drivers keep in their cars.

There is also the hope of 'digital goods' entering the car.

"We see people bringing physical goods into cars to personalise them, and we expect a digital equivalent to emerge," Palmer added.

As car dashboards become more screen-based, for example, that could even mean a digital pair of fluffy dice.

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