Increased Emphasis on Tech Crucial for Future Car Sales

Increased Emphasis on Tech Crucial for Future Car Sales

Augmented reality might be a word you’re much more familiar with when you’re ready to shop for a new car, but in case the idea is completely foreign, here’s what it means and why.

During a Ward’s Auto Interiors Conference in Dearborn, Mich., panelists told automakers, suppliers and students gathered that in-car technology will be a key focus for future cars.

Interior comfort is already something we’re seeing car companies putting a strong emphasis on. For example, the 2013 Nissan Altima and its “NASA-inspired” space seats put special attention into making the new mid-size sedan more comfortable to sit in than ever before. The seats are supposed to increase circulation and improve how passengers sit to make the car more comfortable.

Augmented reality has to do with much more than sitting pretty, though. It’s an idea that we’ve already heard Audi discussing: taking head up display technology to the next level by integrating real-time information and GPS data.

In doing that, companies can project arrows, lines and loads of other information so that they appear to be laying on the pavement in front of the vehicle. Turn-by-turn directions could lead you around corners like a cat chasing string. The possibilities go much deeper, though. Imagine driving past a restaurant and having the latest customer review ratings visible. What about knowing which service stations are rated the best when your car is having trouble in a strange city?

“Now the focus is on the in-car technology,” Robert Gelardi, a design manager for Ford Motor Co., said. “I think that will be the driving factor.”

With young car buyers constantly demonstrating that driving isn’t important like it was 20 years ago, the onus is hefted on automakers to make products cool and interesting, just like Apple did with the iPhone.

[Source: Detroit News]