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After a good decade and a half in-vehicle infotainment is still something of a mess. Practically every automaker has taken its own approach to implementing advanced connectivity technology. And just like freshly fallen snowflakes no two solutions are alike.
Is using at a smartphone map application as distracting as text, talk, and email? It depends.
Wifi Direct allows some smartphones to communicate without cell phone towers, but thanks to new research by GM it might also keep pedestrians and cyclists safe.
A car has long been a tool of freedom. It allows an individual to reach any destination at anytime in whatever fashion desired. It’s a rite of passage and a sign of maturity and adulthood. So it’s no surprise, automakers have long directed its focus to the youngest demographic in hopes to instill brand loyalty as soon as possible.However, a new and unexpected opposition is endangering the market– the rising relevance and popularity of the smartphone.
Statistics from the Transportation Department noted that in 1978, 50 percent of 16-year-olds in the United States obtained their first driver’s license. By 2008, the number dropped to only 30 percent. According to Gartner’s lead automotive analyst, Thilo Koslowski, says, “Mobile devices, gadgets and the Internet are becoming must-have lifestyle products that convey status. In that sense these devices offer a degree of freedom and social reach that previously only the automobile offered.” As a matter of fact, Koslowski went as far as saying, “The iPhone is the Ford Mustang of today.”
Sheryl Connelly, Ford Motor Company’s manager of global consumer trends and futuring, continued, “The car used to be the signal of adulthood, of freedom… Now the signal into adulthood for teenagers is the smartphone.”
Connelly explained that driving a car may limit the valuable time a teenager could have used to text their friends our update their statuses. While public transportation is slower, it will still provide teenagers time to engage friends on their mobile device. Yet, Ford is undeterred. K. Venkatesh Prasad, Ford’s senior technical leader of open innovation, responded with, “We are not looking at this to ask how we can get teens to buy a car versus an iPhone. Instead, the car has to become more than just a car. It has to become an experience.”
What that means for Ford is to create cars that can better mesh with a teenager or a young adult’s life by making them more like smartphones– cars that could automatically check in on FourSquare when it arrives at a trendy hangout spot, read text messages aloud, and built in cameras to take profile pictures and videos for the passengers so that they can upload their experiences onto Facebook or YouTube. Shared music networks can be implemented on inboard infotainment systems as well.
Unfortunately, it seems as if sheer driving pleasure and the significance of mobility has been lost to the new generation. A scary thought, but soon a car could even navigate itself so that the teenager could give social networking its undivided attention.
[Source: New York Times]
If you’ve ever wondered as to the mental capacity of your fellow commuters, here’s a statistic that will confirm your deepest suspicions: 19 percent of drivers admit to browsing the Internet from their cell phones, while on the road.
That’s one in five drivers, according to a survey conducted in November by insurance company State Farm. Of course, this could be low among certain groups of drivers for the 912 people the company asked, and State Farm plans to conduct another study soon. Why? Most of the people who admitted to playing with their smartphones while driving were teenagers and younger drivers—usually the least experienced on the road, which could lead to massive carnage.
Those who go online while going on the highway acknowledge the dangers, but aren’t too concerned about it—the study found that these drivers would only change their behavior after they’ve been in some sort of accident. Hopefully nobody will be seriously hurt or killed when that happens—and hopefully, it won’t involve you.
[Source: USA Today]