The entertainment features are not only in luxury vehicles anymore. Carmakers plug in the latest entertainment devices in cars of different price ranges. They use such devices to entice buyers who want to stay connected.
Here are some of the connectivity categories that are now becoming common:
1) Texting and Social Media
Some devices allow you to dictate messages you want to send and read the incoming texts to you. Ford has a Sync system which provides automated text replies so that the driver will not be distracted. The Blue Link of Hyundai offers the option of dictating and sending texts too but the reception is not part of it. GM has an On Star system that they call “Audio Facebook.” It will read the news feed of your Facebook to you.
2) Finding and Playing Music
The use of an iPod and MP3 device can also save anyone the hassle of bringing a lot of CDs into the car. It can be a bit daring if you navigate those devices while you drive so car companies made it easier for drivers and passengers through the creation of in-dash apps. Some examples of such are XM Radio, Pandora and MOG apps. Fair warning though, it may take some time to look for a song or program so using the apps can still be dangerous. The Sirius/XM Radio alone has more than 200 channels. It can be overwhelming even if you are not driving.
3) Navigation and All the Goodies
People who have an in-dash navigation know that it is an innovator’s gift to mankind. Because of the increasing demand for such devices, there is an tighter competition for complicated and detailed systems. It allows people to have more eyes on the program and less on the road. The smartphone connected to the navigational displays have new fangled services. They also show stock quotes, gas prices and news headlines, weather reports and sports scores. The Audi has the latest MMI system which is Google Earth directions. It has a “Street View” feature on the dashboard of the car.
4) WiFi Connectivity inside the Car
Nowadays, a lot of luxury cars and mid-range priced cars are offering WiFi routers. You can usually find them in the trunk of the car. Your phones, iPods, laptops, and other internet devices. It gives the driver an opportunity to be always online. You may also buy these devices as after-market add ons.
5) Bluetooth – Hands-Free Chat
Bluetooth may be the first technology in cars that first distracted drivers. The statistics proved that cell phone use has a connection to car accidents. After numerous incidents due to distracted driving, legislators have passed different laws to address the issue. Some safety advocates contend that conversing with others while driving can be distracting. They know campaign for hands-free phone usage. But still, a study showed that 18% of drivers who talk on the phone even if they are hands-free are slower to react to brake lights.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released guidelines for vehicle controls. The government agency asked car companies to adhere to guidelines ensuring the safety of the drivers. But, the government cannot fully enforce said guidelines because it doesn’t have a way to know who complies.
Despite different issues connected with technology and driving, car makers are still trying to innovate and add features to their cars.. The Car Connectivity Consortium was formed to put technology companies with car companies so they can make better connectivity standards. These should increase the ease and affordability of car companies allowing them to create technology platforms that can be compatible for all the users. Consumer demand is now pushing for more in-car technology and it looks like it will not end anytime soon.
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