Vision - January/February 2012 - (Page 10)
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Automakers’ unveilings at the 2012 International CES, for example, include the first in-dash infotainment and telematics system that is always connected to the Internet and is fully upgradeable over-the-air with whichever apps come into favor. Another new offering: the first factory-installed capacitive touchscreen controller with haptic feedback that, like a smartphone, responds to swipes, pinches and other gestures. Yet even considering all the developments to date, in-vehicle technology innovation is still only nascent, experts say. In the future, they predict, a constant communications link between the vehicle and the owner’s home could enable the vehicle to literally prepare itself for a drive—like a concept car also on display at CES. This car can autonomously fetch and play the same streaming music or television program that was playing in the driver’s home before he got into the car for his morning commute to work. “We’re still scratching the surface at this point,” says Thilo Koslowski, vice president and analyst at Gartner Inc. in San Jose, Calif. “I think it’s fair to say that
has long played a central role in the typical consumer’s lifestyle, which over the past few years has evolved to assimilate a smartphone, perhaps also a tablet, and a bevy of associated apps. Now, this evolution is leading to a new breed of automobile, as global automakers blend smartphones, tablets, apps and more CE innovations into features and options that extend connectivity well beyond the car to create a new kind of mobile digital lifestyle.
2011 was the year when the connected vehicle finally arrived, and that 2012 and beyond will be the years when the connected vehicle will finally take off.” Moreover, Koslowski says, this progress won’t be limited to automakers’ endeavors. “You’ll see lots of activity on the aftermarket side, and that to me is probably one of the most interesting trends of all.” The connected vehicle “is all about collaboration and ecosystems,” he adds. “It will create bridges between consumer electronics, automotive and information technology (IT) companies—because we’re really talking about the car being an element of the connected experience consumers will have going forward. You will see all of these industries coming together over the next couple of years, and that’s what I mean by the connected vehicle taking off.”
Enhanced Driving Experiences
In 2011, Koslowski contends, consumers’ interest in connected vehicles gained momentum because “piece by piece, step by step, [they] are understanding more
In-dash infotainment, telemetics systems and touchscreen controls with haptic feedback are coming to a car near you as automobiles integrate and plug in with the rest of our connected devices.
BY ROBERT E. CALEM 10
I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y M AT H I S R E K O W S K I
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