The Future of Automobiles: Wireless Connectivity and More Built Right In!
A couple of years ago, the idea of internet on the go was farfetched. The idea of internet built into a car was even more farfetched. This shows us just how far technology has come today. Internet and connectivity on the go is constantly evolving. Especially so in cars. Almost everyone now has access to GPS navigation. Infotainment systems like those previously only found in expensive high end luxury cars like BMWs and Mercedes are now common place. Ford's SYNC is a perfect example of this. There is now an emphasis on more advanced systems of streaming media. The future is now. Drivers are gaining the option of having connectivity in their driving experience. Soon we will all be driving the car from The Jetsons. One real life example of this is the LTE Connected Car concept. It was created by Alcatel-Lucent, www.alcatel-lucent.com. The car is a 2010 Toyota Prius, and doesn’t fly or have a bubble dome like the car in The Jetsons, but it uses LTE (long-term evolution) to connect to the Internet on the go, and that is certainly Jetson-like. The people at Alcatel-Lucent said that one of the main objectives behind the development of the LTE Connected Car was to show the world how Internet connectivity could change the in car experience. The car has a 4G wireless modem built in. So those in the vehicle have the ability to access the net on the go. They can stream live video and audio content from the Web onto one of the four 9 inch touchscreen displays installed throughout the vehicle. The 4G modem provides high bandwidth, so that separate content can be streamed to each of the displays simultaneously. This is similar to the airplane entertainment unit experience, where each passenger has control over their own in vehicle experience. The system isn't limited to entertainment. In addition to videos, music and games, users also have access to infotainment services, like navigation and weather and traffic services and updates. People who have seen the system in action have questioned how a driver can function with so many distractions. This was taken into consideration by the developers, and so they equipped the vehicle with an operating system from QNX Software Systems. The system automatically detects when the car is in motion, and then turns off the driver's display screen to prevent them from being tempted to take their eyes off the road. The system also allows users to answer phone calls through the car’s audio system with verbal commands. The LTE Connected Car also addresses text messaging issues by reading incoming messages out loud and letting drivers reply using a voice to text program. At this stage the car is still only a concept, but that doesn’t mean that vehicles like it won't make their way into showrooms. Many of these features are already available in their own variations at dealers everywhere.