We just bought a new van. Well… new to us. It’s a blue 1994 GMC Safari. Call us old school if you want, but we spent the last week unsuccessfully hunting down some good ol’ cassette tapes to play in our new van’s tape deck. Technology is constantly changing and technology in the automotive industry is no exception. Digital media has gone viral and in many places around the world you’d be hard-pressed to even find a new car with a CD player.
Samsung Partners with Tata Motors
Earlier this year, Samsung Electronics announced a partnership with Tata Motors, a well known motor company in India. Samsung’s Drive Link app on MirrorLinkTM technology will be available in most passenger vehicles by Tata Motors. The goal of this joint venture is to, “give Tata Motors passenger vehicle customers the freedom of listening to music, hands-free calling and navigation to a destination, all from their smartphones.” Although this technology would provide a hands-free means of using a smart phone or tablet, I can still see how it would be distracting to use while driving. (TataMotors)
Tesla’s Focus on Technology
Tesla is another car company on the cutting edge of technology. They have five connected car technologies either already in the design or planned for the Model S. The Model S has a fully reconfigurable dashboard screen unlike the gauges and dials in the dashboard of my Safari. The informant screen in the Model S is 17 inches, larger than most handheld tablets. Embedded connectivity, as opposed to smartphone tethering or Bluetooth and cloud-based software will allow the Model S to have software updates and run separate from your data plan. Tesla is also looking to offer some form of autopilot in the next few years. (LATimes)
2010 and Now
In the May 2010 issue of Car and Driver magazine, an article was published that contained this exerpt, “In five years, nearly 25 percent of cars will be connected to the Internet, according to iSuppli telematics analyst Richard Robinson.” (CarandDriver) Well Mr. Robinson, its 2014 and it looks like we’re headed down the path you predicted.
As technology in our vehicles develops it will continually change the automotive industry. Mechanics are becoming electricians. Does all this technology make us lazy drivers? Or does it encourage us to constantly stay busy? Whatever happened to a relaxing drive on a country back road singing along to a Dave Mathews Band cassette tape?