The iPhone was seen as a reinvention of the phone, and rightfully so. It spurred the start of what we now know as modern day smartphones. They are a part of life now, for better or for worse. The rise in popularity of smartphones has sparked an interest by automobile and vehicle manufacturers to be able to not only integrate smartphone technology into their driving experience, but also adopt that technology into the very core of the driving experience.
The first thing that people notice on a smartphone is that a touchscreen dominates the entire device. The first time you got a chance to test drive a smart phone, you probably poked and prodded the screen. The same technology has been moving into cars. The most notable example is on the Tesla Model S.
The touchscreen on the Model S is a behemoth 17″ tablet-esque touchscreen that controls all car functions from music to temperature, to even browsing the Internet. (You know, for when you’re parked) Elon Musk recently opened up most of Tesla Motor’s patents to rival companies to utilize, which means companies like Nissan, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz may be implementing some beautiful touchscreen technology to their electric vehicles in the near future.
Bluetooth has been around in luxury vehicles for a while. You can sync your phone with their car speaker system, as well as use the built in number pad to dial numbers. Using the steering wheel, you can pick up or hang up a call and even adjust the volume of the call. Pretty cool, right? Well, this is 6 year old technology, and bluetooth connectivity has gotten a little bit more advanced since then, and has spread to not just luxury cars.
One of the coolest bluetooth innovations is for a demographic that vehicle technology tends to skip over at times: motorcyclists. There are now bluetooth motorcycle helmets that allow you to answer a call hands free on the open road. Since you don’t have an interior cabin on a bike, having it built into the helmet itself is a boon to the bikers out there.
You’ve probably seen people hanging TomToms on their windshield or hold up their phone get step by step directions to their friend’s new place. Arguably, one of the greatest integrations of smartphone technology into vehicles is the GPS. You don’t have to worry about extra peripherals — all you need is your car’s dashboard. It connects with your car speaker system, so you’ll be sure not to miss a turn.
Technology is evolving at a very rapid pace. The technology we have now will surely be obsolete in 10 years or less, so it’ll be a trip to keep an eye out for what comes next!