Your car is getting smarter

mirrorlinkNevermind talking on your cell phone while driving – soon your smartphone could be so integrated into your car that you could be doing much more than making a phone call.

A report by Juniper Research predicts that 92 million vehicles will incorporate the smartphone into the head unit by 2016. “Integrating the smartphone into consumer cars represents a new route for the mobile Internet and infotainment to enter the vehicle,” says report author Anthony Cox.

Prototypes like MirrorLink – which links your smartphone to a screen on your dashboard via Bluetooth or USB – will become almost standard, allowing your cellphone to become a hub for mobile internet and apps, right from the driver’s seat. You can play music, post a Facebook status, access your contacts or use your phone’s GPS; the screen mirrors what’s displayed on your phone.

MirrorLink was previously only available for Nokia phones (running Symbian… really?) but other manufacturers like Sony and Samsung are coming aboard, and companies like Alpine and Real VNC are developing the technology for other types of smartphone. The project has the backing of automotive giants like Daimler, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Toyota and Volkswagen.

This is a new move for vehicle manufacturers – instead of developing devices especially for their vehicles, they’re investigating ways to incorporate existing technology into their products. It makes sense – why have a separate GPS, car radio and iTrip when you can do it all using your phone?

Then again, should you be using all this technology in your car, when you are supposed to be concentrating on… um, I don’t know, driving?

The report suggests that vehicle tracking and safety services will drive the increase in connected cars. Regulations in Brazil that state that every new car needs a black box installed for vehicle recovery in the event of theft, and Europe’s eCall project (where your car will contact emergency services if you’re in an accident) are set to influence the uptake of connected in-vehicle devices.

Photo: RealVNC



Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights. sign up

Welcome to Memeburn

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights.