Technology is spilling out into the automotive industry. It’s not enough to just have a smartphone and tablet. We want that cars with built-in technology as well so that we can take it with us.
Vehicles started out with mounts so that we could mount our phones to take that technology with us, but now they’re going further than that. They’re putting this technology directly into the car, whether it’s navigation or apps.
It made for quite a discussion at the SXSW event. Automobile executives gathered there to discuss their belief that vehicles can be just another platform. Ford even has a “futurist” in their employ to predict how we will be using our vehicles in the future.
Some of the ideas discussed for our vehicles include voice recognition and swappable apps that you can take with you from vehicle to vehicle. The voice recognition is probably the most needed, as it allows you to keep your eyes on the road where they belong. That’s why Apple is putting Siri in cars. Nine automakers have agreed so far to adding what Apple calls “Eyes Free.” It works alongside other voice commands in cars, pairing up the car and a phone over Bluetooth. It works just the same as Siri on iPhones, but everyone agreed that it shouldn’t open web pages, as that was just too much of a distraction.
Ford doesn’t offer Siri. Instead it offers Sync in its cars with built-in technology. I have this in my Ford Fiesta. For the most part it does the same things – turn-by-turn directions, news, weather, sports scores, etc. It pairs up your smartphone through bluetooth, too. I can’t ask it as direct of a question as you can with Siri, however.
What it does do, though, is keep my eyes on the road, and that’s where they belong. Let’s not forget the stat we learned the other day in the discussion on texting while driving. In 2010 distracted drivers were at fault each day for killing fifteen people and injuring twelve-hundred. Each. day.
While the previously mentioned article cited two gentlemen at the American Medical Association who are in favor of rendering phones inoperable to eliminate the dangers of distracted driving, why not just make phones connect so well with cars that there is no need to do dangerous texting and/or fiddling with apps?
How important is it to have cars with built-in technology? Would that influence your purchase? Would you buy a certain brand just to have Siri or Sync?