Connectivity is now more important to new-car consumers than ever before, and as we move toward autonomous driving, it will continue to play a major role. Your smartphone has become an extension of your car’s infotainment system, expanding its capabilities beyond just navigation and radio.
Curious about where the tech is heading? Keep reading to learn about seven ways the car and smartphone are melding together.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Make Things Easier
The arrival of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto enabled consumers to better integrate their smartphones with their vehicles. Since then, many drivers have found them to be indispensable. In some cases, automakers don’t even offer onboard navigation, turning to Google Maps, Apple Maps and Waze instead. For media consumption, you gain easier access to apps such as Spotify and Apple Music.
Google Has Jumped into the Automotive Infotainment Space
The Polestar 2 is the latest vehicle to get an Android-based infotainment system. Acura and Honda already use it in a number of models including the RDX, Accord, and Odyssey. Hyundai Motor Group and FCA have announced that they too will use Android-based multimedia interfaces in the future. Don’t be surprised to find a built-in Waze app on a future vehicle as more automakers move to an Android-based operating system.
Smartphone Assistant = In-Car Personal Assistant
Google recently announced a driving mode for its Assistant feature, which allows you to control your device hands free in vehicles without Android Auto. The ability to bring your digital assistant along for the ride means everything you planned via Siri or Google at home is within easy access in your vehicle.
Automakers are Mimicking Mobile Devices
If you look closely at the latest crop of infotainment systems, many of them mimic the functionality of mobile devices. Volvo’s Sensus interface, for example, has a 9.0-inch touchscreen that looks like a tablet that’s been placed into the dash, complete with pinch-to-zoom and swiping functions. Audi’s latest MMI system uses two touchscreens and they also mimic a smartphone but with added haptic feedback.
Shopping and Restaurant Reservations?!
If there’s one perfect example that your car is turning into a mobile device, it’s the addition of shopping and reservation apps. General Motors introduced its Marketplace app into all of its vehicles, giving you a way to pay for gas, food, and even make restaurant reservations from your car. GM’s latest infotainment system also moves closer toward becoming a mobile device embedded in a vehicle’s dash with the addition of a native Spotify app, a function Volvos also offer.
Know Every Detail About Your Vehicle via an App
Telematics apps like Hyundai BlueLink and FordPass give you the ability to know your car’s status. They even give you reminders on when it’s time to go in for maintenance and the condition of key vehicle components. Some even go as far as letting you to schedule your vehicle for service and pay for the appointment afterwards.
Start Your Car from Your Phone (or Smart Speaker)
With the introduction of telematics apps, automakers allow you to do more with your vehicle than ever before. That includes starting your vehicle from your smartphone; it’s not as quick as conventional remote start from your key fob, but the added convenience makes up for it. Newer vehicles including the 2020 Hyundai Sonata and Tesla Model 3 take things one step further because your phone IS your key.
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