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By now you’ve almost certainly heard about the connected car — and maybe you even drive one.
For starters, the connected car is a vehicle that’s, well, connected to the Internet. While there are already a good chunk of connected cars out on the roads today, recent research predicts the market will explode in coming years, climbing as high as $132 billion by 2019.
It makes sense, considering folks on the manufacturing side of things these days seem to connect everything to the Internet: refrigerators, air-conditioning units, bracelets, watches, etc.
The rise of the connected car means unless you’re comfortable trying to buy cars made in the ‘80s and ‘90s for the rest of your life, it’s only a matter of time before you find yourself behind the wheel of a connected car. With that in mind, let’s take a look at five things you should know about what that might potentially mean.
- You Can Get From Point A to Point B Quicker
In theory, connected cars will be linked with often-updated GPS systems that provide real-time traffic information. If, for example, there’s a huge accident that’s essentially closed down the interstate, your car can think for itself, so to speak, rerouting yourself to a side road that’ll help you avoid the traffic.
- You’ll Be Less Likely to Get Into an Accident
When all cars are connected, they’ll be able to communicate with one another. This means there’s a reduced likelihood two drivers will hit each other, as cars will know how close they are to one another and issue warnings. Advanced technologies could even change the direction of the wheels or apply the brakes (or gas) to prevent accidents from occurring.
- You Can Get “Tune-Ups” Without Even Taking Your Car into the Shop
From time to time, drivers of Tesla vehicles, for example, receive over-the-air software updates that do anything from repairing software glitches to enhancing a car’s suspension when it’s traveling at a high rate of speed on the highway. If you get into an accident, you’ll assuredly have to take your car into a mechanic. But some routine upgrades may be available via the Internet.
- You’ll Never Have to Touch Your Smartphone Again When You’re Driving
Connected cars offer smartphone integration, essentially meaning your phone can be accessed via the head unit of your vehicle or even by voice commands in some advanced models. So rather than trying to see where you’re going by looking at the GPS on your smartphone, you can either look at the head unit — or maybe even just ask Siri, if you’re feeling lucky.
- Your Kids Will Be Safer Behind the Wheel
Kids will be kids. While you might tell your new drivers they need to stay within reasonable speeds and drive within a certain period of time, they might not always listen. Good news: There’s now an app for that. If, for example, your child drives 10 mph over the speed limit, you could program your connected car to send you a text alert.
While the benefits of connected cars are truly endless — many folks think we can remove humans from the equation altogether, creating driverless cars that will ostensibly reduce the likelihood accidents occur even more — it’s important to remember just like anything else that’s connected to the Internet, it remains possible that connectivity issues or data breaches could occur. Let’s hope the manufacturers are able to successfully give drivers the benefits while shielding them from the potential drawbacks.