Smartphone technology is a rapid growing trend in the automotive industry. Juniper Research (News - Alert) predicts that 92 million vehicles will include smartphone technology as of 2016. Car producers designed a hub that is set in the dashboard containing the built-in smartphone. Its location provides easy access for hands-free use while on the road.
Ford owners first experienced the telematic features with newer models of the Explorer and other popular SUVs and cars. The hub not only makes calls and surfs the Internet, but it also connects with emergency services and helps drivers parallel park. A recent report finds that Toyota and Mercedes are planning to include the technology in models as a luxury and safety feature.
Telematics offers a variety of features cars would otherwise lack. One of the best features is that some apps will track a driving pattern. Auto insurers encourage smartphone technology in vehicles because it offers a way to measure a driver’s behavior in the car. This could be beneficial or harmful to consumers as insurance prices would reflect the results.
However, when there is an accident the technology could offer proof that would help the driver. Experts believe this system will be in place completely in 2014. In Brazil, the eCall system installed in vehicles not only tracks driver’s behaviors, but also helps locate stolen cars.
“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 (News - Alert). Currently consumer telematics has improved fleet efficiency when installed in semi-trucks. Though the technology is expected to appear in a vast majority of cars in the next few years, the report finds that major vehicle producers will experience limited growth with the technology in the next five years until it is perfected.
Edited by Jennifer Russell