Ever since the introduction of the smartphone, automakers have been playing catch-up, trying to introduce similarly useful electronics in the dashboards of new models. However, even with the newest car models drivers found the navigation apps on their phones more capable and up-to-date then the ones in their dashboards.
Apple and Google want to be at the fore front of vehicle infotainment systems. In their opinion, a smartphone should be the heart of the vehicle’s multimedia system, giving new opportunities for end users. Drivers also frequently prefer applications and programs on their smartphones, which are often free and updates are easier than their more expensive infotainment system counterparts who have small screens, outdated technologies and interface designs.
We can see the first steps in this direction: during the iOS 7 release Apple introduced new features of its mobile operating system that are designed to be used in vehicles. Recently, this feature received its official name - iOS in the Car. The main idea is that the iPhone will be the "brain" of infotainment system, while the car is a convenient adapter for the device.
Google is also negotiating with several major automakers regarding the use of its mobile operating system. This process will allow Google to integrate Android smartphones more closely with car systems. Such companies like Audi, GM, Honda and Hyundai have already signed the agreement with Google to present new cars with a trip computer, which is developed with this operating system.
Despite the fact that branded entertainment systems bring many benefits to automakers, they began an active process of developing a variety of applications with which drivers can replace the navigator or the player and even fully control their cars.
For example, Jaguar Land Rover demonstrated the latest technologies that could potentially be implemented in cars with autopilot.
Perhaps many people remember the film «Tomorrow never dies» 1997, where James Bond drove BMW 7 with the remote control which was installed into his mobile phone. And now, 18 years later, the dream comes true. British automaker Jaguar Land Rover is planning to build in the possibility of remote control by user’s smartphone into the next model of the Land Rover. Only the Range Rover doesn’t have missiles or smoke grenades. By standing near your car you will be able to remotely control it.
The Remote Control system allows the driver to control steering, brakes and throttle via a smartphone from outside the car. This allows the driver to check the precise positioning of the vehicle when negotiating challenging terrain or even difficult parking situations. Drivers can also control their vehicle while walking alongside the car at a maximum speed of 6 km/h. Crossover will automatically stop if the driver strays 10 meters from the vehicle or if the smart key is unidentifiable. At the same time, Apple patented the technology which allows information to be exchanged between the smartphone and the car, including the control of some of the functions of the vehicle.
Thanks to new technologies, smartphones can communicate with the car’s software. For example CarPlay offers automakers the ability to swap out the complicated and often clunky infotainment systems for a display that interfaces with the iPhone. You could control the door locks or find out the location of the car and its basic parameters with your mobile device. Also, the car is able to detect the movement of its owner and has the ability to open the door or trunk automatically. Using your smartphone, you can set up "control zone" for the car - for example, when the owner approaches to the driver's door, it will be unlocked.
We would like to note that at this moment carmakers are opposing such innovations. They don’t want to pass the control of the dashboard screen to a mobile phone. According to them, the smartphone can be only like a gadget-assistant and a provider of applications. However, they understand the direction of progress and cannot ignore the needs of users. Therefore, experts believe that automakers will not be able to stay fully independent of large technology companies. "Most of developers create programs for Apple and Google devices, - says a senior engineer of Mercedes-Benz Kal Mos. - And we want to provide this technology in our cars."
Author: Rozdoum Mobile Team