Automobiles having smartphone inbuilt is something that is going to happen very soon or may be already happening. No one can stop that. There is a big market to that and I already see many of many friends considering smartphone as their lives and keep updating status when driving.
It makes mroe sense to me to connect the two rather than have an additional smartphone that comes with a car. It used to be, in the early days of the PC market, people thought there would be phones that came with PCs as one integrated device. The reality is people dont necessarily want a second cell phone and they'll likely already have purchased a phone before getting a car.
@Sheetal, carmakers have a lot of different use-case scenarios to consider. Assuming a driver is bringing his smartphone into a car, the first choice car companies need to make is whether to support in their car an iPhone or Android phone.
And obviously, there is a third choice of embedded LTE connectivity right inside a car.
There were many announcements of car OEMs and cellular operators at CES.
As I talked to a Delphi executive, though, car OEMs are keenly aware that they need to support both iPhone and Android. (You don't want to alianate a customer just because your car doesn't have a place to plug your iPhone!) Delphi was showing off its connectivity box that exactly supports both.
I would agree about supporting all platforms, but you left out Windows. I would go further and say I would not want to see car makers alienate a customer because their carrier was also not supported. Hence, these AT&T partnerships worry me. I want to choose my own carrier and I'm pretty sure the rest of us do too.
Perhaps we should have Apple and Samsung start selling cars as add ons ;-)...you select your phone, operating system and options and they will throw in a car on a 3-year plan (tongue firmly in cheek)...Kris
This is a sign, to me, that these systems are very much in their infancy. For a while, they will need to be subsidized by carriers with big pockets. I don't anticipate this being a permanent thing. I can't see the future though, so I guess I'm just being hopeful that cars won't come with carrier lock-in forever.
I agree. We're barely scratching the surface, mainly because we just haven't had the ability to come up with the most popular uses yet. If you look at racing you'll see much more integration with external computing and yes, smart phones, but the average user is at this point only using it for music/phone calls.
I can't wait to see what the big "apps" are that surface for car/phone integration. What is going to be the the instagram in this case? Will it be something utilitarian or something fun? No one knows yet.
Many young people are addicted to their smart phones. Therefore, what better news blitz than to identify a car with a smart phone? Right? I mean, what better way to get someone who never much cared much about cars, to associate my new car design with his object of fascination, to pique his interest?
This is marketing hype.
On the other hand, that a car will be more "connected," and that a car will incorporate more digital processing, is HARDLY new news. It's been going on since about 1975, when pollution devices demanded something better than the old Kettering ignition system (aka points and condenser ignition). From that, to electronic fuel injection (also originally mandated by the increasingly stringent pollution controls), and on to more esoteric function like ABS, traction control, stability control, electronically controlled transmissions, and on ad infinitum.
Look at how this increase in processing is being presented nowadays. It's all about the infotainment aspects being introduced. Wow. A car is a smartphone.
An engineer buddy of mine recently bough a leaf and the first thing that he showed us was that he could show us all of the cell voltages in his battery (300 plus cell) on one screen on his Android. Then there's the app that tells him where to get a charge and whether it's available or not. Etc. As for me, I make calls and listen to books that I rip to MP3 from the library. And of course, navigate. OK, sometimes "listen to" a text or even dicatate one. And OK, perhaps I'll even watch something on Netflix (stationary only, of course... ;-) But all of this can be done with a simple phone mount and an aux jack (or bluetooth). It's not clear what other advantages you could have. I don't think a 14 inch video screen is much of an advantage, although it looks cool. GM has had Onstar since the 90's (perhaps sooner?) When I bought my used '97 cadi 10 years ago, it had come pre-installed with onstar and back then, you could read your engine codes remotely. Now, you have to be sitting in the car, pressing the buttons (or hook up your elf 327 bluetooth module to your Android phone, my preferred mode). I must admit, if I'm going to pay north of $20K for a vehicle, I want it to be up to date! And smart phone connectivity is part of that. But all I really need is an aux jack and a mount.
@selinz, you wrote: But all I really need is an aux jack and a mount.
Say no more. While I was in Vegas, another engineer friend of mine told me that all the talk about the car apps that need to be redesigned for drivers sounds too condescending. He said, "All I want is a place to put my phone. I can't even find that in my car!"
@Bert, yes, arguably, this is all marketing hype. But if you walk around the show floor, this craze for making a car look like a smartphone has gotten to the point of no return, as far as I could tell. More on this later in a separate article...
Where the #$%^ is NHTSA in putting a stop to the obvious danger of all these distracted drivers with their smart 'phones whose lives are so important that they need to let the world know of their every move at all times ???
Let's see, the windshield just iced up - time for defrost ... okay: menu> climate>heat> windshield> time > etc... CRASH !
A smartphone crash has a very different meaning when a car is wrapped around it. automotive electronics are a hold over from The Eighties in most cases. The cyber threats of the modern internet all these OEMs so desperately want to connect to will require an epoch change in the designs of most parts.