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Is Your Car Part Of The Internet Of Things?

By raccars Published

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Modern cars already feature an impressive array of technology, but vehicles of the near future are set to be even more impressive, with nine out of ten new cars sold in 2025 expected to feature integrated telematics systems. This means they will communicate with cloud computing systems and become a feature of our daily digital landscape in the way that smartphones have.

This year's Connected Cars 2014 conference, held in Amsterdam, showcased some of the staggering new technology on the way.

Internet of Things or IoT refers to the concept making all sorts of devices connectable. While some new cars do come with internet connectivity, the next step will be cars that are built with integrated SIM cards, effectively making them giant mobile telephones. A number of different functions will be app controlled, and other apps will be downloadable directly from the car's dashboard. Think voice activated systems that can co-ordinate car pooling and lift sharing to circumvent traffic congestion, weather forecasting or information about fuel prices in local filling stations. There could also be apps to monitor driver behaviour and suggest improvements to your driving, such as how you can drive more efficiently and save on fuel costs.

In order to be able to manage the vast amounts of data generated by these functions, cars will use cloud computing that performs data processing remotely rather than using an on board device. The advantage of this is that drivers can access the same data from any vehicle, which means that when you get into another car you can log on and your seat will automatically be adjusted to your settings, your favourite radio stations will be tuned in or playlists from your streaming service, and you may be able to access favourite sat nav destinations.

Sat nav systems will also become more accurate due to cloud based communications, with real time updates, thanks to information uploaded by all the other users of the system. Traffic gridlock will be reduced as cloud users tell each other how to find free flowing traffic routes instead.

The same system should finally enable autonomous driving to become a reality as cars communicate directly with each other, alerting each other to their positions and so allowing them to know when to slow down, speed up and change lane. Ultimately, this should make roads safer (and insurance cheaper!).

New technology is also being applied to car keys, which may soon behave like smartphones and allow drivers to pay for items or check in at hotels and airports. The key will do this by carrying data like credit cards do.

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