The concept, “connected car” is a really good thing. It expands what you can do safely and with lane protection and other services will help reduce accidents. The reality of the connected car is that like anything that connects to the broader internet, it is a thing and it can be hacked.
Now for those of us who drive in traffic, the connected car adds a tremendous amount of value. With my Bluetooth connected iPhone and my car, I can stream audible books to my car and listen to books while I am driving. Or I can listen to Sirius XM. It makes the trip a little less painful.
More broadly your car becomes a CPS service. From telling you what the outside temperature is (and therefore adjusting the inside temperature to one that makes you more comfortable) to letting you know weather conditions and traffic conditions both around you and ahead the connected car is a data source. Tire pressure monitors tell you when your tires are low (impacts handling of car and gas mileage).
Cars with integrated Cellular Antenna’s and the ability to easily directly connect your phone are coming. Imagine a cellular antenna that adds two bars no matter where you are. There are three places during my commute when that would actually give me a signal where today I have a very limited to no signal.
Cellular GPS’s know where you are and where you are most likely going based on pattern analysis, they pop up a screen (77 minutes to home traffic is really heavy right now). I wish that estimate was more accurate. 77 minutes turns out to be 93 most days, sometimes when the phone says 93 minutes (extremely heavy traffic) I just plug in my Audible book and prepare for a 2.5 hour trip.
Paul Simon once wrote “A bad day’s when I lie in bed and think of what could have been.” Knowing the world around you is why a connected car adds value. Reducing road rage by making it easier to get home, by keeping you productive and entertained makes a 2 hour traffic jam less frustrating.
The problem is of course security. If someone can hack your car and control it while you are driving there is a problem. It is going to happen and frankly there is really nothing that can be done other than follow good security processes. Reduce the surface of your exposure. If the system allows you to create a unique password do so. Yes it takes 2 extra seconds to get going, but if you are late 2 seconds doesn’t matter. If you are early, 2 seconds later means you are still early. So unique pass phrases are one way to reduce the risk.
There are no perfect security systems today. The reality of the connected systems we have around us is that in fact they are connected for a reason. It makes life easier. We are responsible for making the easier life safer!
Smart Car fan!