The leading lights of the car industry all agree on one thing- it’s only a matter of time before in-car Internet becomes a reality. And it already has a name- infotainment.
A recent survey has shown that among the future trends in in-car entertainment will be fired through Wi-Fi, accessed through voice recognition software and powered by 3G or even 4G systems.
Insider information on this mind boggling subject states that already the World’s top car manufacturers have already joined forces with such information industry experts as Google, Apple, Microsoft and LG to conduct a series of feasibility studies that have already reached the practical stages, with certain car manufacturers are already having a few "connected" cars. Leaders in the race are reported to be Toyota and Intel who openly announced their collaboration at the end of 2011.
Representatives of Intel, strong believers in the connected car concept believe that it is up there with Smartphones and tablets as being the future of communication in the first quarter of the 21st century.
Experts already predict that the number of Wi-Fi access cars on the road will reach will six million by 2017, which sounds like a lot till you consider that there are two hundred and fifty million cars on the road. However, the idea will undoubtedly become more attractive when car owners consider the cost of hooking to the internet through their Smartphones and tablets when compared with the minuscule cost of hooking to Wi-FI. By the middle of the second decade of the 21st millennium, experts predict that in the Western World WI-FI coverage will be at levels of almost 100%.
With apps already available that are capable of reading newspapers, e-mails and reports out loud to the driver as well as updating weather reports, advice on traffic holdups in real time, book restaurants or hotels without the driver needing to take their hands of the steering wheel, it’s possible to understand why experts are predicting that by 2017 the in-vehicle apps market will have reached as high as $4 billion.
The obvious concern of the increasing exposure to in-vehicle Internet is the potential for driver distraction. However, among the solutions to the problem being mooted is a connection blocking system that will disable some features while the vehicle is in motion, or by allowing only the car’s passengers and not the driver to access the Internet when the “Internet” car is being driven.
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