Alerts about where the nearest service station or where there is an accident, are some of the features that today offers a car connected to the internet
Today more than 50 million connected cars circulate in the world. This figure will increase to 700 million in just five years. This connectivity would be done in two directions: one of the vehicles towards you and the other of the vehicle with its surroundings. And both are developing in parallel, although the lack of investment in infrastructure is slowing down communication between vehicles and between cars and infrastructure.
The most important thing is that the connected car saves lives. According to a study by the German multinational Bosch in 2025, 11,000 people will be killed in traffic accidents and around 260,000 collisions worldwide, avoiding an expense of $ 4.43 billion in reparations. Similarly, connected vehicles will save 400,000 tons of CO2.
What does the car do to be connected?
Car brands have developed (and continue to develop) their connectivity system. Audi Connect, VW Connect, Skoda Connect, Seat Connect, BMW Connected Drive, Mercedes Connect Me, Ford Connect, Peugeot Connect, Citroën Connect are just a few examples. Renault calls it R-Link, while in Opel it is called OnStar. For its part, Sensus Connect, is the choice of Volvo.
The car connects to the internet through a SIM card that can be the one on our mobile phone or one included in the car itself. Without SIM there is no data: without them, the connectivity suffers because it cannot be updated.
Most of the current cars are compatible with Google Android and Apple iOS and allow us to project the screen of our smartphone in the vehicle.
Once connected to the internet the car is able, for example, to vary by our own route in the browser in case there is a traffic jam in front. It will ask us if we want to use the alternative just like Google Maps does on the mobile. This connection allows us to update the maps online. No longer have to go to the dealer to do so with the added cost.
The car warns for many years that we run out of fuel. And it even tells us which the nearest gas station is. Now, with the connectivity, it gives us more information.
With the integrated SIM in the vehicle and a black data storage box, we can expand the interaction with the car. We can open and close it from an application on our mobile. We will know where it is and if it has been ripped off and moved from where we left it. You can also know the status of the vehicle and schedule the maintenance appointment when it suits us best.
And even you can already delimit an area of circulation of the car.
The red button that saves lives
The connected car will be safer. From April 2018 the emergency call will be mandatory in the European Union for all new homologation cars. It is the red button that puts SOS (not the one that activates the four emergency lights) and that already include brands such as Peugeot, Citroën, Volvo, Mercedes or BMW, among others.
It is used to make an emergency call in the event of a collision. It can be done manually or automatically. Upon detecting the car the impact performs, in case the driver or an occupant presses the red button, an emergency call. This will go to a call center predefined by the brand. This system allows to know the extent of damage of the vehicle, even if it is overturned and, most importantly, geotag the vehicle, to warn 112 emergency if necessary.
The emergency call, based on a telephone call, was to come into force in 2009 and will finally be made nine years later fully linked to mobile coverage. One of the problems, still unresolved today, is what happens in areas without mobile coverage. It is proven that if an accident occurs in one of these areas, the emergency call service of the car is not available and therefore no alert of the incident. And who is responsible for the lack of coverage?