COLOGNE, Germany – Tech-users are predicting major advances in the integration of smart phones and cars - from iPad integration to being able to order takeaways - after being asked by Ford to share their visions for the future of in-car communications technology.
Ford posed the question: “What will communications technology in vehicles help us to do in the future?” at the 2012 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, after revealing that AppLink -- a feature that delivers in-car voice control of smart phone apps -- would be introduced globally as part of Ford’s SYNC connectivity system.
Ford will announce when AppLink will be introduced globally at a future date, and is now actively seeking to partner with developers on future opportunities to deliver voice-control compatibility with apps for a wide range of services. Developers can contact Ford at www.syncmyride.com/developer
The visions for the future of in-car technology can be viewed at http://storify.com/FordEu/future-connectivity-1
and technology fans can still submit their answers via Twitter, through the Ford of Europe Facebook page, by posting on their own blog or through video sharing sites including YouTube.
Further predictions include improved road safety and traffic flow, and remote two-way communication between car and owner via cloud computing.
Among the comments so far have been:
- "I see a space in the car dashboard to connect an iPad that will work as media center (radio, rear-view camera, web, TV, games) and have all of its features enabled by voice-control (navigation, phone, agenda, e-mail, Facebook) in order to stay connected."
- "If an emergency vehicle is next to you, you get a warning to let it pass. If you listen to music you often hear them too late."
- "I want to wake up and use my phone to turn on the heating in the car, and de-ice the windows, ready for my drive."
Additional ideas included windshields with augmented reality to identify points of interest and help navigate in poor visibility; automated social network updating with images and information captured on the move; and takeaway food ordering with delivery directly to the car when stuck in heavy traffic.
“We were deeply impressed by the creativity and foresight demonstrated in the responses to the question we posed, and it’s exciting for us that we are already working towards the targets that much of the technology community considers important,” said Doug VanDagens, Ford’s global director of connected services.
“We’ve demonstrated the potential of our car-to-car communications research vehicles through programmes including CoCarX in Europe, have implemented remote control and monitoring for Ford Focus Electric customers in North America with the MyFord Mobile app, and will further integrate smart phone functionality into our cars with the global introduction of SYNC AppLink.”
The global introduction of SYNC AppLink will follow a successful roll out in North America, where the system is available on 10 vehicles and enables drivers to voice-activate apps including Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio, Slacker Radio, OpenBeak, Pandora, Scout by TeleNav and SYNC Destinations powered by INRIX, while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.