A colleague in the AutoAid offices recently saw me playing with my smartphone and stated that they remembered when mobile phones were just, phones. The teenage generation won’t remember this of course, and their whole lives are wrapped up in these tiny little boxes of technology.
But, cars are also becoming more and more than just a means to transport one from ‘a to b’ as well, mainly thanks to technology, and partly so they can integrate with other technologies in daily use…like smart phones.
A previous article referred to cars of the 1970’s when a cassette radio player was an optional extra for many manufacturers. By default, in 2018, your new car won’t only come with a fully up to date stereo with colour touch screen, but the ‘stereo’ itself will have morphed into an ‘entertainment’ centre.
Sat-nav nowadays is as common as a roast on Sundays. But, when sat-nav first became available to the mainstream, it was as an additional ”add on’ accessory that would sit on your dash. Smart phones of course often come with maps included, and not just ordinary maps either; maps that are constantly updating to take into consideration events and congestion that may lay ahead. So, your integrated sat-nav may have this useful feature too, but many car entertainment centres also use a form of wireless connectivity to link phones to the car speakers. This means running maps on your phone, could be communicated to the car through it’s speakers if you have the likes of Apple Car Play on the stereo and an Apple phone…
The good old entertainment centre is a little more useful though in many cars now aside from just playing your favourite tuneage streamed wirelessly from the internet – many cars have cameras and proximity sensors and when, for example, you select reverse on some vehicles, you are treated to a view of what’s behind your car thanks to a nifty mini camera which connects to your colour touch screen.
Got kids? Back in the day a packet of sweets and an iSpy book would keep them happy for ages on long car journeys. Nowadays, if you don’t have internet or wifi you are considered a social pariah, something that hasn’t gone un-noticed by modern car manufacturers who cleverly build in wi-fi hot spots to some cars to allow passengers to share ‘data’.