We live in the era of connectivity. From planes to coffee shops and buses to shopping centres, we expect to be able to get online no matter where we are. Whilst in-car WiFi isn’t a new concept for 2015, it’s set to become increasingly popular with many manufacturers introducing built-in telematics. This will allow passengers to connect to a wireless network (goodbye, wailing kids on long journeys) and even allow you to download and use apps designed specifically for your vehicle! Find out more about in-car WiFi in our article In-Car WiFi: The Essentials.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
In 2015 we’re set to see Apple and Android up their in-car game with more vehicles allowing integration with your mobile device.
Whilst many manufacturers have their own systems, many are starting to realise that rather than developing their own software which continually needs to be updating, they could create a system which integrates with our chosen device and let the app developers do the hard work.
Initially launched in 2014, Apple’s CarPlay provides a smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car. Simply plug your phone in via lightening cable and you’re off. As Apple themselves say; “You can get directions, make calls, send and receive message, and listen to music, all in a way that allows you to stay focused on the road. Just plug in your iPhone and go.”
With currently supported apps including Spotify and Podcasts, using CarPlay is like turning your entire car in to a giant iPhone. It’s currently only available in the Ferrari FF, but this will soon be joined by Mercedes, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Audi and a whole host of other committed partners in 2015.
For those who haven’t jumped on the Apple bandwagon, Android Auto is the one for you! Designed with safety in mind the interface is, in the words of Android; “simple and intuitive” with “integrated steering wheel controls and powerful new voice actions, it’s designed to minimise distraction so that you can stay focused on the road” now we like the sound of that!
As with CarPlay, you simply plug and play. Android Auto will soon be available from manufacturers such as Audi, Kia, Ford, Hyundai, Maserati and more.
The Changing Face of Radio
Remember having a tape player in the car? Well, that’s the way that the in-car CD player is headed. With digital music leaping ahead of physical CD sales in the UK over the past decade, it comes as no surprise that the motor industry is keen to keep up.
Wave goodbye to traditional CD players as Bluetooth streaming devices, DAB Digital radios, and even USB ports are built-in to newer models, and aftermarket kits are developed.
Nope, we’re not talking about your usual TV/DVD player combo. Multimedia systems in the motoring world mean something slightly different. Offering all of the benefits of a Bluetooth streaming system, you also enjoy built-in sat nav, internet connectivity, apps and access to your full list of contacts and music library. All with a built-in display for ease of use!
We’ve all seen the videos of the Google driverless car on the internet, but 2015 marks the year that manufacturers will really start the race for the first autonomous car. Although we’re still a long way off being able to hop in the car and get some shut-eye whilst travelling to work, we’re going to start seeing more and more autonomous features being introduced this year including adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping alerts. Read more at TechCrunch.
So there you have it four trends to keep your eye on in the motor industry in 2015. If you want to get in on the action take a look at the range of in-car technology available to buy.