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Connected Cars Pose Challenges to Auto Makers

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On: Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 2:07PM | By: Elizabeth Puckett


Connected Cars Pose Challenges to Auto Makers

The federal government has auto manufacturers in a state of suspense—new rules are expected over the next few months which could open the doors for connected cars. The new rulings might jump start the market for automobiles which can communicate with the road itself as well as other cars. The anticipation of these cars won’t come without trouble to auto makers, however. Car companies face real challenges to bring this technology to fruition should the government open the gate to make the technology possible.

The first goal of the government, when it comes to dealing with the issue of connected cars, is to reduce auto accidents, followed by the reduction of emissions and improving the flow of traffic. Upcoming rulings could have a huge impact on the future of vehicles. Technology could even make it possible for vehicles to drive themselves!

A connected car is a vehicle which is connected to the internet for the purpose of sharing internet access with onboard and outboard devices. Web-enabled vehicles are on the horizon and they’ll do a lot more than you might imagine. Beyond just accessing Facebook or sending out an email, they will likely be able to schedule oil changes automatically and place an order for dinner.

These cars will be smartphones on wheels, but they face some major production obstacles already, even without the government green-light to start building cars that can talk to the road.

The most obvious obstacle is going to be the timeline of developing these vehicles. While many experts are saying 90% of all cars will be connected by 2020; that’s not a lot of time to develop the needed technology to make these changes happen. The current major auto makers might actually fall behind in this area, leaving the industry wide open for innovators of a different kind.

Safety laws could also cause some major problems for auto manufacturers as regulations are probably going to increase 10-fold over the next 10 or so years. Many are saying we’ll see laws like Europe’s mandates that all vehicles are equipped with eCall, a technology that alerts emergency personnel of the location of a serious accident.

Another major challenge the auto makers face is who will pick up the bill for expensive development of technology and use in their vehicles. Also, they haven't decided who will pay for the services, and how to convince people to use them. If prices skyrocket, that could impact sales in a somewhat fragile industry.

The biggest of all obstacles will come when it’s time to meet those expectations of making self-driving cars. Auto makers have a long way to go in the areas of adapted speeds, braking technologies, GPS navigation, and more before a car could actually operate independently.

These obstacles could make cars that can communicate with the road and drive themselves a pipedream for decades to come.




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