June 14, 2012 in General Motor Trade News & Info
I know, I know, we talk a lot about futuristic designs and the possibilities of car technologies in the next few years but it’s within good reason! The evolution of cars is upon us. With the popularity of social media, smartphones, the Internet, EVERYTHING is changing and if you don’t believe me, check out this concept for a kettle that tweets, or to some extent a toilet that tweets however I can’t help but think Facebook would be more suiting to the toilet considering most people’s statuses are ‘full of Sh**t’. Sorry.
Anyway, this evolution has us all guessing what will come next for the motor trade industry. These kind of changes are not gimmicks, however they might seem. They are becoming as normal as CD players, Radios, Sat Navs, Cup Holders and tons of other car accessories.
Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, and Ford all have products in the works and we should be seeing them as soon as Spring. Ford Motors was actually the first one to start incorporating modern communication systems into their dashboards with their ‘Sync technology’. Now users will be able to interact with their Twitter account, watch streaming video, and get their news right from the drivers seat.
But wait, isn’t that a bit worrying? Right from the drivers seat? Hm, as if there wasn’t enough concern from calling/texting while driving now we might have drivers watching ‘funny cat falls over’ on Youtube. I’m sure it wont all be like that, though. Road safety is a massive consideration when manufacturing car entertainment and although these forms of social media are being integrated into car technology, they will be aimed to be non-distracting to the driver of the vehicle.
A Canadian software company called QNX created an app platform that they’re hoping will turn your car into the ultimate mobile device. The platform has been installed into a reference vehicle, a Jeep Wrangler Sahara. The main pitch behind the QNX’s platform is stating that like anything cars struggle to keep up to date with fast moving technology, Hell, my car has a state of the art surround system but no Aux port for my MP3 Player! But the QNX plans to keep up to date with the social media platforms for the forthcoming future, which makes sense considering a powerful computer can run most common and well used applications and processes and updated social networks would not involve a hardware update.
The QNX system is more than a few screens stuck onto an existing car. Oh, no, the QNX basically IS the car. Everything behind the vehicle display is connected to a unified software platform. The instrument cluster behind the wheel is software-based and “can reconfigure itself on the fly to display various types of information,” says QNX’s Paul Leroux.
“We created the reference vehicle for three reasons: to show how automakers can create a custom look-and-feel for multiple vehicle lines from a single, cost-effective code base; to show how drivers can easily re-skin the dashboard to suit their personal tastes and interests; and to show how application developers can create apps that adopt the vehicle’s look and feel,” said Andy Gryc, automotive product marketing manager, QNX Software Systems.
Watch the making of the QNX reference vehicle here: