With the increasing demand for connectivity, connected cars are set to become an integral part of our lives. By 2027, the market is expected to soar to over $215 billion. Connected cars are not only expected to be safer and less harmful to the environment, but capable of redefining mobility as we know it.
Five ways a connected car will benefit us in the future:
1. Personalised and tailored experience
Every driver is different, so it comes as no surprise that we each want something different from our experience behind the wheel. One driver might want a real-time look at their planned route or fuel consumption while others might be more interested in listening to a podcast.
Whatever the need, or expectation, around In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI), connected cars will be able to learn and personalise the experience to match the driver.
2. Vehicle to Vehicle (V-2-V) communication
Connected cars can capture a wealth of information that can be shared and used by other drivers. From intelligence on traffic and road conditions to speed limits, V-2-V communication allows this data to be exchanged wirelessly from one connected car to another.
Using this information, drivers or the autonomous vehicle can make more informed decisions about their routes and take action to change course. In some instances, it can even help reduce accidents.
3. Internet connectivity on the go
A McKinsey report revealed that connectivity features are becoming increasingly important for consumers. In fact, 60% of people would switch car brands completely if it meant they could have more in-vehicle connectivity.
Since September 2019, and in partnership with Netstar (a subsidiary of Altron), all Toyota’s vehicles (passenger and light commercial vehicles) in South African have the device rolled off the floor with in-car Wi-Fi capability. This feature allows drivers and passengers to be connected even when they’re on the road.
Netstar MD, Pierre Bruwer, says the growth in connected mobility is gathering pace in South Africa: “Our partnership with Toyota South Africa is just the beginning and we are also working on the power of connected devices in the commercial fleet sector to enable improved telematics and business opportunities,” he says. “Consider for a moment a small business owner with a connected fleet. Drivers will be able to facilitate online payments from customers with handheld payment devices. Suddenly your tracking device becomes a tool for communication, telematics and enables business.”
4. Enhanced security
A connected car can support an array of security features, like real-time tracking, automatic SOS calls in the event of an accident and cybersecurity updates. Using these enhanced security features, connected cars will be able to warn drivers when they’re entering an area that’s notorious for smash and grabs, for instance.
Bruwer says real-time data allows for instantaneous alerts to any threats to the driver and the occupants. “At Netstar, we are also using algorithms to predict future danger areas based on trends and data analysis. This way we can keep ahead of the criminals.”
5. Geofencing for younger or less experienced drivers
Geofences are invisible borders on a map that limit where connected cars are allowed to drive. Vehicle owners can set up these boundaries to make sure that younger or less experienced drivers don’t travel beyond these borders.
If the car is driven beyond set borders, the owner will be alerted so that they can ensure the driver gets back on route.
More and more connected car features are being explored every day, which demonstrates how integral connectivity is to the future of mobility. And with advanced connection comes real-time peace of mind.