13 Apps to Make Your Car Smarter

13 Apps to Make Your Car Smarter

Advances in computers, smartphones, wireless communications and cloud computing are converging. This technology explosion is changing the world we live in, forcing entire industries to evolve or die. The advent of technologically smart vehicles means that automakers have try to keep pace with tech development companies. The smart vehicle market is expected to be worth $274 billion by 2017, according to Strategy Analytics, and global IT giants are eyeing the smart car market. Vehicles connected to the Internet are becoming valuable data resources for weather and traffic conditions. Who will have control of the data?

As customers request more and more connected services for their cars, PSA Peugeot Citroen’s David Allard believes automakers will have to learn from startups about creating a flexible management structure. “I think as automakers the challenge is more organizational than anything,” said Allard, who works directly with third-party app developers. The challenges the auto industry faces, depict the power of TIDE.

Telematics (Telecommunications and Informatics)

According to the Auto Alliance, some of the most innovative new technologies now available for your car includes apps that allow cars to “see” all around, gathering data on possible roadway concerns and alerting drivers to dangers around them. Since more than ninety percent of crashes involve driver error, automakers developed a range of safety systems that aid drivers for brief periods to help avoid accidents such as blind spot warnings, adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, and telematics control systems.

Looking forward, cars may soon be communicating with each other, and to the road itself. Car-to-car information sharing can alert vehicles behind when cars ahead have come to a halt, warning drivers to prepare to slow down. “Smart” intersections will allow stop signs and traffic lights to communicate with vehicles, as sensors report when a vehicle is running a red light. Traffic lights could be synchronized to improve traffic flow — and fuel efficiency.

A study by McKinsey Global Institute found that the auto industry will be the second largest data producer this year, 2015. Much of that data will come from the car itself through sensors and integrated devices. Additional data will come from connected devices used by a vehicle’s occupants or from third-party sources like traffic reports and weather sites.

Driver Assists

An entirely new class of auto technologies called Driver Assists are today’s innovative, must-have systems.The same way electronic stability control (ESC) systems help with vehicle stability, driver assists help by giving a warning about potential hazards or by controlling your car’s systems for fractions of seconds in emergencies. Some Driver Assists also help with parking, enhancing roadway vision or keeping your hands on the wheel.

Control and vision aids allow drivers to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Here are fourteen of the newest technology-driven apps that will make driving safer:

1. Backup Cameras on the exterior of your car display images of your surroundings on a dashboard screen or rear-view mirrors. Some rear-view cameras also track the pathway of your car as it moves. In the future, “dash-cam” recordings will capture travel video.

2. Backup Collision Prevention helps reduce the possibility of backing into objects by automatically applying your vehicle’s brakes.

3. Night Vision uses an infrared camera to scan the road at night or in low light to help detect pedestrians, animals or other objects. Pre-crash video will be recorded to collect data about the causes of crashes.

4. Forward Collision Warning uses radar, sensors or cameras to detects other vehicles or objects in front of your car and generates an alert if you are closing in too quickly.

5. Forward Collision Mitigation or Prevention advances forward collision warning to actively engage the car’s brakes, either to slow your car or attempt to fully stop it before a potential crash.

6. Adaptive Cruise Control measures the distance between your car and the car ahead. If that distance grows short, it automatically slows your car to compensate, maintaining a safe distance.

7. Pedestrian Detection uses cameras and sensors to watch for pedestrians and automatically applies brakes to help prevent a collision.

8. Blind Spot Monitoring detects other vehicles in your car’s blind spot and warns you that another vehicle is in the lane beside you. These are likely to be enhanced to capture real time digital records of your last few minutes of travel.

9. Active Blind Spot Control takes Blind Spot Monitoring to the next level to steer your car back into its lane if you try to change lanes when another vehicle is in an adjacent lane.

10. Lane Departure Warning detects lane markings on a roadway and notifies you if you drift out of your lane. This technology will be enhanced to communicate with turn signals and other on-board systems to improve safety.

11. Lane Departure Prevention steers your car back into its lane if it drifts to either side.

12. Drowsy Driver Warning uses sophisticated algorithms to analyze steering, braking and throttle inputs and alerts you if you may be showing signs of fatigue. This app will evolve into a means to utilize other on-board systems to bring the vehicle to a safe off-road stop.

13. Active Park Assist uses the cameras and sensors of the other avoidance safety systems mentioned above to automatically park your vehicle.

Visit www.YouTube.com/DriverAssists and see these technologies in action.

The Future of Techy Vehicles

Artificial intelligence is rapidly becoming a key battleground for tech firms, with self-driving cars seen as one of the first practical applications for the technology. Baidu is going head to head with Google in the race to move self-drive cars onto the road. Baidu will launch its first driverless car in the second half of 2015. Baidu does not agree with Google’s pursuit of a completely autonomous car, hoping instead to develop a vehicle that will retain the traditional pedals but give the driver greater freedom.

How is technology driving change in your industry? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

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