Connected Cars Could Face Bumps in the Road

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Anyone with a love of technology and cars is likely up to speed on the connected car. The penultimate dream is a car with a heads-up windshield display that manages just about everything that enhances the in-car experience – from maps and music to engine monitoring and whatever other futuristic features developers can think of. No knobs, no touchpads – just one big connected machine that has all the bells and whistles you can possibly think of…literally.

But there is one potential problem. All of this functionality means always-on connectivity to the Internet. Given that driving through stretches of road in remote regions can kill even a phone call, what does that mean for all the other apps that will rely on cellular signals? A recent article cites a report from OpenSignal that says motorists along the 68 main highways in the U.S. can’t find a mobile signal from any of the four the big networks 5% of the time. That’s a lot of cumulative downtime when you think about it. And could potentially put a whole new spin on road rage.

“Of course we all think that talking cars is brand new territory but the trucking industry in particular has been doing some pretty amazing stuff in this vein for some time. Daimler engineers in North America for example have been extending telemetry functions in their trucks to do more than monitor miles and speed. They’ve also been monitoring truck engines in real time so drivers can be advised when it’s time to pull off the road and check things out.

And let us not forget Grand Prix racing, where every tiny performance detail – including the driver’s vital signs – are integrated into one big connected entity.

So if professional drivers and their engineers have figured it all out, we can all probably get to the same end.

What do you think? How much could dropped signals on the road make or break the connected car experience?

By the Cel-Fi Team

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