'Every new car' connected to the web by 2014


In 2003, it became illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone whilst driving a car. But now 10 years on, car manufacturers are investing millions of pounds hoping that technology, which we regularly use on smart phones, could change the way we use our cars.


The connected car is already the third fastest growing technological device after a mobile phone and tablets, according to Intel.


Jack Bergquist of information company IHS said "Over 50% of consumers would be swayed by the presence of an internet-capable device."


In the future could apps like these be 'the norm' in new cars? 


Thousands of motoring Apps are already available for smart phones: you can search for the price of fuel at petrol stations local to you, then decide to drive a short distance further for cheaper fuel, you can find parking spaces (in some major cities) and find garages local to you. 


Jack Bergquist says "By the end of 2014, for some of the bigger brands, every vehicle they sell will offer some sort of connectivity, If you look at a cost to design a completely new car model, some companies are spending around a third of the budget just on the in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) and the in-car technology around the system".


Could more technology in cars cause more crashes?


Safety groups have expressed concerns; they say that by adding many ‘gadgets’ to your vehicle, you don’t give the road 100% of your concentration. This is shown in the US as around 25% of all accidents are caused by mobile phones in some way according to The National Safety council.


The EU however is using in-car technology to boost safety in vehicles, as they outset in their plans that by 2015 all new vehicles will be fitted with the eCall system - a tracking device that will automatically alert the emergency services in the event of an accident.


Are there risks to all this new technology?


Road safety isn’t the only concern; security risks could also be increased when adding more technology to vehicles, for example security consultants were able to ‘hack’ a vehicle, allowing them to open the doors and start up the car’s engine. John Leech of KPMG said "Theoretically, hacking is possible, but car companies are very aware of that risk and busily preparing themselves, connected cars will have to be released with appropriately designed security to prevent that hacking".


The future...


Whilst no one can predict the future, we can be sure that car manufacturers will continue to develop new computer systems for their vehicles, adding the latest mod cons and they will continue to develop ways to make their vehicles stand up to the test of time and out do their competitors.


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