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Summary:

When you think about a “connected car,” you probably think of fancy car stereos that can play tunes from your smartphone. But the connected car is evolving into something much more complex. Here’s what coming down the road.

future car cloud
photo: Shutterstock

When you think about a “connected car,” you probably think of fancy car stereos that can play songs from  your smartphone. But the connected car is evolving into something much more complex. In the next couple of years, automakers like Ford, GM, BMW and Honda will be pushing way beyond the dashboard to connect our cars in all kinds of new ways. Our cars won’t just be connected to our phones and the internet, but to other cars and even the highway itself.

And automakers aren’t the only ones vying for a piece of the connected car of the future. Carriers see the car as the next big device on their networks, while device makers like Apple and technology developers like Nuance Communications want to ditch the whole concept of a dashboard screen and replace it with a system of voice-activated commands. When that happens, we’ll be able not only to dictate emails while driving– we’ll be able to program our home TVs from the car, too.

But building a connected car presents some unusual challenges. For one, if carmakers don’t pick the right technology, they can be handcuffed for years. The planning for a new car starts years before it hits the showrooms, and carmakers then have to continue to support those technologies for as long as their customers are driving those vehicles.  If they make a bad technology bet, carmakers can be living with the consequences for a long time.

Another challenge: Open development platforms have allowed companies like Google and Apple to thrive, but carmakers can’t fully take advantage of that movement: For safety reasons, they can’t just give developers access to, say, the engine — they need to have some restrictions.

Hover over the yellow buttons to see how we at GigaOM see the connected car evolving in the coming years:

Image of a connected car

Image map by Rani Molla

Click here for a text version. 

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  1. In this Technology Boom nothing is impossible to do.. Few Days back Connected Televisions and connected Cameras. Now Its Vehicles Turn to connect to the Technology.. anyway infographic pics are really awesome and informatic.

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  2. Why not make the rear windows interactive touchscreen? That’s what WOO aims to do http://en.www.netexplo.org/laureat/woo-windows-of-opportunity

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  3. Stephen McCurry Thursday, February 7, 2013

    The implications for connected cat technology are far reaching. The ability to understand driving behavior means that it is possible to understand exactly what a vehicle has endured during its lifetime. Therefore bringing accuracy and transparency to pricing in the 2nd hand vehicle market. Likewise, for the driver they can have a driving passport which indicates what type of driver they are based on actual driving experience. The driving passport can be used to set insurance premiums or hire car rental prices based on how you are likely to treat the vehicle.

    Car sharing will come of age because the technology to locate and open the vehicle remotely will be built into every vehicle. The idea of the car as a utility becomes a reality.

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  4. Wonderful infographic. We have a University Transportation Center( UTC) at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute that works with researchers to support projects with connected vehicles(CVI). To learn more about CVI-UTC research visit their website:http://www.connectedvehicleinfrastructure-utc.org/

    Thanks,
    Cecilia Elpi
    Events/External Relations Coordinator; Virginia Tech Transportation Institute

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  5. Wow really looks nice. The Dashboard of a car seems to be a great idea. Through this you can able get maximum of information regarding a car and similarly for other vehicle. It is really good concept for the next generation of cars. Thank full to GigaOm to make this happen. Its an innovative thought. So congratulation for it.

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