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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Are Connected Cars the Way of the Future?

What if your car was capable of communicating over a wireless network that would inform you of any dangers from other drivers or traffic problems?
Many people would say anything that improves safety is a definite plus for society. Others would argue connecting everything from vehicles and home theater systems to toothbrushes and classroom furniture borders on insanity — if not dangerous.

Smarter Cars: Ideal or Dangerous?

Why would anyone in their right mind think safer, smarter cars are undesirable or dangerous? After all, anything that can prevent an accident has the potential to save lives. Perhaps it isn’t the function of the technology they find unwise, but rather the technology itself.
The basic technology of connected cars allows vehicles to communicate with each other, as well as with traffic infrastructures that are setup for the network. So, for example, if a driver is approaching an intersection and another vehicle decides to run through the red light, a connected car will alert the driver to this hazard, allowing them to take preventative actions for safety and accident avoidance.
The potential for danger lies in how connected cars communicate. All information is sent and received via a wireless network. Unless advances can be made to make wireless networks completely secure and hacker-proof, the potential for chaos is present. Aside from domestic threats from weekend hackers just looking to cause a little trouble, imagine what could happen if the worst were to occur and foreign enemies gained access to the network.
Moreover, there is talk a government mandate is in the works that may require automakers to use the technology. Many people feel the government requires far too many mandates already and one more regulation is one step further away from freedom.
Even so, there is no denying the positive potential of connected cars. It may take 10-30 more years for the system to be fully realized, but some of the safety features included in the entire system are already being used today. Lane departure warnings, blind spot aid and forward-collision warnings are options on many vehicles currently in production. It only makes sense this technology would continue to evolve to make driving as safe as it possibly can be.

The Future of the Driving Experience

Government mandates or not, it’s a pretty safe bet connected cars will eventually become the norm. We are a technologically motivated society, always on the look for the next advancement that can make our lives more efficient, safer and enjoyable. As such, perhaps by the time this technology makes its way to the mainstream, the infrastructure and security risks that turn some people off to the idea will have been addressed and perfected.

Guest Author Byline:  
Guest post by CJ. She blogs regularly about technology news, whether it’s the future of transportation or the newest innovations in classroom furniture. 

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