Connected Cars @ CES

Car tech at CES has almost always been about audio equipment, but this year we saw several companies that were laying out plans to change the future of not how we drive, but how we interact with vehicles.

It’s truly sad how long this change has taken, and even now, the technologies we will detail will not show up in the majority of new models. There are no plans to implement these new technologies in older vehicles or even newer 2009 and 2010 models. Such a drastic change will come at the huge price of purchasing a brand-new vehicle. Considering today’s economy and the increase in used car sales, we can only hope that what you see in the coming pages may one day make it to your car and ours.

However, one of the biggest factors we discussed with car and software specialists is safety, and how new technologies can disrupt that. Because we know all too well the dangers of technology, we have inquired as to the safety measures and precautions of every new system to see what companies are doing to ensure the best and safest driving experience. More On CES

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  • That application for the OnStar looks amazing. I hope there is some sort of intent to actually do that with any OnStar subscriber.
  • OnStar can do all the functions on your car that the phone allows (perhaps not the car charging since that's specific for the Volt), but all of the other functions should be available pretty soon for all OnStar-enabled vehicles.
  • Considering this article is about "Car Tech" and Verizon Mifi is mentioned... what about Autonet? I believe they attended CES this year. I know its a similar service, but their goal is to be statically installed in cars like OnStar is for its services. Where Mifi is limited to 5 users, I think Autonet is unlimited. $29 a month for 1GB data, $59 a month for 5GB to have a Wifi router service in your car.
  • Autonet currently has minimal true applications, as most people who drive don't really use Wi-Fi in the car since most drivers drive alone. Obviously, there is a reason to want Wi-Fi, but currently it isn't worth it for car companies to install in vehicles. Why it isn't even an option, I don't know, but the point of enabling Wi-Fi in Ford's vehicles isn't to actually connect to the internet, but rather through the car's intranet. That way, users could connect their phones or devices via the car's Wi-Fi instead of individually.
  • I agree that people who are driving don't particularly use Wifi and I get that Ford's approach is interesting. I was a little confused on how you described their method but I re-read the Ford article and it mentions the ability to use your phone's internet connection to pull data to the user interface in the car. Neat stuff. Autonet does have some positives to it though. Its cheap for browsing purposes. Mobile hotspot for $29 a month isn't bad. People that don't have 3G on their phone but do have Wifi can use this, or carry a laptop and have a need to get on the internet. Its capability to reach 100-150ft (according to their site). This would be useful in cases where you could be on a trip and multiple parties can get online from a hotel room, (definately not a hotel room in vegas, heh!) Or a restaurant. I am just thinking outside just the car here. Having a mobile hotspot has value. So with the multi-user in car, you also get it outside of the car.

    There are applications for Autonet in the marketplace. I believe it hasn't yet been realized. OnStar at one point was only an option with different car manufacturers. Autonet is currently is going through this phase.