Connected Cars – What Wikipedia Can’t Tell You

Frederique Bros
on 28 January 2014

Forget about getting out of your old street directory, like using your mobile phone, some cars are now able to go online for directions.

Connected cars” are those aptly named cars that interact with Smartphone apps to perform handy functions such as the ability to unlock car doors, measure battery life, locate your car in a busy car park and pre-activate the air conditioner on a hot day.

The ability for connected cars to access real-time, location-based information whilst driving will also be of huge value. They provide information on road conditions, emergency or roadside assistance and nearby parking spots. This demand for convenient, real-time information has provided opportunities for car insurance companies to serve their customers better. AAMI’s Claims Assist App is such an example as it allows a driver to collect key information at an accident scene, including GPS look-up to retrieve the location and time. This information is then sent directly to AAMI to help assist in claims.

However, there are a few hurdles that connected cars must overcome if they are to reach the mass market.

Phones are Quicker Than Cars

At the moment, smartphones are updated quicker than cars. There are serious challenges for the automotive industry to speed up their manufacturing of cars. For mobile technology, operating system updates and new applications can be released almost in the blink of an eye. Whereas cars can take a few years to be updated, developed and then released. Imagine your dashboard is asking you to update to the latest software but you have an early version of the connected car. Like updating an iPhone 4 with iOS 7, if you were to do so there’s a high chance the system could crash!

You Might Need an iPhone When Deciding on Your Next Car

Hyundai, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Ferrari and Kia were just some of the manufacturers who recently partnered up with Apple to integrate their ‘iOS in The Car’ system in 2014. It appears that the choice of car operating system is becoming even more important to manufacturers as smartphone sales increase. It also looks like car dealers and salespeople will need to spend more time talking about how to use a car’s advanced technology than how well the car actually drives on the road.

Why is My Mobile Bill so High?

Soon the car could become a new type of connected device like our smartphones and tablets, and like those gadgets, these connected cars may require data plans. Will consumers now need to add their car as a device to their existing mobile plan? Australian mobile providers might need to rethink their business models and the plans they offer consumers as roaming and data usage increase. Currently, in the United States, the plan is for connected cars to be linked to a specific carrier. In Europe, a slot in the dash will conveniently take any carrier’s SIM card. Unfortunately, there is no news on what will happen in Australia just yet.

Connected cars may sound like a futuristic concept for most drivers. However, the reality is that these cars are coming and once they overcome the hurdles, they expect to see them on the road very soon.

This article is presented by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807, AFSL 230859 trading as AAMI and contains advice of a general nature only. AAMI does not accept liability for any loss incurred by reliance on this article. If you are interested in finding out more about AAMI car insurance products, visit to read the PDS for the product you are interested in.

Image Credit: Deposit Photo

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