CES brought forward some of the biggest trends that will shape technology as it moves into 2020, and few were bigger than the movement of digital helpers from the home to the vehicle. According to Digital Trends, big tech forces are coming together to provide in-car assistance, meaning that drivers can continue to manage their home and work life even when on the road. While safety concerns always surround new in-car tech developments, the way these new technologies are being developed suggests that this way of working can be safe and effective.
Bringing the luxury feel
This focus on developing new in-car tech comes for a good reason. Research reported by CBS USA has shown that new car buyers are focused on the latest tech, with many hoping to gain the luxury feel of cutting-edge features that prestige vehicles often have, with the likes of Hummer, Porsche and Lincoln designed to have new technology with each new model. By bringing assistants into the car, drivers will be able to have that level of assistance that imparts a feeling of luxury.
Using smartphones on the road has given rise to some of the most startling road safety statistics of the 21 st century. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 3,166 deaths in 2017 alone (most recent statistics) due to distracted driving, with smartphone use a huge driver of this. The benefit of systems like the Google Helper and Alexa is that they take all hand interaction away. Users will not be tempted to grab their phone, and can dictate their day’s business while always remaining focused on the road.
The next step to automation?
Driverless cars have taken longer than expected to become a common occurrence, according to the NY Times, and this is true; the technology has stalled since Tesla’s 2016-2017 driverless tests. With the move of assistants to the car, some aspects of automated motoring are becoming a reality – things like small and simple driving adjustments, such as to bring the car up the drive, or voice activation for doors and other elements of the vehicle. With these small steps, it may be that automation of vehicles becomes closer to an everyday occurrence than ever before.
In-car gadgets are some of the most exciting tech released every year, and 2019-2020 will be dominated by assistive technology. The big tech companies’ helpers are finding their ways into the vehicle, and this can only benefit consumers. Long-term, this might be the ideal bridge to automatic cars becoming common.