Is the connected-car ready for prime-time action in 2015? image

With drivers and automakers equally excited about the bright future of the connected-car and autonomous era, there are still questions to be answered before we journey in our brand new, utterly smart vehicles.

This year there was a plethora of interesting developments when it comes to the segment, as more and more carmakers are joining the upcoming autonomous race, we were able to use built-in cellular data plans in our new cars and smartphone interfaces popped up all over the place. And, because the now intertwined technology and auto industry are getting ready for their first big shows – the CES in Las Vegas and NAIAS in Detroit – let’s see if some of our burning questions would get some answers in 2015.

First off, with the introduction of car-4G connectivity, we’re facing an added bill (in the US, at least) – are customers going to cope with yet another cellular bill? 3G and ultra fast 4G connectivity – essentially turning the car into a rolling Wi-Fi hotspot – are popping up everywhere, but you’ll have to add the cost next to your smartphone’s bill.

Is vehicle-to-vehicle communication ready, as regulators want? In terms of safety, having the cars essentially “talk” to each other, even if it’s on a short-range basis, would be a major step forward.

Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto were presented this year, but will they be ready for the 2015 vehicles – and most of all, would they be reliable? If your smartphone sometimes crashes, has bugs and is slowed down often – how will your car react and the driver to such occurrences?

And last, but truly the most important question – who’s going to lead the autonomous race? For sure, we’re still years away from seeing the first driverless cars reach the masses, but the battle has already started. That is, among technology companies – such as Google – and the traditional manufacturers.

Via Automotive News