Have you seen lately anyone using a cell phone without touchscreen technology? But how about cars that were produced a decade ago at least?
While the answer to the first question will probably require a memory effort to scan for the last person using a “brick” – how cell phones of old are now traditionally referred to, the answer to the second is much easier because older cars are easy to spot because they’re very common. While the new vehicles today are increasingly becoming smartphones on wheels, there’s a key difference between the technology field and the automotive industry. The key is simple – how often do you change your smartphone (traditional average lifespan is two years, usually the span of a contract with your operator) and how often would you change your ride? Yes, the smartphones we center our life around today are not built to last for decades – automobiles do.
“Since the hardware in the car is fixed, our engineers have worked to make the software more efficient so that we can expand the vocabulary and improve the speed,” says Arnd Weil, vice-president of automotive at Nuance Communications, the company that delivers in car voice recognition software for products that don’t come from Google. The executive explained that since most automotive electronics can’t be upgraded hardware wise after release, they can have updated software functionality. This is a method used to great success by Tesla Motors, the youngest publicly traded US automaker, which recently introduced self-driving features via an over the air software upgrade.