How Apps Are Revolutionising The Driving Experience

How Apps Are Revolutionising The Driving Experience

January 20, 2016 Written by Mark
How Apps Are Revolutionising The Driving Experience
When the iPhone came out, back in 2007 it made mainstream a new tool for improving everyday life. The App Store was made mobile, allowing users to instantly access a million different possible applications on the go. Hundreds of thousands of applications were developed, ranging from mobile banking to route planning. To quote Apple's advertising slogan of the time: There's an App for that!
Over the past nine years, this market has boomed. Apps have taken over our everyday lives one step at a time, moving their way towards integrated functionality with a whole array of products. They have helped drivers in a multitude of ways — satellite navigation, petrol station locations, in-car entertainment, repair cost estimations, traffic indexing, traffic meter measuring, and even shutting or opening your garage door.
These apps have proven useful in the past, but the future is now and it promises complete app integration with the driving experience.
Before, and until this moment, cars have been able to use apps to monitor their environment. Petrol stations, traffic meter measuring, repair cost estimations — all of these are great apps, however, they only measure external stimuli. Mobile phones have not yet been able to integrate with the cars to the level that they are potentially doing now. Now they can monitor the car directly.
Apps like Automatic, Hyundai Blue Link, and Vauxhall On-Star are offering a new level of app functionality for cars. These are designed to make the drive as seamless as possible; something beyond what it is now, creating the ultimate experience for all drivers.

What do these apps allow the driver to do?

Let's take a look in more detail.
Starting with third party integrated apps, like Automatic, these allow for the driver to locate their car, check the car status (such as oil/petrol), and monitor the car’s performance. They give hints as to driving style to save fuel, saving money and potentially allowing for greener drivers.
The manufacturer-made apps can go into more detail, and this is where it gets truly amazing. Apps like Vauxhall's On-Star allow for everything the third party apps allow for and more depending on the manufacturer. Vauxhall, for instance, has invested a large amount of money in their technology. As a result of which their app can do so much more.
Vauxhall On-Star, as one example of a manufacturer app, allows for complete internal monitoring including tyre pressure. The program allows you to find your car, honk the horn (just in case you still can't find it), and unlock your car from anywhere on the planet. It can control the in-car entertainment system as well as sat-nav from a distance. Routes can be planned well before a driver enters the car, with the sat-nav syncing with the car on route. All of these are simple but amazing innovations.

What about the future?

The future promises James Bond-like innovations in the world of automotive. Self-driving cars will allow drivers to be picked up and dropped off at locations of their choice, with their car finding them instead of them finding their car. This may sound like the stuff of science fiction but the developments are already beginning.
Cars that can park themselves hit the market at the start of 2015, with tech taking over from the driver to perform flawless parallel parking. Now the technology is being developed to get a car back out of the parking space simply by tapping an app. It may seem like a small development, moving the control from inside to outside the car, but small developments lead to great things.
The world of automotive app integration is a bright one, and one which promises incredible developments in the years to come.


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