While many business entities are pursuing the development of self-driving vehicles, the actual connections in cars will come well before full autonomy.
One example of this is T-Mobile’s updated Syncup Drive, a connected car feature compatible with many cars already on the road.
The newly modified app shows gas prices in nearby stations, and provides on a dashboard an overview of the car’s condition, with color-coded icons to prioritize what needs attention first and a virtual glovebox that stores a digital copy of insurance, registration and maintenance records.
The Syncup Drive feature turns a car into mobile hotspot with in-vehicle Wi-Fi, helps locate the location of the car when parked and analyzes driving behavior.
Like other similar systems, this one plugs into the car’s on-board diagnostic port, a standard feature on most cars manufactured after 1996.
The system costs $4 a month, since it’s really a service rather than a product.
This type of car connectivity is becoming more common, whether supplied by carriers like T-Mobile, Verizon or AT&T, or auto manufacturers.
The features are aimed at enhancing a driver’s experience rather than replacing the driver.
While many drivers still prefer to do the driving themselves, they could be open to increased connectivity to help them along.