With pretty much every facet of our lives now web-connected, one of the last untapped regions is that of inside your car. But according to market analysis firm Strategy Analytics, almost 90 percent of vehicles produced in North America and Europe will have some form of wireless connectivity in 2016.
“The rapid market adoption of Bluetooth, 3G, GPS and smartphones will drive huge growth in the demand for connected infotainment in the vehicle”, says Jo Blight, Director, Global Automotive Practice. “Our surveys show email, maps, navigation, music and radio are the top priorities for consumers, but it will be in HMI and software where the automotive competitive battles are set to be won and lost.”
Opera and Ford are among the first companies partnered together to bring a web browsing experience inside the car.
There are certainly many helpful uses for having an in-dash web connection. Traffic, weather, news, e-mail and more could be delivered to drivers, but how can it be done safely without taking drivers attention away from the road?
“Using Opera Web technology, vehicle manufacturers can eliminate “button overload” on the dash and instead offer a familiar screen experience, one that can be customized and operated by voice input,” said Christen Krogh, Chief Development Officer, Opera Software. “Opera believes that in-vehicle browsing comes down to convenience, staying competitive and customization. As the leading Web innovator, Opera has just the flexible, cross-platform solution that vehicle manufacturers need.”
Certianly it’s inevitable that the web will find its way inside cars. For more details on what Ford and Opera aim to achieve, click here.
What web functions would you find useful in car? Perhaps remote access to your work PC? Or even video conferencing, provided it could be delivered safely and not as a distraction?
Let us know.
By Gerald Lynch | February 3rd, 2010