Trucks at Work

A vision of vehicle connectivity

Almost every automaker (and truck maker for that matter) out there is deploying a wide range of “vehicle connectivity” technology for their products in order to address a wide range of driver wants and needs.

Nissan Motor Co. is but the latest automaker to travel this “connectivity” pathway, introducing the  eighth generation of its NissanConnect system at the New York International Auto Show last week – technology it plans to debut on the latest version of its Altima sedan this July.

Developed in conjunction with Intel, NissanConnect provides vehicle drivers (and passengers too!) access to Google local search, Google send-to-car destination navigation and Pandora Radio entertainment, with Bluetooth providing the human-to-system connectivity. Best thing about all this? Smartphone or data plans are not required in order to use this system.

[Nissan’s Andy Palmer and Intel’s AntonTon” Steenman discuss those “next-generation connected car” technologies below in a little more detail.]

“Twenty years ago, the radio was the only connection to the outside world available in a car. But today, we take it for granted that we can communicate by mobile phone using Bluetooth technology, check traffic conditions and receive navigation guidance while driving," noted Carlos Ghosn, Nissan Motor’s chief executive officer, at the show.

“By 2020, aided by wireless and cloud-based technologies, we plan to offer customers enhanced safety and a wide variety of new conveniences like accident-avoiding driving intervention technologies, electric vehicle charging reservations, or a music player that adapts to the listener's moods,” he added. “It's clear that consumers expect to be connected wherever they are, and that includes the time spent in their automobiles.”

[Autoweek’s Dutch Mandel provided an insightful take on the future direction of “connected car” systems at the show last week, especially in terms of the pitfalls such technology poses as well.]

It’s certainly clear from what Nissan and other automakers are doing only more “connected technology” is going to find its way into light-duty vehicles down the road. Making sure all that technology doesn’t impact safe driving practices, however, will remain the critical challenge. 

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