Connected Cars

Connecting With Your Connected Car

If your experience with vehicle connectivity is limited to remote door lock/unlock systems, a new world of safety and convenience features awaits you in today’s “connected” car. Nearly every automaker now offers a “telematics” solution – either built into the vehicle or funneled through your smartphone – that leverages wireless technology to enable your car to interact with the outside world. These systems make driving safer and more enjoyable with enhancements such as:

  • Emergency assistance, such as calling the police, a tow truck or an ambulance. Because telematics also can send vehicle location information, help may arrive more quickly.
  • Insurance support by providing vehicle location or disabling engine operation to help recover a stolen vehicle. Telematics also can capture driving behavior data that can be analyzed to establish usage-based insurance rates.
  • Travel guidance via navigation services, including real-time traffic information and automatic trip rerouting to minimize delays. Also, travel information such as points of interest, weather forecasts, fuel stations/prices, hotel and dining reservations, movie or theme park tickets, shopping complexes and more.
  • Car care extras, including maintenance reminders, vehicle health reports and diagnostic information that can help road service or repair specialists troubleshoot some problems over the phone.
  • Parenting assistance services, such as monitoring teen drivers and getting alerts if restrictions are violated.
  • Infotainment options beyond music to include streaming video, social media access and touch-screen driver interfaces with special apps for popular Internet content.

Drivers can realize huge benefits but have also reported significant distractions from these systems. A 2013 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study found that these types of vehicle interactions are among the most distracting for drivers, and a 2015 study of teen drivers found distracting behavior leading up to 58 percent of all crashes. Automakers are working on ways to reduce the risks and minimize distraction for all drivers.