Expect These 4 App Types In Your Next Car

We want the same anywhere/anytime access to apps in our car that we enjoy on our phones and mobile devices, from Google Maps to Twitter. What are some of the other sorts of apps drivers are most eager to see?

Most anticipated car apps

  1. Apps will initially focus on assisting the driver. We want voice-activation features to attempt avoiding distraction. But after years of teasing us with compromised, half-baked options, we want voice functions that actually work. True, reliable voice integration is what drivers are waiting for.
  2. Apps that quickly locate ride-sharing opportunities will be big for urban drivers and millennials, who are buying cars in fewer numbers than previous generations. Helping you coordinate these options will save you time and money, and help reduce congested traffic.
  3. Among the most sought-after are the more practical apps, like those dealing with weather, and those identifying the most affordable local gas prices and hotel options. Quickly locating open parking spots will be another popular app feature.
  4. There’s big demand for integrated vehicle infrastructure apps. These apps allow drivers to have real-time updates on the performance of their vehicles, and insight on where efficiency can be improved. We are seeing this already in apps that provide route guidance suggestions based on fuel economy and current traffic conditions. The cloud will connect us to subscription services that will make this easy and automatic.

Apps Are Just The Beginning

The truth is, apps of this kind are mostly just eye candy. Increasingly, such capabilities are expected by consumers and provide little in the way of differentiation for the automaker.

Consumers are willing to pay for functionality and features touching on two key desires: safety and convenience. These capabilities will outsell those consumer electronics or mobile phone apps in the car. But unlike today’s IVI-related features, delivering on the promise of safety and convenience poses new challenges for automakers. These include:

  • Cars need sufficient system processing power as they begin to incorporate assisted-driving capabilities and eventually move into the realm of autonomous driving. A handful of automakers have committed to offering autonomous cars by as early as 2020.
  • Safety must remain paramount, including guarding against distracted driving.
  • Relevancy and safety should take precedence when it comes to determining which apps to integrate and how.
  • The car will require an intelligent combination of hardware and software.  This will enable it to anticipate what information the driver needs and when, offering up that information unobtrusively based on the specific situation.

The Road Ahead

It’s not going to be easy, but consumers are willing to pay for advancements that better deliver on promises of safety and convenience. We’re at the very tip of the iceberg in terms of what the car will be able to offer. And automakers are listening, working hard to provide a technology experience that is intuitive, unique, and, eventually, invisible to the user.

I’ll be speaking more about advancements like these at Open Automotive ’14 in Gothenburg, Sweden, May 20, 2014, on the panel “Automotive Suppliers: Collaborate or Die.” See you there? Or follow me on Twitter: @Intel_Joel

Joel Hoffmann

About Joel Hoffmann

Automotive Strategist, Automotive Solutions Division, Intelligent Systems Group INTEL CORPORATION Joel leads the strategic focus for next generation automotive use cases, providing direction for silicon development that applies to cars several generations into the future. He also drives the infotainment group toward a common and open vision, which includes spearheading new market development around advanced driving technologies. Pioneering open software innovation, Hoffmann has been involved in GENIVI Alliance since its inception, developed the original name and branding concepts, as well as continues as a board member, leads the marketing team, and holds officer title as Treasurer of the alliance. Continue the conversation on Twitter, @Intel_Joel

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