Consumers want connected cars

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A recent survey for Johnson Controls by Harris Interactive showed that vehicle owners want to be able to connect their phones and applications to their car, in a safe and simple manner, where they can also download apps from traditional channels.

"Through this research study, we gain important insight into the needs and wants of consumers as they seek to connect seamlessly and intuitively to their vehicles," said Paul Lambert, group vice president and general manager, Electronics, Johnson Controls Electronics & Interiors. "This information is helping us to provide market-leading infotainment solutions that take into account ever-increasing consumer electronics functionality without sacrificing safety."

The survey, of more than 2,100 U.S. adults showed that 84 percent of people would like to control features in their car through a touchscreen infotainment system, while 83 percent want the vehicle's infotainment system to receive wireless updates. In addition, 75 percent of survey respondents said that safety is the most important feature in the selection vehicle. Of the respondents, 76 percent would like to be able to connect to the internet using their car as a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Surveys like these help the automotive industry determine what consumers want and how they can effectively implement technologies in cars. Those looking to improve their cars even further should install Husky Liners® vehicle floor mats, to keep the interior of a car looking like the technologically advanced machine it really is.

Ask and you shall receive
Car owners won't have to wait long for internet in their cars, as Audi announced the same day the results of the above study were released that it is unveiling the 2013 Audi A3 with 4G LTE wireless connectivity at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

To make the technology possible, Audi teamed up with Qualcomm Technologies, to equip its A3 with the Gobi 3G/4G chipset, MDM9215.

"We hope to introduce to automobiles the same 4G LTE connectivity that Qualcomm brought to today's leading smartphones and mobile computing devices," said Kanwalinder Singh, senior vice president of business development, Qualcomm Technologies. "The capabilities of the MDM9215 chipset allows Audi to define a new in-car media experience, including viewing and interacting with content on the head unit as well as on passengers' own Wi-Fi-connected smartphones and tablets, all at 4G LTE speeds."

The technology will allow passengers to connect up to eight devices to the internet, using the car as a mobile hotspot. The system will allow them to receive real-time weather, travel information and navigation.