Moore’s Law states that computer processing speeds nearly double every two years. The same rapid transformation can be seen in the automotive technology realm where auto manufactures work tirelessly to outdo one another with cutting edge options to entice consumers. With the recent global release of the Apple Watch on April 24th, it got us thinking about what technology within the watch itself will be applied to the vehicles we drive. What if your car functioned like an Apple Watch with the following technology:
Health Monitoring System
This technology isn’t meant for a monotone voice to pay over your speakers when you gain a little weight a large meal, or remind you that swimsuit season is right around the corner. In fact, there are many useful and lifesaving purposes for a vehicle to have a health monitoring system. What if you have a heart attack, stroke or seizure while driving? Your vehicle-enabled health monitoring system could respond to such an event and safely navigate through traffic and pull the vehicle over. Or what if a vehicle could alert you of high pollen areas for those who have allergies? These in future vehicles are both possible when a vehicle has a proactive and reactive health monitoring system.
Pay at the Drive Thru as You Drive Through
Men likely know this scenario all too well: You’re driving somewhere and you realize you haven’t eaten. No problem. You swing on through a local fast food restaurant and grab a #3 meal with a diet soda. Then comes the half Pilates and half strategic maneuver to get your wallet out from your back pocket while in the drive thru line. What if your vehicle stored your credit card information similar to that of Apple Pay? Your vehicle is scanned and the receipt pulls up on the infotainment dash screen for you to approve the order before confirming payment. This way you can check to make sure they added your ice cream cone which they forgot about last time.
Communicate with Other Cars
While the Apple Watch doesn’t have the full communication ability like your cell phone, you are still able to send certain emojis, finger drawings and even your heartbeat to other watch users. It’s probably best if your vehicle doesn’t also have full communication ability for those frustrating moments we can experience while driving. Nearly every auto manufacturer is currently working to develop V2V, or vehicle to vehicle, technology as a way to prevent accidents and as the autonomous vehicle becomes closer to a reality.
Locate Vehicle When Missing
There is currently technology to help find your car or to place a GPS marker when parking on your phone to pinpoint where your vehicle is so you can find its location later. But what if you are parked in an underground lot or area that gets no phone service? Apple currently holds the patent to find your lost vehicle via Bluetooth after you exit a vehicle. Much like the Find My iPhone app, this technology integrated with a vehicle could have a powerful effect for those who frequently lose their vehicle or when a vehicle theft occurs. Apple also owns a patent that would seemingly replace your remote key with your iPhone which further shows how important automotive technology is becoming.
Data Collection and Analysis
Overall, the Apple Watch’s function is billed as a health tool that collects data to help create and make healthy life decisions and track your weight and overall health. By tracking movement, heart rate and daily activities, you are provided with insights based on this information. What if your car did that? This could include monitoring how closely you follow other vehicles, speed traveled compared to speed limits or even fuel consumption based on driving habits. Some may feel this is like Big Brother watching and reporting on your habits. However, as we look for safer and more efficient ways to drive, this technology may be an important key.
With Android watches beginning to pick up popularity and the introduction of the Apple Watch, car companies will soon need to respond with watch-enabled technology to connect to your vehicle. The Porsche Car Connect and BMW i Remote are examples of current app technology that integrates with your watch to control car functions like opening doors, checking on fuel and battery levels and even remotely folding in side mirrors to prevent damage. While your car may not currently have all the bells and whistles that your Android or Apple Watch may have, the automotive version of Moore’s Law tell us it is coming soon.