/ Automotive

Mobile Apps and Connected Cars

The Smartphone

There is no doubt that the smartphone has revolutionised the way we communicate, travel, bank, eat, shop and anything else you can think of.

Apps are what get users excited and these days there is an app for everything (well almost). Driving a vehicle is no exception, and there are plenty of apps for the everyday driver from parking to navigation, vehicle repair to expense tracking, you name it, the app store has it.

So what's the problem?

Vehicles are becoming more connected and even autonomous. The battle that auto manufacturers have is how apps that traditionally have been located on users mobile devices are accessed via the driving cockpit, via the phone or the via the vehicle dashboard.

App makers are focused on smartphones yet the auto manufacturer wants to consolidate apps to an interactive screen, much the same as Tesla are doing with the Model 3.

Auto leading the way

Tesla have redesigned the way the automotive console looks and feels, in the new Model 3 Tesla have done away with all buttons and knobs, the dash is as minimal as it gets. In the center of the console (between the driver and the passenger) sits a 15" LCD screen. The screen acts as the vehicles brain, it stores applications that perform multiple functions from navigation to vehicle health-check.

"A car is like a mother-in-law, if you let it, it will rule your life"

  • Jamie Lerner

The future

Samsung has just released their intention to enter the connected car market with a digital cockpit solution that includes an impressive 28" LOED screen. Applications can be accessed from the dashboard and via voice commands, all through the cockpit of the vehicle and bypassing the phone altogether.

What does this mean for the phone?

Are we expected to have only driving apps connected to the vehicle and all other apps stored on the phone? Will we need to duplicate apps across devices and vehicles? These are the questions being asked within both industries. Ultimately the end user will be the one that decides which is their preference but, with auto manufactures increasingly focusing on delivering high end technology solutions its not yet clear how the two will work together.

Apps leading the way

There are a range of automotive apps that are leading the charge here are a few that we reccomend:

Psngr - mileage tracker - For managing your trips this app is great for automated and accurate trip logging, it allows you to accurately record and claim back tax for expense reimbursement.

Spotify - Everyone needs access to some tunes when driving. Spotify offers direct connection to the cars in-built bluetooth - providing you have bluethooth, if not then an AUX cable will also work.

TomTom - Great for navigation and traffic updates in realtime this app will help you get from A to B quickly and safely.

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