Ford recently released its planned infotainment updates for 2019 and, as we at Motion Intelligence expected, a huge emphasis is being placed on internet connectivity. This opens up a world of opportunity for highly personalized experiences while driving, but also presents a safety challenge in a time of growing smartphone addiction.
The good news? This conflict is actually a serious opportunity.
At Motion Intelligence, we are passionate that technology can provide solutions to still allow trips made in the car to be as connected as possible while eliminating smartphone distractions for drivers. To help explain how, we asked our founder, Marwan Hannon, a few questions about the future of commuting and traveling while staying fully connected.
What about having internet connectivity available in vehicles is exciting, and what safety concerns does this connectivity present?
Internet connectivity in vehicles opens up a new world of opportunities. A great example is the delivery of personalized content to the passengers through their mobile device — this could include anything from customized entertainment options to hyper-targeted advertising to shopping alerts from their favorite stores. I think we’ll see a multitude of new niche industries develop “in-vehicle” as this feature becomes the norm for consumers.
The biggest safety concern I have with this connectivity is that auto manufacturers and suppliers are still focusing these technologies for the driver, who really can’t afford another distraction behind the wheel, instead of for the passengers. The passengers are the ones who can most benefit from greater connectivity in the vehicle, not to mention opening up as yet untapped revenue streams for automakers and third parties.
What safety features would you like to see included in new infotainment systems?
Any new car hitting the market should be equipped with technology that can detect and identify smart mobile devices in the driver’s area of the vehicle and use that information to prevent the driver from hands-on use of mobile devices, or at least limit the driver’s interaction with a device’s touchscreen.
To tweak the old expression, “With great technology comes great responsibility.” As we build smarter cars in the pursuit of autonomous operation, we still have a duty to help keep the roads safe. Connectivity advancements in this space are only a success if they don’t inadvertently cause distracted-driving behavior that ends up hurting someone.
What can Motion Intelligence offer to automakers as they build out fully wireless, always connected vehicle systems for smartphones?
It’s crucial for technology companies, communication companies and automotive manufacturers to work in greater concert — and take on a bit more responsibility — to minimize driver distraction. We are seeing the all too painful and tragic results of distracted driving, and it doesn’t have to be that way. Motion Intelligence software solutions identify and connect smart devices in the vehicle, enabling auto manufacturers to provide and deliver technology in a safer manner. Because our solutions distinguish between the passengers and the driver, passengers can explore and enjoy new levels of connectivity and previously unavailable personalized content in a safe environment while we help keep the driver focused on driving.
This doesn’t mean drivers must return to the Dark Ages: Our technology works with the latest hands-free functionality to keep drivers connected AND focused on their No. 1 job in that moment — driving.