Now here's a "connected car" that might have better judgment than some drivers. A concept car unveiled by the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association features not only a load of hi-tech devices and wireless connectivity options but can also make some decisions and take action in cases when the driver can't.
While actual car manufacturers are integrating technology inside vehicles one small step at a time, this one doesn't, as it tries to shove almost every piece of "smart" technology inside. Thankfully it's still a concept car, though admittedly it is already showing some interesting concepts that go slightly beyond what automakers have been showing so far.
This smart car boasts of a what's what of mobile technology, from 4G connectivity to WiFi to GPS to 360-degree proximity sensors. It even has inductive (read: wireless) mobile charging so you can keep your smartphone or tablet powered up in style. It does rerouting and mapping, just like many in-vehicle navigation systems and mobile apps currently do. But, unlike major car companies, the Association can afford to play around with rather unusual, perhaps innovative features.
For one, there's gesture-based controls. No, you won't be waving your hand around like a Jedi and expect the car to roll off. These will mostly be for non-essential functionality, like radios, lights, environmental features, and so on. But the car is also smart enough to do some things automatically. In fact, it might be even too smart. It will be able to warn drivers in advance of approaching emergency and law enforcement vehicles so that drivers can give way. It also senses your body position and orientation and will be able to determine if you've fallen asleep. And, as mentioned, it will even refuse to start if it detects that the driver is intoxicated.
The computer brain that connects all of these technologies together runs QNX, a real-time operating system (RTOS) that is used on many embedded computers and, perhaps more prominently, on BlackBerry's current BlackBerry 10 devices. The future of this connected car is far from certain. Without any industry partner to take it up, it is likely that this concept car will remain just that, a nice, if not amusing, idea.
VIA: Venture Beat