How & where car technology once began:
Not all that long ago, you owned a personal car or your family owned a car that had very few working electronics inside of it. The engine under the hood had a carburetor and the ignition was mostly mechanical. What electronics it did have were mainly just the radio (with the fancy push button presets) or the simple fan that blew in warm or outside air into the cabin. And unlike some of today’s cars that will practically provide you with a complete weather forecast, then if you wanted to know the temperature, you rolled down the window.
The cars of Today:
Today, cars offer a dizzying array of features that can do almost anything a 21st century driver wishes. Most of these features are classified as "Infotainment", that modern intersection of Information and Entertainment. Currently, no one manufacturer offers everything, but many auto companies today offer all sorts of gadgets that make you feel are worth spending your money on.
Infomatics: The Best In-Car Technology
General Motors (GM): OnStar ~ Telematics Innovator
GM launched OnStar 12 years ago. It was the auto world's first experience with telematics. Using a wireless connection and GPS technology, GM crafted a powerful communications system that has saved thousands of lives. Early OnStar features were geared toward providing extra safety, but today OnStar is expanding services as more GM vehicles are equipped with OnStar hardware. Cost: Comes installed but plans start at $18.95.
FORD Motor Co. (FORD): SNYC ~ Ford’s New System
Ford introduced SYNC last year. Developed with Microsoft, SYNC has a powerful speech engine. This is the key to giving drivers voice control over their car's entertainment systems as well as linked external devices (via USB and wireless connections). With SYNC, when you talk to your car it will really hear you & respond accordingly. Cost: $395, rolled into the price of the vehicle. No monthly charge.
-- SNYC (setting is up) --
Once you've wirelessly linked to your Bluetooth phone and MP3 player (via USB), these devices can be voice controlled; it takes practice. Unlike GM's On-Star that uses built-into-the-car cellular hardware, SYNC provides services like emergency response and traffic routing using a paired cell phone. Learn more about SYNC at syncmyride.com.
Lexus: Plain Talk
New Lexus vehicles equipped with NAV feature casual-speech recognition. Systems like OnStar and SYNC require specific verbal commands, but Lexus eases things up. You can say, "Call Bob at home," or "Gimme a Japanese restaurant," instead of regimented verbal cues. More details at Lexus.com. This system is by far the easiest to use & the least complex. However, it's not offered one the more mainstream cars like the one listed above. Like many luxury items, you get what you pay for...
Future Car Technology That's (Not Yet) On the Road Today…
The latest fully integrated car feature is one that remains to be very controversial. Many engineers around the globe are currently working on a system to allow driverless cars to work & operate on a daily basis. The idea alone is a fairly scary scene however, some view this as a great step into a more safe motorway experience. We already have many driver aid features that are currently in play & built into production vehichles today. Laser assisted cruised control, lane stability assist (with lane drift prevention), and the newest feature of self parking cars. These 3 major system that were just listed have been tested & proven (so far) to be very effective & reliable. For more info on this newest "self driving car" creation you can go to howstuffworks.com...
For a video of this new technology in action CLICK HERE... !!! ;-)