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The future of driving: Connectivity

5th June 2019

As the world gets more and more connected, so will your car

It is almost impossible to get into a car that doesn’t have some form of connectivity. Unless you're driving a classic car, or dedicated track day machine, pretty much any vehicle on sale today in the UK possesses connective technology. This will become even more so in the future, in ways we cannot yet fully comprehend.

Connectivity and the car

For most drivers, cars play an important role in their day-to-day lives - both personal and business. We spend a significant proportion of time in them on every day. And so as our lives out of the car have become increasingly connected with the rest of the world, so to will it become more connected in them. As both drivers and passengers, we are increasingly demanding in-car connectivity, particularly for entertainment.

We want to play our music at a time that suits us best, rather than be a hostage to the DJ on the radio. We want to let our friends know where we are, and what we're up to, via social media. We need to be able to call our friends at any time, and use apps to improve our life experiences, even while we’re on the move. Presently, we can do all these things and more in most of new cars available, thanks to wireless technologies like Bluetooth, which has now widely adopted by most automakers.

But connectivity is for more than just entertainmant. Sat navs rely on connectivity to access the GPS network that drives them, though these have typically been superceded by online maps like those provided by Google and Apple via our smartphones and tablets. Connectivity also keeps us safer, with some vehicles featuring built-in SIM cards that allow for the fitting of 'SOS' buttons for use in emergencies. Some car makers even provide concierge services, enabling people to speak to another person for help or advice.

Continental are at the heart of connectivity

Like so much else in our lives, the car evolves to become what we need it to be. Designers and engineers at Continental are continuously innovating and developing connectivity technologies. They've been a leading provider of these to the automotive sector for many years. As Dr Elmar Degenhart, Chairman of the Board at Continental, says, "We are the architects of an ecosystem of safe, clean and intelligent mobility. We are, after all, already supplying what others are still testing."

The message is clear – Continental's future technology isn't just innovative; it's also responsible. As we go forward, we can almost certainly expect to see virtually all new cars equipped with ultra-fast communication technology as the need to remain connected to our personal and business lives becomes ever more relevant.

Continental is already working on 5G mobile communication technology, giving the cars of the future up to 10 gigabits of bandwidth. This will make it possible to transmit data up to 30 times faster than is currently possible for todays vehicles. And while this bandwidth will be handy for streaming video content while on the move, it’s broader usage will help to revolutionise driving all together.

How? Expect to see cars speaking to one another – really! Swedish automaker, Volvo, recently announced that its vehicles will soon be able to communicate to each other about potentially hazardous levels of grip on the road – an area of expertise that Continental are currently developing through their own innovative ContiSense technology.

And there's more. Your car will also connect and talk with the infrastructure around it. This will help to better manage traffic flow and congestion, making your driving experience safer and more pleasant. Connectivity could even lead to fully autonomous vehicles. Once a sci-fi fantasy, this vision of the driving future may be closer than you realise.