I’m not insane, but I talked to a car recently. Not “talked” as in a cold, Siri-type of exchange, but I had a rather connected, meaningful conversation.
I was feeling hungry for supper, so, like an entitled Singaporean child, I clicked a button on the BMW 528i Business Sedan’s on-board system.
A warm, male voice with a Filipino accent greeted me, “Good evening Sir, how can I help you today?”
I told him I needed prata, and this man, located at the BMW Call Centre, did a quick search, and tapped the addresses of the nearest prata options into the car’s navigation system – remotely.
My car knew where to go before I did. Uh, okay!
Thanks to the in-built SIM card for BMW Connected Drive, the car can almost drive itself.
There’s no need to hook your phone up to the car’s infotainment system, because your car is basically online. In other words, you will never lose your car, and BMW will never lose you. (A tad creepy, but at least I know I’ll never be lost.)
The Connected Drive technology – available for about $450 a year – is found in almost all BMW models here. There is an app that helps you find your car in a crowded parking lot by controlling the car’s horn, headlights, and locking system remotely.
You can lock or unlock your car long after you’ve left the building!
The car’s on-board system is also able to provide Real Time Traffic Information (RTTI), alerting you to breakdowns and heavy jams while you’re on-route to your destination.
It also suggests alternative routes instantly, making journeys more efficient. Yes, gotta love the idea of avoiding jams.
Other driver safety systems such as park assistant, active cruise control, lane-change warning and rear-view camera come in the standard package.
As driving networks integrate for the future, it won’t be long before cars drive themselves, traffic jams and accidents become a thing of the past, and you can look at your smartphone all you want while “driving”. Ironic huh?