In the days of Maxwell Smart, we saw a wide variety of gadgets and tools that enabled him to stay connected in the field. James Bond also sported a number of accessories that made anyone want to be a spy – given they could keep up with the physical likes of Daniel Craig in most recent years. What the entertainment world and Sci-Fi has long put on display is now coming to fruition and we ordinary people just might get to play.
The next wave in real-time communications is the connected car. We’ve already seen the commercials for the line of Chevy offerings – a hot spot on wheels, giving you access to everything online regardless of your location. But as the connected car gains momentum, so too do the warnings that such connectivity puts the driver and others on the road at risk. How do you ensure you can take advantage of the latest developments without putting lives at risk?
A recent Business Car Manager piece offers some insight on how to stay safe when communicating with those in the connected car.
The improvement in communication methods certainly helps. The fact that a call can be answered with a voice command while hands stay on the wheel and eyes stay on the road is certainly a step in the right direction. When fleet management enters the picture, communication must provide a workflow so communication is effectively delivered to the driver through safe options.
With real-time communications, the identification of on-the-go maintenance and fuel options for fleet drivers is also a priority. While plans may be put in place ahead of time, the plan must always allow for changes due to unforeseen circumstances. Road closures, engine problems, traffic congestion and more can all lead to problems that can affect more than just the arrival time for that particular driver. In this instance, real-time communications is essential.
Beyond the fleet driver, the connected car has significant implications for the business user. The mobile professional is increasingly common and telecommunications continue to evolve to support this individual. While smartphones can grant access to all network applications, documents and services, it’s still possible to enter areas where Wi-Fi is inaccessible and the mobile professional is cut-off from the information needed. The connected car bridges that gap.
Still, safety has to be the priority or communications could quickly outpace the need to stay focused on the road. By integrating devices that render certain services inaccessible while the car is moving, the mobile professional will be able to resist the urge to work and drive. Likewise, hands-free connectivity at all times should be the priority and anything that requires more intense focus shouldn’t be done while driving – period.
Whether the aim is to be like Smart and Bond or simply stay connected, today’s cars are smarter and more innovative than ever before. Expect to see this continue and safety play a significant role.