In 2003 it was made illegal to use your mobile whilst driving without the use of an ear piece or a proper Bluetooth connection to the car. As a result, the bulk of company cars leased have Bluetooth fitted, the demand for which has driven the price down and made it available even on a cheaper lease vehicle at a small cost.
Latest generation smart phones are as capable as laptops of just two years ago and already, car manufacturers are tapping in to the abilities of the iphone 5 and Samsung Galaxy by producing Apps that can optimize your fuel use, remind you of service and even start your car to defrost it whilst remaining locked. Additionally, the latest navigation systems are making use of the accelerometers built in to the phones, some of the most accurate and smallest on the market, to improve accuracy and estimate distances when signal is lost.
Using the processors on the phones, distance advice systems are faster and more accurate and the much reported self driving car is already relying heavily on a phone being plugged in to process info.
Proposals include for finding car parks with free spaces and a car sharing system in the US is already making use of good 3G connection to reduce emissions per passenger mile.
Web connection is clearly a must for all this to happen. Cross border European charges, currently under their third review, need to be aligned country to country before all of this can be put to good use on a grand scale.
With the processing comes the obvious accessibility to your music collection, but what if you could access Spotify on the go or download a similar song from iTunes? Local petrol stations are already posting their prices daily on line in theUS, enabling people to buy the cheapest fuel.
A system in Germany is close to launch that uses an app and WI Fi from the traffic lights to count down the lights to changing, in reality this has lead to people approaching lights a little more slowly because they know when they will change in a few moments. This is really an offshoot of something developed by Audi to save fuel.
Right now, manufacturers and worried about the distraction of such technology. But it seems inevitable that it will come. An entire generation not yet driving will expect it be part of the whole car experience .