What are the benefits of connected cars?

January 21, 2014 12:00 AM

One of the latest features present in many new car models is a comprehensive information system that combines entertainment, navigation and basic car info all in one place. According to AAA, about 1 in 5 new cars sold currently has this technology included, and it is expected to be installed in a much larger portion in the coming years. 

"New car technologies are changing the way we drive by making the experience both easier and safer than ever before," said Bob Darbelnet, president of AAA. "Within a decade the majority of cars on road will be able to identify problems before breakdowns occur, reduce crashes and help drivers save time and money. 

Here are just a few of the benefits offered by this innovative technology, according to AAA: 

Diagnose problems
Perhaps the most significant way this technology can help drivers is that it is able to recognize problems happening throughout the car and diagnose them properly. Instead of simply seeing the check engine light go on, motorists can instead view data about the efficiency of the automobile, which can predict problem areas and breakdowns. It will also give drivers an idea of what kind of preventative maintenance or auto repair needs to be done to avoid an issue. 

Safety benefits
Being able to alert a driver as to potential problems or needed car repair can be a big help, especially with regard to keeping a vehicle safe. However, there are a number of other safety features associated with this technology as well. Crash prevention is prioritized with the help of certain tools, including programs that utilize vehicle-vehicle communication. This allows a car to recognize when there are other automobiles close by, and it can react by braking, accelerating or swerving to avoid a collision. 

Traffic knowledge 
In addition to providing streamlined directions, the technological systems will be able to provide insight as to the traffic conditions throughout the area. Real-time data related to parking spaces, accidents, congestion and even traffic light timing will help driver determine the best routes to take to get to a destination efficiently. Drivers will also be able to take advantage of information such as nearby gas stations, points of interest and rest stops, even viewing pricing information at fuel pumps along the way. 

Of course, there are some other issues drivers need to be aware of. Any vehicle with this cutting-edge technology will collect, analyze and share data, so users must take steps to protect their own privacy and security. 

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