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How Far Will the Connected Car Go Toward Mobile UC?

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The idea of the Connected Car has captured our imagination with its promise of offering a technology-enabled vehicle able to do far more than just transporting us.

Connected Cars generated much attention at CES 2013 in January when several auto manufacturers talked about the integration of cloud and telematics technology in future vehicle models, and Ford and GM announced open development platforms that will surely facilitate a flood of new apps and services for cars.

With more partnerships and services coming forward, some say the stage is set for unified communications platforms that might offer on-board mobile communications that could incorporate WiFi, navigation, parking, telematics, audio and much more in to a single dashboard.

“The idea behind the connected car is that each vehicle will be able to detect its environment, location, and speed as well as other connected cars on the road and either transmit information and warnings to the driver or completely take control of navigation,” Andrew Jameson wrote in Unified Communications Community.

“This type of auto-integrated technology has been around for years but is just now finding true implementation as automakers and tech companies begin to collaborate,” Jameson added. “Without collaboration, without unified communications across automaker platforms and communications standards, there can be little progress towards the connected car solution.”

But there are limits to what UC can accomplish in cars because driver safety will always be the first priority of any system, cautioned Blair Pleasant, president & principal analyst market research and consulting firm COMMfusion.

“I see uses for voice but not for email or chat, or text,” Pleasant said. “And it makes sense to be able to connect from a car to something like an auto repair shop and get directions to the nearest shop and set up an appointment based on location.

“But you have to be careful because you can’t distract people while they are driving,” Pleasant added.