Car connectivity happening right in front of your eyes

By Jamie Barrie

First was the smart phone, then was the smart car with Bluetooth integration and Wi-Fi capabilities, could the next big thing in automotive technology be the smart windshield, well Automakers, technology companies, glass manufacturers and advertisers are betting on it in a big way partnering up to display what is on the screen of your smart phone on the windshield of your car.

This technology would not only show the driver what is happening on their smart phone, but also add in directions and give updates on vehicle information and performance. Try skipping that next oil change now.

This new technology in your car is creating a buzzin the advertising world as using a drivers windshield will offer the ability for advertisers to get literally in the face of the consumer to pitch products and services. This is big business as, McKinsey & Company, a worldwide management consulting firm, estimates that mobile and data-driven services in vehicles will generate $1.5 trillion by 2030.

“When you think of a person driving and what your needs are when you’re on a typical trip, it’s food, it’s fuel and it’s rest stops,” said John Butler, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst. “Owning the inside of the car is critical, it’s really where the money is made. The real value is locked up in the ad opportunity.”

This is more or less how the smart windshield will work, a driver that’s close to running out of gas would see an alert pop up that notes the fuel situation and navigation will offer to find a nearby gas station. Because the car’s virtual assistant is tied to your smart phone and its information, it will offer choices that meet and fit with the driver’s buying patterns and preferences.

This technology is not that far away and experts say could be in your next vehicle in as little as two years. However, to get you ready for what is to come the Panasonic Corporation recently demonstrated the technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Tom Gebhardt, the head of Panasonic’s automotive business in North America, was very quick to address that smart car and windshield connection subscription services could generate hundreds of dollars in additional recurring revenue per car each year as automakers and tech companies transform vehicles into connected devices.

The big hurdle with this technology will be with safety concerns and how it will be regulated given concerns about driver distraction. However,suppliers are eager to promote heads-up displays as safety tools as a drivers aid. A driver could be given the speed and location of vehicles in a driver’s blind spot which would be projected onto the windshield reducing collisions, which will be a positive for having this technology approved for use.

Given the consumer’s thirst for connectivity there is little doubt that this technology will make its way into production and be an option on your new vehicle in 2018.