Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is all about networks, smartphones and connectivity but another area highlighted this year was the connected car and what that vehicle of the future might look like.
Harman was one company showcasing the possibilities of the ultimate car of the future that will not only keep you just as connected as your smartphone but would also drive itself.
On the stand at MWC in Barcelona was a self-driving connected concept car that had a large touchscreen and a steering wheel that can alternate between the left side of the car and the right side of the car so the occupants can decide who will be driving.
And if no-one wants to drive, the steering wheel folds out of the way and the car drives itself.
The US company behind the concept car also revealed new content and data services for vehicles that could end up in the next car you buy.
These would offer real-time traffic and location-based services, weather forecasts shopping parking, streaming audio and live news services.
And, despite providing all of this information, the emphasis is still on keeping drivers safe on the road.
“Automakers now have the ability to provide drivers and passengers with the unique and relevant services that will improve the in-car experience while continuing to focus on improving driver safety, convenience and infotainment,” said Sanjay Dhawan, president Harman Connected Services.
“We’re working closely with the top partners in the industry to bring together these services to automakers and drive innovation for drivers and passengers.”
The company has partnered with TomTom to provide incremental map updates, real time traffic information, online routing and searching functions and all delivered to the vehicle’s head unit.
Parkopedia is the world’s leading parking service provider that’s already used by millions around the world and many of the world’s top car brands.
The service points out the closest parking to your destination, how much it will cost and whether there are spaces available.
Users can also use Parkopedia to pre-book parking spots and see real-time parking availability in more than 500 cities in 30 countries.
Also part of the system is Accuweather for real time, minute-by-minute weather updates.
The car’s connected system can also take a look at your daily calendar and work out the times and distances between your meetings and offer the fastest routes and also organise all of your parking as well.
So the car of the future will not only be connected – it will be smart as well.
* Stephen Fenech travelled to Barcelona as a guest of Samsung