Digital connectivity is the revolution surrounding the automobile and the entire traffic system. Communication and information are gaining hugely in importance. The exchange of information between all road users, and their connection to the Internet, represent a massive evolutionary step towards the resource-conserving and time-saving road traffic of the future.
Every year there are 1.2 million casualties in road accidents around the world. Yet this does not have to be so. If we know in advance that a pedestrian is crossing the road, for instance, or that a motorcycle is rushing round the corner, accidents can be avoided. Our vehicle brakes even before we ourselves react. And vehicles behind us are alerted, and reduce their speed automatically.
Collectively, Germany’s motorists sat in traffic congestion for a total of 21 years in the year 2011 alone. This represents stationary traffic over a length of 450,000 kilometers and costs of 100 million euro. In the future our vehicles will recognize congestion-causing factors in real time and take action to counteract them. They will save expensive time spent waiting – for us and especially for freight traffic. Using connected information about traffic and routes can also bring down fuel consumption by almost one quarter.
Action on climate
There are 900 million automobiles on the world’s roads, and in 2020 the figure will be 1.1 billion. Most of them are powered by fossil fuels. They generate 14 percent of the world’s exhaust fumes and emissions. If freight could be shipped using the best mode of transport for each case, and intelligently bundled and delivered, emissions could be brought down. This also applies to us as private individuals: our cars will tell us where people are waiting who want a ride, so that we no longer travel alone.
According to a study by Navteq, Indian motorists save three days per year if they have access to real-time traffic information. If our vehicles communicate with road signs, traffic lights, other cars and traffic management centers, they will automatically know the best route through the city. This will save time for everyone. If occasionally the roads are still congested, we will switch conveniently between bicycle, railroad and car, and pay simply via our SmartphoneA smartphone is a cell phone allowing more computer features and connectivity. Additional programs (called “apps”) are available for most of today’s smartphones enabling users to install individual new functions of their choice. .
Connecting automobiles is what makes mobile Internet use really mobile. Music, radio plays, news bulletins, films, the latest messages from friends, information about the surroundings, or completely new ideas for entertainment will enrich our journeys. Numerous apps are turning cars into companions that know our preferences and interests, and make every kilometer valuable.
Consumers expect that the vehicles of the future will provide relevant services and relieve us of more burdens. Connectivity can offer just this. Garages will conduct remote diagnosis independently on vehicles, we will be informed about free parking spaces close by, Advanced driver assistance systemsAdvanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are additional electronic systems in motor vehicles supporting the driver in certain driving situations. They often focus on safety aspects or on increased driving convenience. will take over some of the burdens of driving, and along our route we will find hotels or restaurants recommended by the car. If we are using an electric vehicle, it will indicate the nearest charging point. If we are using a car club vehicle, it will adjust the seat and the mirrors automatically.