In addition to car’s using network connections to call for assistance, here is a natural consequence — your car may notify police of an accident, in this case a driver leaving a hit-and-run situation. My insurance company offered to add a device to my car that would allow them to increase my rates if they go faster than they think I should. Some insurance companies will raise your rates if you exceed their limit (70 MPH) even in areas where the legal limit is higher (Colorado, Wyoming, etc. have 75+ posted limits). A phone company is promoting a device to add into your car to provide similar capabilities (presented for safety and comfort rationale.)
So what are the possibilities?
- Detect accident situations and have emergency response arrive even if you are unable to act — and as noted above this may also detect hit-and-run accidents.
- Provide a channel for you to communicate situations like “need roadside assistance” or “report roadside problem”.
- Monitor car performance characteristics and notify user (shop?) of out-of-spec conditions
- Using this same “diagnostic port”, taking remote control of car
- Police action – to stop driver from escaping
- Ill-intended action, to cause car to lose control
So, in line with the season, your car is making a list, checking it twice and going to report if you are naughty or nice —
One additional article from the WSJ Dec. 10th on the Battle between car manufacturers and smartphone companies for control of the car-network environment. The corporate view, from Don Butler, Ford Motor’s Director of Connected Vehicles: “We are competing for mind-share inside the vehicle.” Or as the WSJ says, “Car makers are loath to give up key information and entertainment links… and potentially to earn revenue by selling information and mobile connectivity.” In short, the folks directing the future of connected vehicles are not focusing on the list of possibilities and considerations above.