I was a non-believer, a cynic you may say, when it came to the subject of connected and driverless cars. Why would you want to pass on the pleasure of driving to the latest and greatest microchip? Even the first electric car I fell in love with came unstuck when it came to range anxiety, charging points and most importantly, maxing out at 124 miles per hour – and they called it a super car?!
I’ve watched the nonsense of driverless cars, including a tragic incident in the US with a test driver in the last year. So what has changed? Well a friend of mine gave me a present at the weekend. Not one I had any desire for, yet it is magic. I have to add this is not product placement, however the little £44.99 Amazon Echo Dot has shown me the light when it comes to home automation. And with home automation the most expensive item at the home is the car. I’ve been able to call up 40 million songs without touching a tablet or smart phone. It is not just the gimmick of voice recognition; it does genuinely tell me the time, date, weather and even (I kid you not) do my 12 year old son’s chemistry homework “Alexa what is the chemical sign for platinum?” You get the picture.
Yes it is a bit crude and perhaps it will be on the scrap heap quicker than the 1970s Teasmade that was the pioneer to the connected Nespresso machine; however I now see in my lifetime robotics being able to take on tasks like clear the dishes, do the ironing and make a cup of tea. So where do cars come in? Well Amazon are ahead of the game in that they have collaborated with BMW and built the connected car functionality of the latest generation BMWs. You can yell at the device to ‘heat up the car’ and it does so. Home, and hence vehicle, automation is here to stay – I’ve seen it first hand and I’m away to ask Alexa what the best route to the office is tomorrow.
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