Exploring new technologies has always been a pillar in the field of automotive industries and beyond. During the last fifty years this forward-looking approach has been the cause of a real revolution in social life, industry and technology. Television, computers, mobile phones, smartphones and internet can serve as good examples.
Automotive industry is part of this constant innovation, which has always been the basis for the production of highly complex and efficient products with standard configurations and optionals designed to guarantee passengers safety and vehicle performance.
Car industry concentrated its efforts towards different specific problems in different moments. In the 1990s space was the main characteristic of vehicles, in the 2000s attention to safety became prominent, while in the critical year of 2008 maintenance cost reduction was the prime objective.
Recently, thanks to a recovery in car industry, the main focus has been on superb quality and high technological vehicles with particular attention to connectivity and multimedia, such as Bluetooth, integrated GPS navigation systems, electronic ignition and adaptive cruise control. It is evident that bigger car-producing companies aim to offer highly connected, interactive and multimedia vehicles, improving comfort for both driver and passengers.
How can the best comfort be achieved? The answer is a complete tailoring of products. This is the new challenge which automotive companies have started to face, trying to increase the level of customization.
A new tool which looks promising in terms of customization is 3D printing. This technology will eventually make it possible for vehicle producers to tailor-make every small detail such as doors, handles and dashboards.
This approach will be combined with the aforementioned connectivity. More specifically, in a few years a new operating system will be implemented, to allow an easy and efficient integration of cars with any portable device. An early example is Apple CarPlay which is already compatible with several car models. Apple defines it as an actual co-pilot. In fact, CarPlay system integrates the most common iPhone functions with the car display and allows the people in the vehicle to make phone calls, listen to music, send and receive messages with no risks to safety.
The idea behind car operating systems design relies not only on the link between drivers and cars but also on sharing a common communication language among different vehicles. This is the car of the future.
Questo tipo di approccio sarà integrato con la già citata connettività: nello specifico, nell’arco di qualche anno sarà progettato e probabilmente prodotto un sistema operativo in grado di interfacciarsi in modo agevole e comodo con tutti i dispositivi portatili. Un primo esempio di questo obiettivo è rappresentato da Apple CarPlay, già compatibile con diversi modelli di automobile: la casa di Cupertino la definisce una vera e propria “copilota” del conducente. Di fatto, il sistema CarPlay trasferisce sul display dell’auto le funzioni dell’iPhone preferite e più utilizzate, permettendo agli occupanti di effettuare telefonate, ascoltare musica, inviare e ricevere messaggi senza rischi per la sicurezza.
La filosofia dietro la progettazione di sistemi operativi per automobili non riguarda solamente il legame che dovrà crearsi tra la vettura e il suo conducente, ma la condivisione di un linguaggio di comunicazione universale tra i vari autoveicoli. Ecco l’automobile del futuro.