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Connected Cars: Safety and Fun Are Driving Innovation

News last week that a North Carolina woman died in a head-on car crash while posting selfies and Facebook updates brings home the hope for “connected cars.” More cars connected to the Internet, the argument goes, would help, not distract, drivers. With hands-free, eyes-on-the-road communication and entertainment as the norm, we might hear fewer such horror stories.

Related: Top Ten Technologies for Mature Drivers

GPA in connected carWe’re definitely moving toward connected cars. The market for hardware, software and apps that connect cars to the Internet is expected to reach $50 billion by 2018. In mid-April, Volvo became the latest of several car manufacturers to choose AT&T’s cellular network for connecting their products to the Internet. The Swedish company’s Sensus Connected Touch apps will soon allow drivers and passengers to take advantage of Web browsing, streaming music, live weather reports, crash notification and roadside assistance (like pioneer OnStar) and a variety of other features.

Here are two of the most common ways many new cars are already connected:


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Here’s what’s on tap:


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And of course you’ve probably heard about the self-driving car, which Google and others are racing to make commercially available. But did you know that Nissan is currently testing a self-cleaning car? That’s the one I want.

Credit:  Gregory_DUBUS/iStockphoto


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