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How Our Cars Will Become Much Smarter in 2017

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The 2017 Cadillac ATS-V is offered with an all-new Carbon Black package and its CUE infotainment has been updated

2016 has seen plenty of innovative features like advanced cruise control, lane change assist, and remote control technology that even let us park our vehicles from the convenience of our smartphones.

And this blurring of the lines between cars and computer technology looks to continue throughout 2017 as several leading car manufacturers have already outlined how they’ll be joining forces with software companies to deliver a smarter driving experience.

While the likes of Tesla have long been at the forefront of intelligent driving tech, it’s clear that this is now a key area of driving innovation that’s drawing in some of the world’s most long-standing car firms.

Just last month, German car manufacturer Audi announced a deal with the Chinese tech giants Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu to ensure that the brand’s cars make full use of the “internet of things” to deliver a safer and more efficient driving experience.

This will see Audi using Alibaba’s revolutionary 3D maps, Tencent’s car connectivity apps, and Baidu’s CarLife app in a bid to take on Apple’s CarPlay feature that’s already been successfully installed in brands such as Kia and Honda.

Interestingly, Samsung has just taken its first major steps into the car tech field with the acquisition of the Harman International firm. Harman has become a key player in connected car technology with its embedded infotainment devices help to deliver a safer and more secure drive.

The 2016 Ford Expedition features analog instrumentation with tachometer and single 4.2-inch cluster display

As screens become a larger part of the driving experience, it’s going to be interesting to see how smartphones will feature in the car environment. There have already been firms who allow screen-casting of mobile devices to permit passengers to play online games in super-size while on the move.

And it opens up the prospect of passengers being able to do things such as playing a wide range of quick and easy games on the go, making the commute a little less painful whilst playing on a screen the size of a standard desktop PC.

But although being able to take a trip to an online casino whilst being driven to your location is undeniably appealing, the big question remains of when will self-driving cars become a reality?

good self-driving car

Photo: Roman Boed

There have so far been successful public tests in places as far-ranging as Wuzhen, China; and Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; and even tricky maneuvers like three-point turns have been successfully negotiated by Google’s self-driving cars.

But it seems that it’s the widespread public distrust of self-driving cars that could be the biggest obstacle as 75% of US drivers still fear this revolutionary technology.

So while we can enjoy online casino games and even allow our cars to park themselves, there’s still some way to go before we can experience a fully automatic automotive experience.