Modern technology has come a long way. No one could have imagined how computers would dominate communication and most other aspects of everyday life. Did you ever think it would be possible to remote control your car via phone or watch?
As more and more advanced features become available in cars, many automobile manufacturers strive to incorporate ever new, exciting and useful innovations into their vehicles. Today, we’ll examine some of the latest offerings that allow you to control your car without sitting behind the wheel, as well as advantages and disadvantages of such technology.
Controlling Your Car from the Outside: It Doesn’t Just Happen in the Movies
Several automakers have introduced the use of smartphones and smartwatches that enable their users to control certain features of their cars remotely. It’s always exciting to see technology, once thought of as science fiction only, to make debut in reality. This technology is strikingly similar to the spy gear used in the 1997 James Bond movie “Tomorrow Never Dies.” In the movie, Pierce Brosnan controls his BMW 750i in this manner. Let’s see which automakers introduced these awesome features.
Land Rover and Smartphone Control: More Control over Each Situation
With its new Range Rover Sport prototype, Jaguar Land Rover has almost made the dream of feeling like James Bond a reality. The developers introduced an app that allows your smartphone to connect to the vehicle’s Bluetooth so that you can control the steering, throttle, brakes, and gear shifter from outside the car.
During the demonstration, the app is shown to control the acceleration and brakes, and allows the car to change from high to low range. This makes it easier to park in tight spaces. This technology is great for off-roading, as it lets you exit your vehicle to get a better understanding of the terrain and how much ground clearance you have beneath your automobile. Around a large stream or on slippery terrain, it will be an invaluable tool that keeps you from becoming stuck. What’s important to note is that the speed is limited to 4 mph while the car is controlled in this way, and communication will stop when the remote goes beyond its 30-foot range.
LG and Audi Pair Up and Build a Smartwatch That Can Control a Car: Call Your Car with Your Smartwatch
Other high-end car manufacturers are also making strides with remote control technology. Audi recently collaborated with LG to develop a smartwatch that lets a user control one of their vehicles. During the car company’s CES address, the watch was unveiled and used to call their new A7 concept to the stage during the presentation.
Besides having a phone dialer and message app, the smartwatch has a navigation menu, calendar app and quick settings menu. Audi incorporated a special feature that unlocks the doors via Near Field Communication. Luckily, they have predicted that this could pose an issue if the battery is empty, so NFC can be used even when the battery is drained – you’ll never need to worry about being locked out of your car. Although Audi is still testing, improving and adding features to the device, its future advancements will be used for a host of commands, including ways to adjust the temperature, start the car and to operate the stereo.
2016 BMW 7 Series: The Remote Control Parking System Lets You Take Advantage of Tight Parking Spaces
Parallel parking into a tight space can be close to impossible, but the new 2016 BMW 7 Series will make it much easier thanks to its Remote Controlled Parking System that’s included as one of the many luxury tech features. An owner can move around parking lots without being behind the wheel. A driver can access extremely tight spaces with help from the technology.
Instructions are sent to BMW’s specifically designed Display Key, which includes a panel loaded with vehicle-specific information. With the specialized key, you can easily park in spaces that would usually be inaccessible because you wouldn’t be able to get in/out of the car once you park there. Their system only enables forward and reverse parking maneuvers at the moment.
Hyundai Blue Link: No Driving, but a Lot of Nifty and Convenient Features
Hyundai recently released its anticipated Blue Link companion app for smartwatches. You can use it to lock and unlock your doors, start your engine, flash your lights and honk your horn. The best part is you don’t need to own a new car. This technology is backwards compatible and works as far back as the 2012 Sonata model. It’s extremely helpful when you’re having trouble locating your car in a busy parking lot or when you need to call for roadside assistance. The best part is that voice commands are possible through the mic icon. At the moment, this app can be used with Android Wear devices, and a newer version compatible with Apple products is set to hit the market shortly.
Pros of Controlling Your Car Remotely
Remote control technology brings several advantages and disadvantages. Some of the advantages include:
- Clearer control of various situations that may arise are groundbreaking advantages, especially when parking or off-roading.
- Remote control makes it easy to fit into tight parking spaces you may not have been able to access without it.
- Controlling certain functions remotely increases maneuverability, as you can assess the situation outside of your vehicle and adjust your vehicle on the spot without having to be in it yourself.
- It allows you to start your vehicle and control certain functions, including air conditioning, vehicle status, vehicle location and more, without the need to be in your car.
- NFC communication works even if the battery is empty.
Cons of Remote Control: What can go Wrong?
Although this technological marvel is amazing, there are some disadvantages to consider as well:
- What happens if your phone or watch is stolen? There has to be a clear way to disconnect the controlling device in case of theft, otherwise you risk further damages.
- Security Issues – as this technology involves the Internet, you need proper security settings on your connected devices in order to avoid being hacked and having your information stolen.
- These innovations are relatively new, which means you may experience some issues and bugs in their functionality – it may be wise to wait for several more generations to make their debut before buying.
- The novelty of these innovations requires some adjustments from the driver; it will take some time to learn to use these functions in the most efficient way.
In the last decade alone, technological advancements have been astounding. The future of driving is certainly taking a turn in the right direction. As controlling cars remotely becomes more prevalent, you’ll be able to try it and get hands-on experience to better make up your mind.
How do you feel about remote control technology? Do you like its advantages?
Would you try it if given the chance or would you rather do all the driving without help?