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5 ways your car is becoming a smartphone on wheels

(NC) Cars are no longer just a solution to take us from point A to point B. In today’s world, where we are more connected to our homes, families, work and friends, our vehicles are also keeping up with advancing technologies. The modern car can help connect and direct us to, literally, steer down the rig ht path.

There are an array of features that are becoming mainstream and could transform the way you drive. Here is what might be in your future:

  1. Safety: Proximity sensors to warn you of hazards ahead on the road, automatic-braking, and park assist are just a few of the technological advancements being included in new vehicles.
  2. Vehicle information: Digital messages can let you know about looming issues like worn brake pads, a brake light that is about to burn out, or other problems well beyond what most current vehicles can sense.
  3. Location information: Based on your specific location, your car will be able to provide suggestions for local restaurants, attractions and hotels in the area.
  4. Communication: You will be able to connect to other devices, including other cars, phones, computers, home appliances and thermostats.
  5. Data tracking: Information about vehicle speed, usage and driving tendencies will be collected by your vehicle. Among the uses for this information are usage-based insurance policies which set premiums based on driving behaviour.

While our cars might be able to do more for us, what will it mean for our privacy? Vehicles are increasingly capable of transmitting information wirelessly, leading to questions about privacy and security.

Many manufacturers are planning to collect this information but the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) believes that as the driver you should have the ability to control which information is shared and where it goes. Among other things, vehicles should be built with a clear menu so consumers can opt in to share the information they want to with the automaker or other service provider, such as a garage.

While some of these technologies may seem futuristic, there are currently data-collecting capabilities that car vendors use every time our car is serviced. Vehicles have been collecting limited repair data for years. The big change that is coming is two-fold: way more information will be collected, and it will be capable of being transmitted wirelessly to your vehicle manufacturer.

The CAA advises you to get to know what your car knows about you.