Everything is “connected” these days—our smartphones connect to our PCs, our PCs connect to cloud-based servers, and those cloud-based servers connect right back to our smartphones. What’s next?

It’s the automobile. While connected cars have existed in rudimentary forms since the 1990s, they’ve recently become the trendiest device to connect and extract information from in order to achieve personal and professional gain.

In this blog, Skypatrol will break down the world of connected cars, and how they “connect” to the GPS industry.

What is a connected car?

A connected car is essentially a car with internet access. Utilizing a wireless local area network, connected cars have the ability to connect to personal consumer devices like smartphones and tablets, and can also communicate with systems outside of the vehicle in order to collect vehicle performance data and insights.

While connected cars began with the implementation of Onstar in Cadillac vehicles in 1996 to locate drivers in perilous predicaments, the technology has slowly evolved and taken on many different forms for many different consumer and professional applications.

What are the applications for connected cars?

There are a wide variety of applications for connected cars, which can be broken down into single vehicle and fleet use:

Single-Vehicle Applications

Safety

This is the classic Onstar example. Car connectivity allows for drivers to alert EMS professionals if they get in an accident and are injured, or to contact towing companies and repairmen for flat tires, breakdowns, and the like. Also alerts drivers about troublesome weather or traffic ahead.

Driver Assistance

Connected cars are able to provide navigation services, as well as list nearby amenities like restaurants, auto shops, and gas stations. With the emergence of voice control on digital devices, drivers can access and manipulate these features while keeping their hands where they should be: on the wheel.

Entertainment

By syncing with mobile devices, connected cars can play songs, create WiFi hotspots, and give access to social media, messaging, and mobile office applications.

Vehicle Management

Connected cars can collect vehicle usage and service data, in order to send drivers oil change reminders and alerts about car issues like low tire pressure.

Fleet Applications

Vehicle Efficiency & Usage

Connected fleet vehicles can collect vehicle performance and usage data to help companies improve their vehicle efficiency, keep up on vehicle maintenance, and ultimately, reduce operational costs.

Driver Patterns

Connected car systems can record and analyze driver routes, patterns, vehicle usage, and driving habits, ensuring drivers drive safely and efficiently at all times.

Route Planning

By keeping track of route data, fleet companies can take steps to find the fastest routes, which can improve fuel usage and operational costs.

Geolocation

For those with a large fleet of vehicles that all look the same, finding the exact vehicle you need can be a challenge. Geolocation allows you to pinpoint the exact vehicle you need within a radius of three feet.

How do connected cars affect the GPS industry?

Well, they are the GPS industry. Connected cars and their features would not exists without GPS geolocation—after all, how could Onstar find you in your Cadillac DeVille if they didn’t have your GPS location? How would Skypatrol be able to monitor your fleet routes?

For business and personal use, GPS technology has set the stage for what’s to come in terms of connected car technology. Connected car market revenues have grown steadily over the past five years, and are projected to grow by 29 percent between now and 2020—and that’s for personal vehicles alone.

Get connected with Skypatrol

For personal GPS needs, or for small to medium-sized fleets, Skypatrol can bridge the gap between your vehicle and your personal or business success. Check out our products today!