Cell Phone Vehicle Control: Coming Soon To Sync And OnStar?

November 4, 2009


The iPhone-remote-controlled "Spirit of Berlin" Dodge Grand Caravan that we posted about just earlier today is pretty wild.

In case you missed, it you'll want to check out the video clip demonstrating almost full vehicle operation, from the much-loved Apple handset. To a soundtrack by Yello, of course.

Then you'll probably also want to recall the scene below in Tomorrow Never Dies, where James Bond uses a special smartphone to drive his BMW 7-Series remotely from the backseat.

When will you be able to buy a new car that can respond remotely? It looks like some remote-controlled vehicle features—not driving, silly—might be relatively common just a few years from now.

The market intelligence firm iSuppli projects that more than a quarter of all vehicles sold worldwide in 2016 will be shipped with telematics systems that have remote capabilities, likely accessed through cell phones, smartphones, or other mobile devices.

Door locking, lights, or climate-control functions might be among the supported features, with iSuppli suggesting that a driver might be able to save battery power with a plug-in vehicle by bringing it to a comfortable temperature while it's still plugged in.

According to the company, about 85,000 vehicles will be shipped with a remote feature in 2010. Toyota is already offering a G-Security system in Japan, allowing vehicle location and remote viewing of your vehicle's interior. And building on features offered by Volvo in its Personal Car Communicator, the Toyota system will send you a theft alert if the vehicle is stolen or broken into. In the U.S., such remote features won't be limited to luxury cars; they might be introduced on a widespread basis within just a few years to GM's OnStar or Ford's Sync system.

Remote driving? We'll leave that to the 007s, thank you.


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