Transmunication describes the indefatigable mating now under way between the car/transportation industry and the infotainment worlds of Internet, communications and media. Vehicles are becoming entertainment and information gadgets on wheels.
The latest example: Nissan and Intel have teamed up at the New York International Auto Show to demonstrate an onboard infotainment system in a zero-emissions, electric-powered concept version of Nissan’s Infiniti luxury car. An Intel Atom microprocessor supports all sorts of vehicular connectivity, including a video security system, engine monitoring, and phone-operated door locks (using “near field communication).
Whoa, I slept through that last sentence - phone operated door locks! That’s a new one to me, but I confess to not having followed every single twist and turn in this rapidly unfolding story of industry convergence (hard to do while also tracking nuclear, solar, wind, geothermal, oil, gas, fracking, LEDs, biofuels, algae, etc. etc.). Can the same technology also switch on the ignition? We’ll see.
Oh, and another bit of sleepwalking: Yes, that’s an Infiniti powered by lithium-ion batteries. More on all that in a Nissan press release, if you want.
Back to the security system: “By using in-car connectivity and cameras and sensors already in the car, the car is able to notify the owner via smartphone when the vehicla is struck in a parking lot,” Intel and Nissan say in a joint press release.
“Nissan selected Intel as a technology partner to jointly develop rich in-vehicle experiences that will keep Nissan drivers and passengers informed, entertained and productive while maintaining optimal safety,” the relsease states. The system’s two displays “will enable the driver to see vital traffic information and navigation while simultaneously delivering entertainment, such as movies, to passengers.”
As I’ve said before and I’ll say again: Bring on the car for “free,” in exchange for 2 years of monthly connectivity fees - the way many of us already pay for cellphones.
More TransMunication on SmartPlanet: