Is the ‘connected car’ the future of driving?
As the buzz around connected mobility continues to grow, we wanted to know; is the connected car the future of driving?
Firstly, what exactly is a connected car? A connected car is a vehicle equipped with internet connectivity and, in most cases, a WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network). Cars can access and send data, download software and communicate with other Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as other cars, houses, and infrastructure. Connected car features cover both software and hardware solutions. Software solutions include mobile apps that help drivers find better gas or electricity rates, improve fuel economy, and even call for emergency assistance. While such software is an important part of connected cars, the hardware is equally vital. Examples of connected hardware features include engine management and control, exhaust monitoring and cleaning, infotainment and communications, in-car power, lighting, safety and security systems, navigation, and telematics systems.
Improving road safety is perhaps the key driver of the development of connected mobility. Connected cars help drivers make safer choices on the road and increase awareness of what is going on in traffic around you, making our roads safer for everyone. New connected car models such as Tesla X, BMW i3, and the Volkswagen Tiguan use a combination of hardware (sensors, cameras, and radar) and software to stop drivers from drifting into adjacent lanes, making unsafe lane changes or brake automatically when a vehicle ahead stops or slows suddenly. As more and more cars offer these and other safety features, and increasingly communicate amongst each other, we can look forward to fewer (and less severe) accidents on the road.
Wired for fun
Besides safety, the in-car experience is also top of mind in the connected cars of today and tomorrow. Voice command systems like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa are becoming more sophisticated and can connect drivers to their phones, calendar, social platforms, entertainment options, navigation, and climate controls. Instead of just a means to get you from A to B, your connected car can become a companion who knows your preferred destinations, plays your favourite music and reminds you of your daily schedule.
Looking to the future, it is inevitable that vehicles will become increasingly connected to our personal devices, the infrastructure around us, other IoT devices and other connected vehicles (V2V). The consequences of this development are mainly positive; safer cars that are more fun to drive, a reduction in the number of accidents occurring on our roads and eventually lower insurance premiums. However, as with all new technologies, there are concerns around privacy and security. Manufacturers, users, and governments need to work together to keep the data gathered by a connected car safe and secure.
Top FAQs electric driving
An electric vehicle, also called an EV, uses one or more electric motors or traction motors for propulsion. The energy used for driving an EV is stored in the battery and the battery is charged at a charge station (at home, at the office or in public).
To charge your electric vehicle, you will require a recharging station, a charging cable, and a charging card.
A fully charged battery with a capacity of 40 kW will enable you to drive 200 to 250 kilometers. If you drive sensibly, you will achieve even more. Speed has the most effect on the amount of power drawn down from your battery, so you are advised to keep to the permitted speed limits.
There are also other factors that may have an effect on your driving range:
An electric vehicle requires less maintenance. This is due to the engine's reduced number of moving parts compared to a conventional combustion motor, which therefore leads to reduced wear. Moreover, oil changes are a thing of the past and the vehicle does not have an exhaust or gears. In addition, the brakes are less susceptible to wear thanks to the regenerative braking capacity.
Electric vehicles are approved for all safety factors, just like conventional vehicles. In the event of a collision, there is a possibility that some parts may receive an active charge or that short-circuiting causes an electrical fire, though the safety precautions and construction have limited this risk to an absolute minimum.
That depends on a number of factors: the type of vehicle, the power left in the battery, how fast your vehicle charges, and which type of recharging station you will be using. When charging your vehicle with a standard power socket, approximately 10 hours is required. This is approximately 2 to 4 hours when using a public recharging terminal. When using a fast-charger (primarily located along highways), your battery will reach 80% charge in 30 minutes. Do keep in mind that using fast-chargers is more expensive than standard recharging stations.
This depends on where you will be charging your vehicle. Home recharging stations are the most economical in most situations. The average electric vehicle uses 15 to 20 kWh per 100 km. If your home electricity rate is €0.25 and you drive an average of 15,000 km per year, your charging costs will range between €563 and €750 per year. When charging away from home, your rate is determined by the recharging terminal provider. A starting fee and incentive rate are often charged in addition to the kWh charge. Via www.plugsurfing.com, you'll find an overview of available recharging terminals in Belgium and Europe including the price per kWh.