Connected cars are here, and you don’t have to trade in your current ride to avail yourself of the technology.
Let’s say, for example, that you’re in the market for a radar and laser detector, because no one wants a speeding ticket and it’s easy to go faster than you really intended. At least one manufacturer, ESCORT (escortinc.com), offers a service that transmits “encounters” to the cloud via Bluetooth and a smartphone app and then broadcasts that information to other ESCORT users. The result, says ESCORT, “is a nation of drivers connected in the ESCORT Live™ social network.” Eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, and easier on the gas pedal.
Last month ESCORT partnered with MyAssist (myassist.com), the live-agent concierge service you’d get if you bought a new Ford or a car equipped with a Hughes Telematics system. New ESCORT customers get MyAssist concierge service free for a year (see ESCORT for the details).
MyAssist users can call or email requests related to travel and reservations, roadside emergency services, medical assistance and what all else to live agents anytime, day or night, from anywhere in the world that communications capability exists. Driving? Push a button and be connected right away to a real person who knows your dining or travel or entertainment preferences and has your preferred credit card information so he or she can book reservations.
MyAssist president Jim Flavell says the service once saved his weekend. While on his way to the airport the service called to inform him that his flight had been cancelled. The agent was able to reserve a seat on another flight departing from a different but nearby airport. It would not take many such experiences to make one a believer.
We didn’t know we needed email or texting until those technologies were available. Connected vehicle technology is already beginning to change the driving experience.