Home Interconnected cars only a few years away, says Lear

Interconnected cars only a few years away, says Lear

Modular wireless connectivity may be coming to cars in the “a few years,” allowing cars to talk to other cars, connected roads, and parking lots.

Car component supplier Lear is looking to become the major player in this market, after acquiring Arada Systems and Autonet Mobile, two firms that developed wireless connectivity inside cars.

See Also: Apple self-driving effort shifts from hardware to software

It has a plan to build a modular system, so OEMs can easily replace parts that don’t work or need an upgrade. The system will also receive over-the-air updates to update the wireless systems and provide additional security when necessary, similar to Tesla’s software updates.

Lear plans to test the modular system in Detroit, Michigan, which already has 125 miles of wireless infrastructure embedded into roads, thanks to Arada Systems. Similar infrastructure has been added to downtown Detroit, giving Lear a rather big patch of testing ground.

“Detroit is the only downtown in the country with a network deployment,” Singh said. “We’re currently looking to work with the city on creating connected buses, etc.”

Interconnected means leveraging everyone’s data

A connected car should be able to receive real-time updates on traffic, weather warnings, parking space, and alternative routes. In an autonomous world, the wireless capabilities may be extended to streaming video from providers like Netflix, Amazon Video.

Networking giants have warned that connected cars will bring a lot more devices onto the internet. Once autonomous cars hit the road, data usage in cars is expected to accelerate.

Lear sees a world where cars are able to understand what is happening in front and behind them and adjust accordingly. If it knows the traffic light is about to turn red, it may slow down the car to avoid accidents.

That could become a possibility in the near future, though it will take autonomous cars to change the way traffic moves and how cars interact with one another.

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