To address the fact that drivers simply don’t have enough to do while hurtling a ton of glass and steel down highways, Sony Ericcson and Saab have partnered-up at the Paris Motor Show to reveal plans for an in-car connectivity application. Naturally, David Hasslehoff is to blame.
Decades after Michael Knight barked out orders to KITT via his calculator watch, the two companies (while constantly reminding everyone to use this technology wisely), are collaborating on future in-car innovations that will not only integrate onboard systems and facilitate upgrades in handsfree “telephony, like Bluetooth, or enable vehicle internet access, but give drivers the ability to operate various other aspects of their vehicle remotely via their cell phone. There remains solid evidence disproving whether handsfree devices linked to cell phones really improve driving abilities much, but at the very least those with “Borg-like” electronics jutting from their ear canals will have a clearer signal and both hands on the wheel when they blow through stop signs while ordering take-out from Applebees. Beyond the further encouragement of often idiotic cell phone use or entertainment system use while driving, the companies are working on software that will enable someone to use their cell phone away from their vehicle to manage, among other things, the car’s head lights and interior lighting, front and rear seat settings or trunk. The fact that much of the examples given in the press release would be reduntant for most new cars that come with these features on the factory key chains, does not diminish other more significant advantages that may develop with this partnership. The most obvious would be the increased signal range of a cell phone over key chains. This would allow a driver the ability to monitor a car’s alarm system, be able to have access to the vehicle’s navigation (where did I park?) or keep tabs on a teen driver, perhaps through a series of notifications sent based on preprogrammed driving criteria. Of course, there would be a whole of host of ways that this technology could potentially then be abused. Anyone care to estimate the amount of time it will take some resourceful teen to hack and link his phone into a car of his choosing? Sounds ripe for prime time TV.