One idea was made clear at this year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit: Your next car's dashboard is going to look very different than the one that's in your current vehicle.
And experts say that new generation of cars is also going to perform quite differently. They will take learn your driving preferences, offer suggestions on alternate routes when you're stuck in traffic, and even help out with parking or saving on gas.
the automaker's perspective, about 90 percent of the innovation in
cars today comes from technology,” said Danny Shapiro, senior director, automotive, with Santa Clara, Calif.-based
NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA). “And what
we're doing is really trying to enable cars to be a lot safer and
more enjoyable for people that are the drivers or the passengers of
NVIDIA is adapting their processors for the road, making them smaller, energy-efficient and customizable for use in vehicles. These Visual Computing Modules not only run the car's information and entertainment systems, but also can be updated via the Internet – much like your home computer's operating system.
The chipmaker is also a member of the newly formed Open Automotive Alliance, which also includes General Motors (GM), Honda (HMC), Audi (a division of the Volkswagen Group), Google (GOOG) and Hyundai. Earlier this month, the group announced its goals of sharing "a vision for the connected car,” along with creating a common platform for this next generation of connected vehicles.
Similar efforts are also underway. Apple's (AAPL) iOS in the Car” platform links the company's mobile operating system with a vehicles in-dash technology. That allows people to use the car's display to make phone
calls, receive messages, get directors and access music.
“But I think those prices are coming down significantly,” he said, “because people are saying, 'Well, I have my phone, why don't I just use that?' And we're also seeing more and more of these systems appear in the base model [cars]. It's what people are starting to expect and what car companies are doing more of, to stay competitive as well.”