Car To Driver Email: Change My Fuel Pump

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Imagine your car warning you of an icy road ahead, reading the text messages arriving on your phone or sending you an e-mail that one of its components needs replacing soon.

This is the vision driving automotive telematics, a technology that experts say needs only a successful business model to be a runaway hit.

“I personally believe it is going to be in every car. It is just a matter of time,” said Karl-Thomas Neumann, the head of German tyremaker Continental automotive division.

Last April, Continental agreed to pay $1 billion for Motorola’s automotive electronics business and thus instantly involving itself into vehicle computing and communications technology.

Thomas Weber, head of research at DaimlerChrysler, said telematics technology was far advanced in Europe but still needed authorities to award, for example, frequencies that would let cars talk to one another.

Carmakers have already been marketing the technology as a safety boon, for instance by automatically alerting rescue crews with an emergency call if your car’s airbags detonate.

“What has not been solved is managing the e-call centre and handling the costs for a call centre in a Europe that is not so unified and that has lots of individual states and languages. There is still some work to do there,” Weber said this month.

A debate is raging over whether the technology should be embedded in the car or if the vehicle should simply support portable gadgets like mobile phones and digital media players.

Another hurdle may be getting motorists to pay for this service, particularly as todays cars are so reliable (especially if they’re are regularly serviced) meaning they may never actually ‘need’ the technology.

[Source: Reuters]

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