When the 2012 L.A. Auto Show opens Nov. 30 (we'll be covering the press days Nov. 28-29) it will bring with it the future.
Not only will well-established automakers display forthcoming production vehicles and far-off concepts, but companies including Intel, Sprint and Qualcomm will be part of a technology showcase that will preview what they're developing for use inside your car.
Intel is working to better link drivers' phones to their vehicles for a wider variety of uses. Imagine someone cracks into your car when it's parked; when linked, sensors (which already exist on a number of vehicles to aid in parking) could detect the hit and use the connection between the car and your smartphone to alert you. Keep that in mind next time you ding and ditch.
The company is also working on near-field communications (that feature you see in the Samsung commercials with two guys touching phones to share a playlist) that will enable you to use your smartphone as a key for your car.
Qualcomm Technologies is also working to better link you to your vehicle with features such as the ability to remotely start and access the climate control before you get in for your morning commute. The company is also developing high-speed data connections in cars so parents could stream TV shows and movies to kids in the back seat.
Livio is another company working on streaming content in cars, and it has an eye on music. At the L.A. Auto Show it will display an app called TuneIn in a Chevy Spark that will give users access to 70,000 radio stations around the world.
A company called Telenav has an app for Android and iPhones called Scout that features navigation, traffic rerouting, commute times and speech recognition systems, which users can personalize. The company recently announced a partnership with Ford and its Sync system that enables drivers to link the app on their smartphone with the vehicle's controls.
Thus, you could be at your desk with your phone, select a destination, have it route you around traffic or along your preferred route and then walk to your car and have the same information available as you drive. Given how much Ford's Sync system is hurting it in reliability ratings, this could be a much-welcomed update.
For a more thorough look at these technologies when they're unveiled at the L.A. Auto Show, as well as complete coverage of the event, stay tuned right here on Highway 1. In the meantime, is that a new dent in your bumper?