Mobile phones and electronic devices have always had a tempestuous relationship with cars, with people ever more dependent on them and ever more reluctant to put them down, despite the obvious safety implications of using them behind the wheel. Thankfully new generations of vehicles are being designed with modern society’s mobile phone obsession in mind, offering technology packages that allow users to stay connected while remaining safe on the road.
Bluetooth technology in many cars like the Mazda CX-5 at Carsales has been specially developed to allow you to integrate your mobile device with the vehicle’s technology, giving you the opportunity to make hands-free telephone calls without having to reach for your phone. This technology is a far cry from the original Bluetooth accessories that involved wearing impractical headsets to make and receive calls. It’s entirely voice activated, so you can dial numbers and receive calls using only vocal commands and buttons on the steering wheel, and the audio is crystal clear. A microphone located on the unit picks up your voice, while high-tech speakers project the caller’s voice, making talking to them as easy and straightforward as if they were right there with you in the car.
Of course, it’s not only phone calls that provide a distraction to drivers – reading and sending text messages while on the road can be just as tempting but equally as dangerous, taking your focus away from the task at hand. Luckily, vehicle manufacturers have come up with a solution to this too. Ford’s Sync technology uses Bluetooth to connect to driver’s phones and can read text messages out loud when received, as well as allow users to respond via voice command with a choice of pre-programmed messages. There are also several companies competing to develop voice-to-text technology which will allow drivers to dictate full text messages while driving, and even write and receive emails without taking their hands off the wheel.
Another distraction while driving can be your entertainment system – who hasn’t taken their eyes off the road momentarily to fiddle around with an mp3 player or select a track on their mobile phone? Fortunately, voice-activation technology now means you can do all these things safely, whilst driving. In the BMW x1 sold on Carsales you can use voice commands, picked up by a clever hands-free microphone that filters out background noise, to control the on-board CD drive and radio, selecting tracks or stations with ease. You can also use Bluetooth technology to connect your mobile device to the audio system, and control any tracks stored on there in the same fashion.
With voice-activation available to control everything from phone calls and music to sat-nav and even your car’s climate control, there’s no excuse to be distracted whilst driving. And with companies racing against each other to create new and better technology for a complete hands-free experience, we can only expect vehicles and the way we communicate to become more and more influential on each other in years to come