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Tesla, Ford, Amazon Hint At Cloudy Future For Cars 231

Posted by samzenpus
from the where-the-processor-meets-the-road dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "The automobile, once the most analog of technologies, is rapidly becoming a smartphone on wheels: Amazon announced Feb. 13 that Ford SYNC Applink-equipped vehicles will include the Amazon Cloud Player, allowing drivers to access their music libraries via voice command or dashboard controls. Ford isn't the only automotive company seeking to integrate cloud computing into the driving experience. Tesla Motors' Model S electric sedan boasts a 17-inch capacitive touch-screen in place of the usual dashboard buttons and dials. And who could forget Google's self-driving car? This isn't a future everybody wants—there are more than a few wannabe Steve McQueens who won't feel complete unless they can stomp on a pedal connected to an internal-combustion engine, flick a physical dashboard knob to the radio station of their choice, and peel out their driveway in a cloud of burning rubber. But as the latest technology migrates into automobiles, it could well be the future we're going to receive."
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Tesla, Ford, Amazon Hint At Cloudy Future For Cars

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  • by afidel (530433) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:44AM (#42892695)

    I agree with this 100% and it's one of my biggest pet peeves about modern head units, onscreen displays are really unsafe. The one thing I want more than hardware buttons though is a single hardware button that tells my smartphone over Bluetooth to listen for a voice command, I don't want a head unit with built in apps that will be dead long before the 10-12 year typical car life, I want a standard way to use my more or less disposable smartphone.

    On a related topic, when do we get voice control of Amazon cloud player for Android/iOS?

  • by kombipom (1274672) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @02:56AM (#42892971) Journal

    Those kinds of controls have all moved to on-the-steering-wheel buttons. And presumably most of the controls are going to be voice activated soon, via all this fancy computing you seem so opposed to (on /. FFS).

  • tactile feedback (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 14, 2013 @08:24AM (#42894411)

    I don't want to know what a 17" touchscreen will cost, even a decade into the future, just to get your fan/heater/AC controls working again.

    More than that: I can work the controls on my 2003 Golf TDI without taking my eyes off the road. The folks at VW did their homework enough that most knobs and buttons having a unique enough feel and movement that I can adjust settings (audio, HVAC) with my right hand while keeping my left hand on the wheel, and my eyes on the road because of the tactile feedback.

    I cannot see how the same thing can be done with an all-screen control panel.

    I wouldn't against a large screen for information display, with touch functionality, but I also want (properly designed) knobs as well.

"Just think of a computer as hardware you can program." -- Nigel de la Tierre