In the automotive heyday, one car enthusiast to another would talk about their four-barrel carburetor, heavy-duty three-speed manual gearbox, dual exhaust, mag wheels, with a four on the floor. However, today’s sleek vehicles are no longer just about power, speed, and performance.
Rather, today’s increasing sophistication of in-vehicle electronics ignites a whole new buying experience, bringing along with it a new breed of car enthusiast that not only gets revved up by the idea of dual exhaust and a four on the floor, but also by such features as voice-activated controls, motion-sensing brakes, and device pairing.
As the lines begin to blur between car buff and technology enthusiast, Connected World
magazine presents its annual Connected World Connected Car of the Year
. But as you will see, cars with simple Bluetooth-enabled capabilities need not apply. Rather, it’s the automobiles that strike the right balance of safety
, and infotainment
that drive home with this unique and distinguished title.
Rather than singling out one specific vehicle, Connected World editors instead took the approach of naming four different automobiles based on specific price points, encompassing the categories small; midsize; luxury; and ultra-luxury sedan. After all, being connected these days isn’t strictly limited to the affluent.
Among the factors considered were:
- Safety: Active safety features and distraction-free drive
- Hands-free features (e.g., mobile syncing, audible text messaging)
- Vehicle safety features (e.g., crash avoidance, blind-spot detection)
- Emergency-response services
- Stolen vehicle/roadside assistance
- Convenience: Connectivity features focus on comfort and convenience
- Remote access to vehicle (e.g., via smartphone)
- Provides vehicle diagnostic information
- Traffic and navigation features
- Driver-assistance programs
- Infotainment: Focus on providing infotainment options in distraction-free manner
- Streaming content (music, videos, pictures)
- Connectivity to other devices (computer, tablet, smartphone, etc.)
- Social media connections
- Web connectivity