Volvo and Ericsson have created a cloud-based connectivity system that allow your car to pay for parking by itself.
Forget about lost car tickets or even queuing up to pay for parking in the future - soon your car could automate the lot.
Swedish car maker Volvo used the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to announce a partnership with communications group Ericsson to create a cloud-based connectivity system that it plans to introduce to new models globally from May, with some elements added to Australian models before the end of 2014.
Dubbed Sensus Connect, the system includes a world first Park&Pay function where the car can communicate with parking lots to alert the driver to the closest one and then pay for the fee when exiting.
The system will require parking stations or council meters to adopt new technology, which could reduce its usefulness initially, but once online payments become more common - especially through smartphones - the ability to pay directly through car could take drivers one step closer to being cashless.
The Sensus Connect has a built-in 3G modem for internet connection that also allows users to search for additional information on destinations in the satellite navigation system through Wikipedia, as well as access a range of internet radio apps such as Pandora, TuneIn, Rdio and Stitcher.
Volvo has also collaborated with Glympse, a social networking app where drivers can alert other users of their location, which it says could be useful for those interested in carpooling.
The Swedish brand says Sensus Connect is not about adding distractions for the driver, but making the car more convenient and an active part of modern lifestyle.
“Technology should make your life easier,” says David Holecek, connectivity brand manager at Volvo Cars. “That’s why we listened carefully to our customers when creating Sensus Connect. It’s not about offering a thousand apps; it’s about giving you precisely what you need, before you even knew you needed it.”
“It’s all about giving everyone an enjoyable, easy to use and intuitive experience.
“There is no point in filling a car with technology if it comes off as overwhelming, so our main focus is always to give our customers the best experience available and make it easy to digest. Our cloud-based apps update seamlessly. Sensus offers the optimal combination of input/output methods and allows the driver to turn the entire car into a Wi-Fi hotspot for all of their connected devices.”
The Sensus Connect also allows owners to remotely start their vehicles from their smartphone and set the cabin temperature before they arrive, as well as read out text messages through the audio system.
It can also be hooked-up to the dealership, providing owners with reminders about when the car requires servicing.