Smartphones to run in-car tech for next-gen vehicles

Exclusive: Next-generation cars will use smartphones as entertainment and navigation hubs

Ahead of the Vauxhall Ampera electric car launch, engineers suggested smartphones are to play a pivotal roll in the future of in-car entertainment

Portable handsets are to become the entertainment hubs of next-generation vehicles with the in-car touchscreen displays to mirror devices’ user interfaces and allow users to wirelessly transform their cars into large-scale smartphones.

Suggesting drivers will soon replace their Sat Navs and CD players with a single app filled smartphone device Peter Stoker, head of Special Vehicle Engineering at Vauxhall, has announced that iPhone and Android handsets could soon become an integral part of the driving experience.

“One item that is being talked about is using your car’s display screen as a projector for your smartphone where whatever is appearing on your iPhone is appearing on your vehicle’s screen,” Stoker said in an exclusive interview with T3.

“That might be another way forward in the simplification of vehicles because the development speed of smartphones and smartphone apps is so much quicker than that of vehicles,” he added.“You could one day see all your navigation and all your radio signals and everything else on your phone rather than in the car with your car simply acting as a projector for this.”

Detailing how this will work Stoker said: “Your phone will sit on a cordless charging matt or something like that, charging wirelessly in the car and then everything to do with your phone system is up on the screen in front of you. Once they get some of the communication issues sorted out it’s not going to be too far away I don’t think, certainly within the next model cycles.”

Despite offering this tantalising insight into the future of in-car tech and the relationships smartphones will have with in-car entertainment systems the Vauxhall engineer was quick to quash some of the excitement stating: “This rollout would obviously start with high-end vehicles first and then come down the food chain.”

Would you be happy to lose your dedicated sat nav or in-car entertainment system to have all your smartphone loaded content available within your vehicle? Let us know via the T3 Twitter and Facebook feeds.