Among the million-pound Bugattis and 1,300 horsepower electric supercars, a glimpse into the future of social networking on the road was demonstrated at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week.
Japanese firm DENSO Corporation introduced its newest technologies, promising to the cloud and social networking to make driving a more enjoyable experience, offering up suggestions of places to visit, and even interacting with traffic lights and other cars.
"Resonance 2021" is a vehicle concept designed for the automotive society in 2021. By connecting to the driver's smartphone the technology can suggest a preferred type of shop or restaurant to the driver when visiting new places. The new technology was demonstrated to the public in specially-built driving simulators on their stand at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
The system uses voice commands issued from the driver; for example "Chinese food" will search Twitter and find relevant, local information to direct the driver to the best Chinese restaurant locally. Places and promotional offers that the system thinks are relevant to the driver's needs appear on the cars sat-nav.
Resonance 2021 has Wi-Fi to connect to other similarly equipped vehicles, as well as the transport infrastructure, to find the best route to avoid any traffic in the local area.
Although this is a glimpse at technology in 10 years' time, Resonance 2021 also has features that a 2011 audience would be more familiar with. Using sonar sensors and vehicle-to-vehicle communication the system can detect impending collisions and can, if needed, take control of the car to steer it away from obstacles.
While we won't be seeing Resonance 2021 on our roads for a decade yet, it provides an interesting look at how social networking and cutting-edge technology can have the potential to make the dull commute to work a little more interesting.