Total Car Score Editor In Chief: New In-Car Technology Sets Up Showdown with Regulators

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Clash of market forces with safety regulatory bodies is the big story out of the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, according to Karl Brauer.

Cadillac

A display of the Cadillac User Experience Technology interface

When there are market incentives to produce ground-breaking tech, and the government is intent on limiting that tech for safety reasons, there is going to be an inevitable clash between these two forces.

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Easily the most important trend for the auto industry at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show was the increasing role of advanced in-car technology. However, Total Car Score Editor in Chief Karl Brauer feels the more compelling story is the potential clash between market forces rising to meet the demand of tech-hungry buyers and government safety regulators looking to inhibit the availability of these new tools.

More and more people want to stay connected with the web and with social media when in their cars, and car companies are responding by providing ever-more capable and elaborate in-car technology interfaces. Some of these, however, may run afoul of developing federal legislation that could ban in-car mobile phone use, as well any access to social media apps and other information feeds.

“You’ve got car companies and suppliers investing a lot of money in developing these systems, so they wouldn't want to see all that investment suddenly outlawed,” said Brauer. “And you have consumers demanding these systems, so the average person isn't going to want to see their budding in-car technology suddenly disappear. When there are market incentives to produce ground-breaking tech, and the government is intent on limiting that tech for safety reasons, there is going to be an inevitable clash between these two forces.”

Some of the notable auto innovations at CES:

·     Cadillac exhibited its new multi-touchscreen entertainment system, which will imitate the user-experience of a smartphone, as well as a customizable dashboard interface.

·     Voice-activation, particularly for navigation, aims to keep drivers' eyes on the road instead of the touchscreen.

·     The ability to charge mobile devices through a wireless connection within the cabin, removing the need for power cords.

·     Audi debuted a user-swipable dual heads-up display, which can show an augmented-reality view of the car’s environment.

Brauer pointed out that these leaps in technology provide another sign of the North American auto industry’s resurgence. He said, “That auto companies are so willing to invest so much money and so many resources into development is an encouraging sign for the future of the industry.”

About Total Car Score
Total Car Score is an automotive comparison site that will launch in the first quarter of 2012. Total Car Score will provide original content, reviews and insights from CEO and Editor in Chief Karl Brauer and his editorial team. Prior to founding TotalCarScore, Brauer served as Editor in Chief at Edmunds.com.

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