Andrew Brown-Allan's blog - 12 October: Paris points to exciting future
12 October 2016
This year at the Paris motor show, company car drivers infuriated by trying to find a parking space were shown how they will be able to benefit from TomTom and Coyote partnering with Parkopedia to provide real-time premium on- and off-street parking information.
Faurecia's Smart Pebbles, which are clever, connected surfaces, illustrated how future fleet car interiors will intelligently adapt to different drivers, passengers and driving modes - including autonomous. With retractable tablets, screens, tables and haptic feedback the smart surfaces would make onboard working posible.
Touted as a smart seat for smart cars, the firm's Active Wellness seat points to how predictive cockpits will maximise occupant safety and comfort through sensor-monitoring of biological and behavioural data, helping reduce stress and drowsiness, which both affect today's company car drivers.
Advanced driver assistance systems are fast becoming commonplace and Korean company PLK's camera-based technology could keep business drivers safer by detecting lane lines even in bad weather and on poor surfaces, building a memory of roads driven on.
Additionally, video recording systems, pedestrian detection, front car departure alert and traffic light recognition will play a part in collision mitigation.
Twenty-five of the cars on display used map data from Here, who work with manufactures, mobile companies, road agencies and others. Requiring no driver input, rich sensors gather relevant and highly accurate data from pooled connected vehicles, sending it to the cloud.
Here's services will no doubt play a sizeable role in autonomous vehicles and in reducing traffic jams and parking headaches, ultimately increasing business efficiency. The highly detailed digital maps will also be integrated with autonomous emergency braking, keeping business drivers safer.
For entrepreneurs and small business owners in UK cities who prefer not to own a car, free-floating car-sharing services like Vulog provide a strong clue as to the direction taken by urban mobility solutions providers.
Fleet-favourite Mercedes also caught my attention by announcing its EQ sub-brand, the Generation EQ concept vehicle incorporating twin electric motors enabling permanent four-wheel drive, a likely range of around 300 miles and the potential ability to obtain 100 miles' worth of charge in five minutes.
Based on four pillars - Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric - the autonomous production car hopefully won't look too different and will use Here mapping to automatically adjust its speed according to the exact radii of roundabouts and corners, for example, while onboard Car-to-X technology will share data will smart city devices, buildings and other vehicles.
>> Click here to see our favourite cars from the Paris motor show.
Andrew Brown-Allan is marketing director at Trak Global Group