When most people think of applications for cars, they think that maybe we’ll introduce Angry Birds, Pandora, Twitter, and Gmail to the main screen on a car. Most people view these as mere toys, and distractions — not actually helping to core driving experience. I personally feel like cars have a much greater potential as the next big platform.
Car apps as a sensor platform
Cars cover a hilarious amount of distance on the road. Additionally, they have a crazy amount of sensors in them. Accelerometers to control handling, and braking. Proximity sensors to assist with parking. Imagine being able to do analysis on things like how bumpy the road is to build a map of the highways around an area to prioritize the repair of potholes.
Imagine being able to use all of this sensor data to take care of individual cars before they’re going to fail catastrophically. You could build personal repair models for customers based on their driving habits, and if you noticed things like wheels being loose.
With sensors like radar detectors, you can advertise the location of speed traps to thousands of surrounding vehicles, so they avoid being ticketed. This could improve the driving experience significantly for those who care to speed, and not get tickets — which I feel is most of us.
Car apps for safety
Recently, a friend was ticketed for parking on a hill, and not having the wheels of his car turned into the hill. I can understand why parking rules apply, but the idea that I should have to tell my car, with a tilt sensor, and drive-by-wire steering capabilities to turn my wheels in confuses me. I feel like given all this data, an app can automatically turn the wheels of the car in to secure it. This is the killer app.