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Vehicle "connectivity" a hot topic at electronics show

Jan 5, 2016

Credit antefixus21/flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The march of technology continues, bringing us closer to the day when owning your own car may be less important than on-demand transportation services.  And closer to the day when we expect our cars to be super-connected to just about everything.

Automakers are laying the groundwork for this new era, as seen in some  announcements this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Let's start with GM's big announcement that it's partnering up with the ride-sharing company Lyft. One might expect GM to consider ride-sharing companies like Lyft "the enemy," threatening auto sales.

“You have to be in the forefront because you could get really left behind if you don’t take a role," said Paul Eisenstein, publisher of thedetroitbureau.com

There was talk that Ford and Google might join forces. "I still expect Ford will do a deal with Google," said Eisenstein.

But we learned today that Ford is going to work with Amazon and DJI, the company that makes the world's most popular drones.

"They're [DJI] working with Ford on a project jointly with the United Nations. The idea being setting up special docking stations in the back of Ford F-150s that could be dispatched to emergency sites, say a site of an earthquake, you could use the drones."

At the Consumers Electronic Show there was also lots of talk about apps and technology that will help cars be more connected and able to do things like turn on the lights of your home or turn on the heater right from your car.

"Connectivity is the hot story right now, and if we are getting into the world of autonomous driving, people are going to want more connectivity to fill the time that they would otherwise be maneuvering the cars down the road. A lot of things you'll be looking at in the future you'll be able to control from your car."