When asked in the 1920s about the optional colors available for his entry-level models, Henry Ford is rumored to have answered, “You can have any color you want as long as it’s black.” Some auto manufacturers offer over 40 different standard colors in their product lines. Considering how many options are available on today’s cars, from larger wheel rims to
Location, location, location
One emerging technology that has been increasingly popular, with both manufacturers and drivers, is the Global Positioning System (GPS). Portable units that cost $2000 in 1997 are available today for as little as $100 and are easily mounted in the instrument panel area. Of course, a navigation system featuring both GPS and a GUI (Graphical User Interface) for ease of use comes as factory-installed equipment now. These can also control the car’s sound system, DVD players and any other multimedia devices.
In addition to everything else a driver might want programmed into the car’s system, the address and contact information for the auto insurer’s Collision Reporting Centers can be stored there for immediate access in case of an accident. Auto valet services and car rental services can also be entered into the navigation system, as well as car repair shops that are members of the insurer’s Direct Repair Program (DRP).
In an accident or other emergency, location and contact information to get help, arrange a tow or meet up with a mobile insurance adjuster will be right at hand. In fact, an insurance claims adjuster can now drive to the scene of an accident, take a picture with a wireless, Internet-enabled digital camera and upload it to a secure Web site for expedited review. This mobile, Web-centric process is known as “insurance imaging” and has saved a tremendous amount of time, energy and money for both drivers and insurers.
Every area of life has been affected, overwhelmingly to the good, by the technological advances of the past hundred years. Systems now being installed in cars for speech recognition, crash avoidance and satellite tracking are going to get smaller, better, faster and cheaper as time goes on, as this is the way technology matures. With that maturation process comes ever-increasing safety and security for drivers and occupants. This is an area where many technologies meet, offering advantages that are far greater than the sum of the
Source by Scott McQuarrie