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Breaking Down the "Connected" Car

What exactly is a connected car? Sonari Glinton breaks it down with a simple equation.
Joanna Pawlowska
What exactly is a connected car? Sonari Glinton breaks it down with a simple equation.

With the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) officially in full swing in Las Vegas, gadget lovers everywhere are geeking out over the newest and coolest innovations in tech.

We are proud to be part of the buzz with our NPR News app featured as one of General Motors' very first in-dash applications. Connected cars, here we come!

Wait... what the heck is a connected car anyways?

We caught up with Sonari Glinton, our in-house car guy at NPR West, to get the layman's breakdown on the connected car in a few simple points for those less familiar with the tech world's lingo.

Q: Sonari, we're looking for simplicity: what is a connected car?

So there are actually two definitions of connected car, but really only one applies to the connected cars we see at CES today with the NPR News app.

Q: Ok, let's hear them both.

The first definition, the definition of truly connected cars, is automobiles that can talk to each other and to the road, the way computers can talk to each other. This is still a bit into the future, though.

The second definition is a car that connects to your digital life, essentially tapping into the functionality of your cell phone - like accessing the NPR News app - without you having to touch it or look at it.

Q: What would you say is the biggest advantage of connected cars?

A huge advantage is hands-free access to your cellphone, which means less distracted driving. That's something everyone can get behind.

Q: So a "connected" car is a car, plus a phone, but hands-free?

That's it.

Q: And while we have you, what's your dream car?

I drive my dream car. And no, I'm not going to tell you what it is.

Get more on the automotive industry from Sonari by following him @Sonari.

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Joanna Pawlowska