At January’s Consumer Electronics Show (now often just called CES), BMW unveiled its vision for the future of the connected car. Among its features: a Minority Report–style holographic dashboard whose floating buttons and haptic feedback let you “feel” the hologram as you control it with your gestures. The HoloActive Touch system is part of the BMW i Inside Future concept, incorporating dashboard and voice controls that enable partially automated driving as well as an amazing array of technology — like a direct connection to Amazon Prime Now and biometric sensors in the seat that can read your mood and help you choose your route accordingly. Feeling stressed? Might want to avoid heavy traffic.
On the more affordable end of the spectrum, any car can become a smart car with Carnot, a project of Qualcomm’s Design in India initiative that lets you stay connected to your car from anywhere. Carnot’s device plugs into your car’s onboard diagnostics port, and its accompanying app alerts you if the car is moved or broken into. If you’re involved in an accident, Carnot alerts your emergency contacts. Lent your car to a friend? Carnot lets you know if they’re driving recklessly. And the device can even help you become a better driver. You get a fuel-efficiency report and safety suggestions — plus a little friendly competition if you want it: You can compare your “drive scores” with those of friends and family. Currently available only in India, Carnot retails for about $88.