SEAT is revealing the company’s vision of the future of driving at the Mobile World Congress in a digital ecosystem which enables a new relation between the car, the driver and their environment. SEAT President Luca de Meo presented the company’s main developments in the scope of connectivity, and announced that the brand’s vehicles will be equipped with these innovations between 2018 and 2019.
Real time traffic forecasts, en-route recommendations (restaurants, shops, services, etc.) and suggestions depending on driver schedule changes are some of the novelties that SEAT is presenting at the MWC. After configuring their mobile phone, visitors can sit in an impressive simulator and experience what driving in the future will be like. The simulator features a predictive assistant that helps drivers optimise their time, anticipating their needs and offering suggestions automatically according to the context, even before users settle into their car.
Of the three future megatrends in the automotive industry (electrification, autonomous car and connected car), SEAT is committed to connectivity to position itself for the challenges it faces in upcoming years. SEAT wants to become a front-runner in vehicle connectivity, and to achieve this the brand is creating a digital ecosystem to customise and enhance the user experience. “SEAT’s goal is to make progress and become a leader in technologies which enable us to offer an experience that is easy, connected and customised; technologies such as the ones we are presenting today and expect to include in our models beginning in 2018-2019,” announced de Meo.
Among the novelties he presented with respect to on-demand functions is an extended concept of predictive navigation, compared to real-time navigation, which predicts traffic jams before they happen and suggests alternative routes. “We spend an average of 2.5 years of our lives at the wheel, and during rush hour in Barcelona, driving time can go up by 50%. Predictive navigation can help solve this problem, but navigation systems don’t know this yet,” said de Meo. The systems that the company is working on will cross-reference traffic data in real-time with factors such as school opening and closing times, forecasted traffic when major events are held or weather conditions.
“Until these functions become a reality, we are launching the SEAT Dongle, which will be on the market in the second half of the year,” added de Meo. The Dongle is a device which enables vehicles that are not adapted to support digital technologies, such as the ones sold in the past, to access latest generation connectivity services. Thanks to an OBD connection (On Board Diagnosis port), the Dongle securely extracts data from the car and sends it to the Smartphone to be able to interact with the vehicle via an app.