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Q & Answers: Car Shopping of the Future!

You went car shopping recently. How important was finding a car that would interact with your smartphone?

Finding a car that would interact with my smartphone was pretty important. Even more than that, it was about having a strong onboard communication system that seemed cohesive, seemed to work together and had an overall solid interface. Many companies have disparate systems, which is the main issue we ran into as we looked at different cars.

Any stand-out cars? Any cars that left you less than impressed?

The work that Microsoft is doing with Ford, the sync technology, is by far and above everyone else that’s out there. Seeing it in action has made this system a priority for me — it truly is beautifully integrated. It’s just integrated into the stereo, it’s integrated into the dashboard and around the speedometer. It’s wonderful that you can take a quick glance down instead of having to look to right, like most of the other systems. It’s all clean. It all makes sense. Is there room for improvement? Yes, of course. There’s a little too much reading necessary considering that you’re supposed to be driving…but compared to everyone else? It’s good. In a lot of car lines, like Volkswagen, the really cool integrated systems were only available in top-of-the-line models and the more affordable cars had very little, if anything. They only made Ford look better!

What do you hope to see in the car of the future?

This is a space I wouldn’t mind Rocksauce getting into! It’s very similar to the early days of mobile in that you have many completely different systems that don’t share any similarities at all. That’s something that’s going to change. Somebody, and it may be Google, will develop a version of the Android operating system that is built specifically for vehicles. This way, different manufacturers can use this readily available and proven system rather than build their own from the ground up. Most manufacturer-developed systems are inconsistent and feel pieced together. Ford is doing the smart thing by turning to an expert company like Microsoft to make their system. Once you’ve driven a war that is this interactive, it’s hard to go back to a car that isn’t. We test drove twelve different vehicles and the best of them was the Ford Edge with its sync technology.

(Do you have a great idea for an app? Rocksauce Studios would like to hear from you!)