My New Traveling Office

January 10, 2013 by Bethany Wood
Business Travel

african american business woman on phone in car

If you are a road worrier, driving from client to client, the automobiles debuted at this years Consumer Electronics Show might make your life a little easier.  I do most of my traveling on the plane and things like Virgin Atlantic’s seat plug ins, and various carriers Wi-Fi make traveling a lot more efficient.  When I am in town and driving to client meetings it is hard to be away from my computer.  Perhaps that makes me a workaholic, but realistically I am just another busy woman with things to do and being out of the loop for an hour, simply is not an option.

Bluetooth headsets have made talking on the phone, while driving, safer but I need more options than that.  At this years car show manufacturers brought out options that should make any road worrier excited.

Here are some features you can look forward to:

  • Video Conferencing.  Wow.  I am a little scared to think about looking at the screen while driving but this option is seriously cool.  Even if you pulled over to take a video call in between appointments, it would be a worthwhile feature and avoid you searching for a hotspot to turn your laptop on.  QNX Car Platform 2.0 has been released to manufacturers so look for this option to start popping up.  On Star also started talking about this feature in 2011.
  • Customizable In Dash Systems.  GM announced at the show that it would let outside app developers work with their system so that drivers could customize their in dash experience.  That will in essence make your car as customizable as your iPhone.  Ford has an Applink program that lets developers build apps for their cars in days so watch for more options to pop up.
  • Spotify.  Volvo is going to have Spotify in their new on touch system which will let drivers pick songs to play by voice commands.  This will make driving between appointments more fun, and safer, since you wont have to play with the radio.
  • Piloted Driving Systems. Audi is testing out a system that will enable a car to virtually drive itself.  They will use a combination of lasers and cameras to watch for pedestrians and traffic.   According to them you could safely read the paper and drive, or perhaps type a report?  They haven’t said when it will be available but technology like this would completely revolutionize the way we drive.
  • Live web browsing. The Mercedes SL has a live web browsing option so you can pull into the parking lot and surf the net for information you will need in a meeting, or just for fun.
  • Wi Fi.  The 2013 Dodge Dart can have Wi-Fi installed so that you can hook up your devices within 150 feet of the vehicle.  If you travel as a team, this can make you much more effective as people use the internet, conduct research, and type up reports as someone drives.  Plus you will never need to search for a Starbucks hot spot again.

We live in a fast paced world and anything that can help you save time, stay more connected, and finish with work sooner is a good thing.  The Wi-Fi feature is my favorite since that always seems to be an issue while on the road.  What is yet to be seen is how good the coverage is.  I’m also not sure if these features (like video conferencing) will have an impact on insurance rates.  For now, if you spend a lot of time on the road head to the dealership and see which new car can become your mobile office.

 

Bethany Wood

Bethany Wood is a serial entrepreneur and has started several successful companies in a variety of fields including manufacturing, distribution, consumer goods, financial services, marketing and consulting. She is currently the President of SEI International and has business interest in the US, India and China. As an entrepreneur Bethany is constantly finding opportunities to expand SEI’s holdings and as a business owner she is continually learning new ways to improve business performance. As a writer Bethany contributed to and edited the Back to Basics management book.

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