Remember that episode of Top Gear back in the day when Jay Leno was the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car? There was a moment in the interview where Jay Leno mentioned that there was a such a product that attaches to a steering wheel where you could mount a laptop to use while driving.
I remember the look on Jeremy’s face upon hearing of such a contraption, and the laughter from the audience. So ridiculous, right?
While adding Skype to a car maybe be as bad as mounting a laptop to the steering wheel, it certainly doesn’t pass for a great idea either. A few months ago, Volvo announced that they were integrating Skype for Business into their infotainment system. Now it appears that BMW is jumping that train as well.
Skype will be integrated into BME’s iDrive system and will allow drivers to get notifications about upcoming meetings, get alerted when meeting times are changed, and start meetings without any input from the driver. Exchange users will be able to integrate their calendars, to-do lists, and contacts with the car’s voice and navigation systems.
BMW’s senior vice president of Digital Products and Services says:
“We seek to continuously extend and enhance the customer experience with regard to all aspects of their mobility. The integration of productivity features in-car (like Exchange and Skype for Business) and personalized and contextual services will help customers with their day-to-day work and planning while they are on the road.”
This seems to be a move towards a more autonomous future, where self-driving cars will free up the “driver” to do other things while commuting to and from work or other places. What this also means, unfortunately, is that if you have a Skype-enabled car, you can no longer escape from work meetings and work will follow you around even when you’re stuck in traffic.
Sounds like a super fun future, doesn’t it? Skype integration will roll out in Germany, France, and the UK first, with other markets to follow soon after.
BMW drivers Skyping while driving; doesn’t that just give you nightmares? I kid, I kid…sort of.