Apps At the Wheel: Welcome to the Smart Car Era

The ultimate in mobile technology has four wheels -- and some apps.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    There's an app in that.

    Turns out that neither Samsung or Apple manufacture the ultimate mobile device. Try Toyota and Ford.

    The car is the "ultimate mobile device," according to experts like Thilo Koslowski of technology research firm Gartner. About half of all cars manufactured this year allow users to use apps either built into the car or connected to their smartphones -- and by 2017, nearly all vehicles will be so integrated with data-using machines, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

    These apps could be familiar programs like Yelp or Pandora, or they could be something else entirely, the newspaper predicted, in addition to the weather and traffic alerts motorists demand.

    They also come with safety warnings, the newspaper reported, as road-watchers fear drivers may become too consumed with their apps to worry about the most important application of all: watching the road.

    Distractions may be inherent to apps, but consumers demand them, the newspaper reported, and car companies are only too happy to provide them if it means more sales, the newspaper reported.