You are rushing for work, and you get into the car to find that the seat is out of position and so is the steering wheel; your favorite locations in the GPS have been overwritten and you cannot find your favorite radio station because the settings have been altered. If you share a car with your family, the above scenario might be familiar to you.
Because of scenarios such as the above, there have been calls for automakers to develop, or at least agree on, a standardized OS so that in-car settings such as radio, GPS and seat positions can be quickly adjusted to suit individual preferences using either personalized user IDs or smartphones.
However, while the benefits of such a standardized OS are obvious, there has only been some success as seen in implementations by rental car company SilverCar and MirrorLink, a standard connectivity solution. In all, the move to have a unified or interoperable OS faces huge obstacles, mainly because automakers are happy to insist on their own solutions. BMW, for example, has iDrive, while Audi has their own MMI and Mercedes-Benz has mbrace.
Therefore, how soon before we can use our phones to sync our favorite settings with our cars depends mostly on how we can get the major automakers to agree on a interoperable standard.