Road trips have been an American institution for over a century, ever since Horatio Nelson Jackson successfully drove across the country in 1903. While the popularity of the road trip hasn’t diminished over the last 100 years, we’ve obviously seen a huge number of changes to our vehicles since then. Not only have they become more comfortable and convenient than ever, we now have everything we could need at our fingertips thanks to internet connectivity.

So, what does driving a connected car mean for our road trips? Let’s look at exactly how we can expect our experience to change when we take our Toyota Tacoma out on the open road.

Keep on top of your gas

Running out of gas is a common problem among roadtrippers. Either drivers are distracted so don’t notice when the car needs a top up, or try to push their cars to the limit in the hope of squeezing out a few extra miles before the tank is empty.

This is no longer a problem with the connected car. Not only will it warn us when the gas is running low, but will also give us a selection of nearby gas stations to choose from, along with directions to get there. We can even pay for gas from our cars before we start to refuel, saving us from going in and spending a fortune on junk food.

No more distractions

We have all been guilty of not giving our driving the attention it needs at some point. The inside of our vehicles can be a distracting place, whether we’re trying to find our location on a road map, answering a call or text message, or trying to keep the kids happy in the back. These distractions obviously make driving incredibly dangerous. In fact, in 2014 there were nearly half a million accidents caused by distracted driving that resulted in injury or fatality.

Fortunately, these distractions could be a thing of the past thanks to connected cars. We no longer have to fumble about with road maps, mobile phones or CDs for the kids when everything is at our fingertips. At the touch of a button we can find directions to our destination, answer a phone call or even choose an audiobook or music to keep the kids entertained. This means we’re paying more attention to the road than before, making our journey safer as a result.

Accident avoidance

It’s not just distractions in the car that can cause accidents. There are many things outside of our control that can cause problems when we’re driving. From traffic jams to pot holes in the road, there are plenty of issues that we come across while in the car that would’ve made the journey far easier if we’d just known about them beforehand.

Thanks to internet connectivity in our vehicles, our cars can now let us know when we are approaching problems on the road. Our cars can tell us if we are at risk of a collision, the amount of traffic on our route and even if there is debris blocking the road. It can give us alternative routes to avoid these problems and even contact assistance if our car breaks down or we are involved in an accident ourselves.


An inevitable part of a road trip is checking, servicing and repairing the car, both before we start out and while we’re travelling. This is obviously time consuming and can take some of the enjoyment out of the experience while you try to figure out if the car needs anything and if so, what exactly that might be.

The introduction of connected cars means that our cars can now communicate with us and let us know if something needs our attention. From notifying us when coolant levels are low and brakes are worn to even predicting when the battery needs replacing, our cars have now made maintenance easier and more efficient.

With so much now available through our car’s connectivity to the Internet of Things when travelling, the road trips of the future are going to be far simpler, efficient and convenient. Drivers and passengers alike can now both concentrate on the experience rather than the mechanics of the trip, therefore making the road trip more enjoyable than ever.


By:  Rick Delgado

Bio: I’ve been blessed to have a successful career and have recently taken a step back to pursue my passion of writing. I love to write about new technologies and how it can help us and our planet.