A Smartphone That Seats Seven?

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That was the tagline for the 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan in an online ad. It highlighted multimedia, web access, phone and navigation features. All connected through the uConnect hardware and software platform that Chrysler offers. It was hard to believe it was an ad for a vehicle. But the Grand Caravan is hardly a handheld device.

The Uconnect package for the Dodge Garnd Caravan

Clearly Dodge is aiming for today’s family demographic with the Uconnect package. The 2010 family is completely wired: not only on Starbucks and Mountain Dew but with electronics. This ad shows how a vehicle can now be incredibly enabled with information delivery. That means your training can be literally “mobile.”

These wired vehicles pose an interesting question or two (or maybe dozens) for the mobile learning community. Should we think about offering learning that can be conducted throughout a vehicle’s current in-car systems? Many vehicles already come with some sort of display for web content, satellite radio, backup camera or video monitor. Because DVD players are now almost standard in the average family mini-van, video training has been possible for some time. There could be an opportunity to deliver information to passengers through video, web or satellite that was not possible even a couple of years ago. Or maybe you can provide content to the driver while requiring that it not be accessed during operation of the vehicle.
We at Float strongly believe that safety is a major issue when operating a vehicle and the temptation to deliver information to a operator. Even for podcasts (which one could argue is very similar to listening to a radio broadcast) the distraction is significant. It has become a critical message that the 3 Ds of driving, drinking, drowsy and distracted driving, account for the vast majority of deaths and accidents that occur on the roadways. Even so, there is a lot of potential for “learning on the go” as long as it is well done and appropriate. Take a look at the possibilities in the vehicles of your audience. It may be time for them to “get wired.”

Read more here on our stance on safety regarding mobile learning in a moving vehicle.

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On June 3, 2010
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