By Mike Pomranz
Updated July 07, 2015
Credit: © Lev Dolgachov / Alamy

You do a lot for your car: change the oil, check the washer fluid, rotate the tires. Shouldn’t your car do more for you than get you from point A to point B? Well, auto experts are predicting that, in the next few years, cars will not only be able to direct you to your favorite coffee shop, but they’ll handle paying the bill as well.

Just as our phones became smarter, our vehicles are becoming smarter too. “By 2020, about 90 percent of new vehicles in western Europe will be connected, compared with roughly one-third next year, according to Hitachi Ltd,” writes Bloomberg Business. The ability of connected cars to drive themselves has garnered a lot of hype, but the ramifications extend to other parts of the driving experience as well. Your vehicle could learn your driving habits and use predictive software to direct you to your favorite restaurants. Once there, it could use mobile-payment systems to make the drive-thru that much faster.

This connectivity could change what features attract people to a particular car in the first place. “Customers won’t be that keen on having big motors anymore,” Peter Fuss of consulting firm EY agrees predicted to Bloomberg. “They’ll be more interested in how they can use their time while they’re in the car.”

Exactly. I don’t ever remember David Hasselhoff using KITT’s 540 horses to grab a cup of coffee. Though, admittedly, I never got through all 90 episodes of Knight Rider.