A car that communicates with you isn’t that far away. We've already reported about Seat’s intelligent León concept that monitors you whilst you’re driving and can even block incoming calls to your mobile if it wants to. Now there’s talk of an in car system that can warn you of road conditions up ahead, read incoming test messages out aloud from your phone and send you an email if a part needs replacing soon. It’s only a matter of time until the technology, known as automotive telematics, becomes standard in most models according to Karl-Thomas Neumann, the head of German tire maker Continental AG's automotive division.

Continental will be divulging into the auto electronics segment and has already agreed to pay $1 billion for Motorola's automotive electronics business. The new technology will be introduced initially as a safety feature but already there’s debate whether it should be embedded in the car at all as it’s seen by many as another distraction for drivers.

Our biggest worry is that companies like Microsoft and its automotive unit are planning to install cheap and updateable software into cars to support the new features. We hope reliability levels will be better than their PC products. Another major hindrance is the costs involved. Consumers aren’t at the point where they’re willing to pay extra for features that might never be used.