The odds are (very) good that your next car is going to spy on you – literally.

In fact, the chances are that your current car (as long as it was made somewhat recently) already is.

Now, this spying activity isn’t nefarious.

The information is being used to better gauge the health and vitality of your major automotive systems, to track how your gas mileage is holding up, and to help detect vehicles in your blind spots – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

All of this is being done with the help of car telematics, next-generation technology used to better monitor and optimize your vehicle moving forward.

What Exactly Are Car Telematics, Anyway?

To put it simply, car telematics is all of the technologies that combine together to create a single web of onboard diagnostics, GPS coordination, and communication tools that interface between your vehicle and service providers.

Most of the time, this central management system is maintained by the manufacturer of the vehicle that you are driving in the first place.

For example, Tesla is responsible for maintaining their own Tesla car telematics system.

All of the information gathered by your Tesla Model S (for example) would be transmitted to the Tesla telematics management platform, interpreted by those systems, and then used to optimize your vehicle and to provide you with real time detailed information about your car, too.

Commonplace Telematic Systems We’re Going to See Much More From

As highlighted earlier, car telematics are already widespread in vehicles – and we’re not just talking about luxury cars, It’s also found in basic vehicles. Obviously, the more advanced features technology definitely gets shoehorned into the more expensive vehicles with higher trim levels.

If your car lets you know that a vehicle is merging into your blind spot on the highway that’s only possible through this next-generation wave of automotive cybersecurity tech.

Roadside Assistance solutions have been around for quite a while now, first popularized with the GM OnStar technology but now almost completely ubiquitous throughout the automotive industry.

Some of these systems also include vehicle diagnostics, emergency help triggers, roadside assistance with live support at the opposite end, and a whole host of other solutions that are integrated into the “brain” of your automobile.

Expect Integrations with Phones and Internet-Enabled Devices

The future of car telematics is particularly interesting for a couple of different reasons, not the least of which is the likely integration between our phones and other internet-enabled devices and our automobiles.

Today, our cars are able to use any smartphone to find lower gas prices on our GPS routes, to conduct local searches for food or restrooms with voice commands, to look for relevant news stories about the communities that we are driving through – and that’s just the beginning of the auto-tech era.

Privacy is obviously going to be a huge priority when it comes to the integration of our online life and previously “dumb” technologies like traditional automobiles. It’s unclear how companies are going to address these issues, too.

The one thing we know for sure is that the world of car telematics is here right now and it’s only the beginning.