This sponsored post is produced in conjunction with Ford.

Ford’s director of technology Vijay Sankaran spends a lot of time thinking about what the “Internet of things” means — and where cars fit into that vision.

“The whole notion of this ‘connected vehicle’ is something that will have dramatic impact in terms of the future,” Sankaran says.

Some of the things that connected cars can or soon will do include voice-response commands. But Ford’s thinking bigger: Its AppLink platform lets you connect with Pandora, Stitcher, and other apps on your phone via the car’s voice-recognition interface. In the future, you might be able to pre-order a coffee from Starbucks or automatically pay for gas at a gas station via your car.

Ford also envisions a future where wearable sensors can connect with your car to let it know if you’re suffering from a medical condition — a seizure for instance — and the adapt the driving (or even take over and park automatically) as necessary to prevent accidents.

Sankaran recently spoke at VentureBeat’s MobileBeat conference, and we caught up with him shortly after his appearance to shoot this short interview. We tackle the above topics, plus self-driving cars, how to prevent in-car technology from getting too distracting, and more. Check it out!

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