Auto Manufacturers are Capitalizing on Connected Car Innovations
In today’s connected world, cars have changed and so have their owners. Big data analytics have transformed driver experiences, capturing real-time data insights from inside and outside of vehicles to improve driver safety, vehicle services and improve the driving experience.
With the connected car market reaching $130 billion US dollars by 2019 (Smart Mobility Management), it is no surprise that auto manufacturers are rapidly adopting connected car technology and embedding it within their vehicles. GM recently announced that it will be selling 4G data packages for connected vehicles powered by the AT&T network, including monthly subscriptions, one-time top-ups, daily passes and even the ability to connect the car to a shared data plan with other devices (if you are already with AT&T).
Key considerations being made when automotive manufacturers and drivers alike are assessing the future of the connected car according to Forbes, include:
- Cars Take Longer To Develop Than Smartphones: The difference in lifecycles in the automotive and the mobile industry is a serious challenge for the future of connected cars. New features, such as operating system upgrades and new applications, are provided almost constantly for the smartphone, whereas car manufacturers work on five-year cycles.
- New Safety Laws Will Dictate Connectivity: By 2015, all cars in Europe must be equipped with eCall, a system that automatically contacts emergency services and directs them to the vehicle location in the event of a serious crash. Similar safety systems are likely to be required in the U.S. and other countries.
- Carmakers Need Mobile Partners: The automotive and mobile industries have different objectives, but they’ll need to find ways to collaborate in order to satisfy consumer connectivity needs. Chrysler, for example, is partnering with Sprint Nextel to connect cars like the Dodge Viper, and General Motors selected AT&T as its mobile partner.
- Car Dealers Need To Be Tech Savvy: The advent of the connected car will dramatically change the dealership model. Salespeople must plan to spend an hour or more teaching customers how to use their car’s advanced technology.
- Connected Cars Will Likely Be Shared Cars: Automakers agree that selling ‘just’ cars is no longer feasible. It is mobility – with required connectivity to customer services and advanced functions like power management for electric vehicles- that is needed today. That creates opportunities for new ownership models, like Zipcar’s car-sharing service.
- Built-In or Brought-In Connections? Carmakers and mobile operators are debating the best way to connect the car to the web. Built-in options could provide stronger connections, but some consumers prefer tethering their existing smartphone to the car via Bluetooth or USB cable so they can have full access to their personal contacts and playlists.
- Who will pay for connected car services? Consumers are used to a one-off payment when purchasing a car, but with an embedded connection there is an additional bill to be paid in terms of connectivity. Will you add your car as a “device” to your existing mobile bill? Or will the added cost be rolled into your car payment? Who will pay for roaming and data usage? New business models will need to be developed.
- How many apps should overloaded drivers be able to access? Innovative apps are everywhere, but car makers are worried about issues of security and reliability, making it unlikely that they’ll throw open the doors to every kind of app you can think of. They’ll want to maintain some control over developers, while also limiting the number of apps available in the car.
- Self-Driving Cars Will Arrive, But Not Now: Features like adapted speed and braking technologies are emerging now, along with controlled steering and better GPS systems, which will soon enable hands-free driving. Longer-term, the technological advances behind the connected car will eventually lead to self-driving vehicles.
- A Connected Lifestyle Is A Given: Automakers agree that building connected cars is no longer an option. They must introduce them for multiple reasons: customers expect continuous connectivity, the government will require them for better safety, they’ll enhance customer service and help carmakers maintain brand awareness.
Auto manufacturers are capitalizing on connected car innovations to bring telematics into their newest vehicles. Commuter insights like route monitoring to alert drivers of upcoming traffic and re-route based on traffic volumes, weather insights to warn drivers of upcoming black ice or pot holes and drowsiness detection to keep drivers alert are all available today to drivers using big data analytics. Making drivers safer, smarter and greener by enabling vehicles to be an extension of our connected lives is no accident. Connected cars have evolved because drivers have embraced the benefits they’ve personally experienced with each minute of time saved on daily commutes, improved safety with road traffic information, and the ability to integrate with their smartphones using infotainment capabilities.
To learn more about the future of connected cars, and the innovative IMS DriveSync platform that merges machine to machine (M2M) with human to machine (HMI) interaction to transform driver experiences, visit DriveSync Connected Car Platform. As leaders in this space, IMS processes more than 1 billion points of data daily.