The Connected Car – Here’s the Next Generation Gadget, on Wheels!
Today, a car is more than just a ride between two places – it is a nerve center of activity for daily life. People are looking to have truly connected experiences in their cars so that they can get more done, save time, and make life easier.
Buying a car is not like buying a cell phone which you want to upgrade every two years with a new model. It is the second largest investment consumers make, next only to buying a house. While making that investment they (we) all wish to own a car with powerful features like geo-fencing, drive-on video recording, fatigue tracking, digital keys for locking/unlocking, mobile-app controlled functions, voice-controlled infotainment system, and many more (a research report says – 13% of buyers are no longer prepared to even consider a new vehicle without internet access). This is the connected car – a vehicle that is able to optimize its own operation and maintenance as well as the convenience and comfort of passengers using onboard sensors and internet connectivity. According to a new report, the global connected cars market is forecast to reach $141 billion by 2020.
As the high-tech and automotive worlds merge, customer preferences are moving away from the traditional strongholds. This shift in customer preferences and the sheer size of the automotive sector have attracted new players. In future, cars will become computers on wheels as tech players move into the automotive sector to leverage their existing capabilities. This convergence of automotive and tech will create a new ecosystem. At the same time, the purchaser calls for cost reduction, flexible capacities, and few other challenges with respect to hardware and software. However, to overcome these challenges integration of embedded software, cybersecurity, Big Data, analytics, and the IoT promises great surplus value for manufacturers and customers alike.
Data generated by the connected car has a potential to serve numerous purposes and marketers can’t wait for the big user data the connected car is going to generate. Mobile or web applications range from monitoring and forecasting of various vehicle KPIs to the analysis and optimization of engine performance. Also, the understanding of driver behavior to breakdown prevention, accident alerts, and preventive maintenance. The software-related implications of the connected car fill another huge episode in this array of topics.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Microsoft announced the Connected Vehicle Platform, a set of services built on the Microsoft Azure cloud and designed to empower auto manufacturers to create custom connected driving experiences. It brings Microsoft’s services from across the company right into a car, including virtual assistants, business applications, office services, and productivity tools like Cortana, Dynamics, Office 365, Power BI, and Skype for Business.
HARMAN is the market leader in connected car solutions, with more than 30 million vehicles currently equipped with its connected car and audio systems including embedded infotainment, telematics, and connected safety and security. Samsung Electronics have entered a definitive agreement to acquire HARMAN for approximately $8.0 billion.
The future of the car has been decided, and it involves a consistent data connectivity that can facilitate new types of interaction and data aggregation for both auto manufacturers and marketers. But when it comes to data connection, there is a risk of entry for malicious code that could influence/hack valuable consumer data. To avoid this, steps like encryption, verification, and app control are essential to improve the security of connected cars and keeping them safe from malicious attacks.
If history has taught us one thing, it is that any new technology will not unfold its full potential until all stakeholders along the entire value chain benefit from it. Consequently, we should be looking for ways to exploit the new connectivity to improve car’s reliability. The future of automotive industry belongs to the connected car.
At Extentia, we host ‘Techquarium‘ – a series where we showcase innovation in technology. It features automation among other technologies such as artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, and IoT.
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