The auto industry is racing to deliver on a grand vision for developing the “Connected Car” in which location technologies are integrated with relevant content to deliver a uniquely personalized online driving experience designed for those behind…
This is a very well thought out and written article. If you are interested in the direction of the Connected Car, I recommend having a read.
A couple of very important points for me. One is that Google, whilst it has some very clever technology, is not (yet at least) capable of delivering true car navigation. It doesn’t have the detail or the functionality, although it is fantastic from the perspective of a location based system.
A key issue is access to connectivity. Yesterday I was looking for evidence of a car crash that had been reported in New Zealand and wanted to see a congestion map to see the impact of a closed national highway. Looking at the map it was clear that cellular coverage was week (or at least from Android mobiles, because it didn’t show anything in the area of the crash, where I expected to see evidence of slow or stationery vehicles. I can only assume that mobile coverage was the problem.
Connected cars won’t be very connected if they can’t talk to a cell tower, unless manufacturers also look at mesh networks, but as far as I know most of the effort in that space is for late model cars of one brand e.g. Volvo to talk to each other. Not many people buy late model Volvo’s in New Zealand.
There was also mention of car manufacturers who tie in to certain technologies, like the Volkswagen that had an iPhone cradle built in. Interesting move. Another very key fact is that many car manufacturers that put OEM car nav systems into their cars invest in the system and the initial map (typically one free update within a month of buying the car, but not ongoing) or they put in the map, but not the real time traffic solutions, which are equally important and available today. I do appreciate that the build design and OEM parts and partners are decided a couple of years before the first of a model is built. That means that smart ITS tech companies need to be involved in the car design much earlier. That means more car manufacturers need to consider mobile and ITS as part of their strategy, today is the information age. Safety is critical but location based computing will sell tomorrow’s cars.