Looking into the Future of Connected Cars

4/30/2013

There’s no denying connected cars are the wave of the future. Some believe we’re not far off from a world in which the majority of automobiles come equipped with M2M technology. Beyond basic connectivity, these automobiles can be alerted to hazards on the road, adjust to our driving habits, and even communicate with other vehicles. As the technology keeps evolving, the possibilities multiply.

Representatives from Cisco, www.cisco.com, recently discussed such possibilities at a public Webinar entitled “Cisco Connected Transportation … and the Internet of Things.” The talk centered on what consumers can expect from connected cars in the coming years, in addition to discussing what products and services Cisco has in mind for customers.

Andreas Mai, director of Cisco’s product management for connected industries, estimated by driving connected cars, consumers will be able to unlock $14,000 in benefits per vehicle per year. Broken down, that amounts to $550 from elements related to the driver (lower insurance, lower operation cost, etc.), $420 from society (fewer accidents, carbon dioxide reduction, less traffic), $300 from auto original-equipment manufacturers or original equipment suppliers (lower service cost, architectural savings, new profit pools), and $160 from M2M service providers (navigation, usage-based insurance).


The data generated from customers will allow companies to know them better, thus be able to serve them better. With connected cars, drivers can look forward to vehicles reminding them to fill up their gas tank and telling them the location of the nearest filling stations. They will also be able to direct drivers to the nearest parking spots. Even cars that are perhaps tracking the time might make recommendations based on time of day, for example.

Mai says the automobile industry wants to eventually have 70% of cars connected. But that’s a battle which can’t be won alone. Car companies need to be familiar with the four links of the connected car value chain: Connections that exist within the car, personal devices, connections that are outside the car, and connections to the cloud. According to Mai, this new mindset offers tremendous growth opportunities for providers, as well as new business models.

Connections inside vehicles are undoubtedly multiplying. But having too much information circulating at once can be daunting and distracting, especially during a drive. This is where features like WEBLINK from Abalta Technologies, www.abaltatech.com, and Raspberry Pi, www.raspberrypi.org, come in.

Though it may sound more delicious than convenient, the Raspberry Pi is a credit card-sized computer, which can be configured to run numerous operating systems. When equipped with WEBLINK, the device will allow applications running on a smartphone to be viewed and controlled from a vehicle’s head unity display. This allows easier and safer access to infotainment features.

Connected cars are about to redefine the connotation of “mobile” in mobile devices. Thankfully, that stands to benefit consumers and businesses alike. Change is coming, and if you’re not ready, you may need to buckle up.

Want to tweet about this article? Use the hashtags #m2m #connectedcars #carsofthefuture
 





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