M2M Gives New Meaning to Connected Cars

Our society certainly seems to be racing down the proverbial highway toward widespread vehicle connectivity. It’s not exactly far-fetched to consider a near future where the majority of the vehicles on the road are equipped with M2M technology. As we continue that journey toward connectivity, more and more companies seem to be collaborating to make their particular visions of the connected car a reality.

For instance, Continental, www.conti-online.com, has announced it is teaming with IBM, www.ibm.com, to create vehicle connectivity solutions for car manufacturers worldwide. At the heart of this partnership is the development of a cloud platform which will allow auto manufacturers to install a variety of new in-vehicle services. The platform will enable software updates and vehicle-control-device functionality to be delivered over the Internet, thus nullifying the need for inconvenient workshop visits.

The two companies also intend to develop a next-generation “electronic horizon” platform, which will reportedly aim to make highly automated driving a reality. Vehicles will be equipped with sensors which not only receive data, but transmit information on speed, position, or deceleration to the cloud. The data can then be processed, analyzed, and acted upon.

“We are strongly convinced: Step by step development of future mobility is highly complex and requires strong partnerships with global IT industry players,” says Elmar Degenhart, chairman of Continental’s executive board. “With IBM, we now have one of the world’s technology leaders at our side, and together we can deliver highly secure, robust, fully connected vehicle solutions for all our customers worldwide.”

But Continental and IBM are hardly the only ones in the connected car race. Ford, www.ford.com, and TomTom, www.tomtom.com, announced this week TomTom will provide the navigation app for the Ford SYNC dashboard multimedia system in 2014.

The app will be the first product generated by TomTom’s partnership with Ford. It will provide turn-by-turn navigation services as well as mapping and traffic data. All the information can be controlled using voice commands through Ford SYNC with AppLink.

Earlier this year Mike Tinskey, Ford’s director of vehicle electrification and infrastructure, spoke with Peggy Smedley, editorial director for Connected World magazine, at a live tweet chat hosted at the Connected World Conference in Santa Clara, Calif. Ford SYNC was among the numerous topics discussed. The tweet chat can be viewed in its entirety here.

As the auto industry continues its journey toward connectivity, organizations continue to ensure they’re adequately prepared for what lays ahead. Perhaps the question is whether consumers will be prepared for all the new opportunities provided to them by a road filled with connected vehicles.

Want to tweet about this article? Use the hashtags #M2M, #connectedcars

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