Automobiles are on the verge of becoming another means of Internet delivery. The driving experience no longer will be fettered with limitations and being unable to utilize devices to their maximum potential.
Today’s cars provide navigation, traffic and basic entertainment in the form of music, radio and audiobooks. Cars of tomorrow will cater to the drivers unequivocally. They will play an active assistant’s role, continuously learning in order to provide recommendations to their driver. The ecosystem of the vehicle will be aware of the driver’s location and based upon the variables, will volunteer information regarding nearby points of interest. The augmented reality is predicted to overshadow the elementary reality.
The telematics functions of today’s cars, including diagnostics, navigation and roadside help, can be employed if the driver physically or verbally enables them. Today’s vehicles severely lack prioritizing or incorporating functions that would save the driver both time and thought. Another challenge is that the automobile market is greatly fragmented. Each car manufacturer has decidedly unique vehicle consoles, and subscription based communications, according to research by GigaOm. GigaOm explains that functions such as OnStar in GM vehicles that feature automatic crash response, stolen vehicle tracking and roadside assistance, have not penetrated the car market thoroughly, accounting for just 3 percent of vehicles on the road. Seemingly, to make matters worse each vehicle has a distinctive “Human Machine Interface”, henceforth referred to as HMI. Each version of the dashboard, across a range of cars, has failed to be user friendly.
The necessity of a safe HMI is of utmost importance. NHTSA laws have stated that driver’s gaze cannot be averted for longer than 2 seconds, hence making vehicular telematics usage tricky. GigaOm states that no telematics process can involve more than 12 seconds or 6 steps. A task as simple as making a phone call involves multiple steps, each added step creates exponential risk of distracting the driver. Telematics requires an intermediary type of function that will be able to make real time decisions about what the driver would want to know. This calls for a “Meta Manager”. GigaOm predicts that within just two years, the amount of relevant information provided by the vehicle will increase greatly. To disseminate this information into an applicable and appropriate form will be the responsibility of a Meta Manager, who will be at the top of the automotive technology stack. The tech industry will go from being a provider to a primary producer of the technology.
What does this mean for us?
The Connected Car has opened a whole realm of possibilities. Google has entered into partnerships with Hyundai, Honda and GM to extend the usage of their operating system in their cars. This partnership is called the “Open Automotive Alliance” and those involved are interested in bringing the android platform to cars. Financial Times reports that, AT&T has launched two products, AT&T Drive Studio and AT&T Drive. AT&T has stated that the Drive Studio is “a garage for car innovation and research in Atlanta”. This facility will serve as a place for automobile manufacturers to work directly with AT&T to tackle real time issues. AT&T Drive has combined hardware and software platform that will let automobile manufacturers to create unique systems through AT&T. Financial Times also reports that Verizon has acquired a telematics company called “Hughes Telematics” and has plans to become a member of this ecosystem. There are great development opportunities in this sphere for Enterprise Mobile. Companies can apply preexisting knowledge and expertise to tackle the issues in this field.