In a world where people are connected 24/7 through their devices, the isolation of cars seems obsolete. Connected cars make for more satisfied customers. They also provide carmakers with new ways to save money and enable new business opportunities. When done right, the connected car is also a safer car.
Cars shouldn’t be isolated
Consumers are connected everywhere and all the time through their mobile devices. They rely on that connectivity to get the latest information. Yet, the vehicle still mostly stays unchanged once the customer drives it off the lot.
In fact, with few exceptions, a car’s technology remains the same from the day the system is designed until its purchased years later, and on through the entire lifetime of ownership. Meanwhile, portable-device trends continue to ramp up consumers expectations for a connected experience with automatic updates.
That’s why the carmakers are moving away from isolation and toward the connected car.
Communicating with the cloud
The ability for two-way communication between the vehicle and the cloud offers a myriad of possibilities. Consumers can get the up-to-date content they expect such as the latest maps and the latest software features. Carmakers can gather diagnostic data from vehicles on the road to detect, analyze, and address issues. Data gathered from the car can then be sent to the servicing dealer ahead of time to help improve scheduling and provide faster, better service.
Beyond that, carmakers can crowd-source information from vehicles on the road and throughout their lifecycle, then apply big-data techniques for a host of purposes. They can learn what features are popular with drivers, the kind of driving consumers do and how the car and specific components respond, and what issues can or should be addressed in new models to save money or head off potential bigger issues, like recalls.
New business models
The connected car enables new business models and new partnership opportunities. In the future, carmakers will differentiate their brands not just by the vehicle they provide, but by the services they provide. They can offer services through the vehicle and its interface, based on data gathered or provided by the driver and passengers, data such as location, musical taste, and travel patterns.
The smart phone isn’t the only resource available to consumers—soon, drivers will see their car and its software as not just a necessary tool, but an indispensable travel and information resource.
We’re looking at a future where manufacturers can remotely diagnose and even repair cars. Where smartphones and other consumer devices are integrated seamlessly into the driving experience. Where traffic is improved through car-to-car and car-to-cloud communication. And where the vehicle and the carmaker behind it are trusted partners in the driver’s daily life.
Elektrobit is leading the way with software and consulting for the new world of the connected car.