Carmakers poised to capitalize on mobile connectivity
For the New Year, let’s revisit some of the trends and latest developments regarding the connected car. Following the Paris Motor Show, the “Mondial de l’Automobile 2016” held in fall late 2016, let’s take a brief look at three (of the many) connected vehicle strategies presented this season.
Connected cars and user experience
Ford set the pace at the end of summer by revealing its four main areas of innovation. These are “user experience,” “business models,” “data and analytics,” and “an agile mergers and acquisitions team”. Ford is thinking strongly in terms of the impact connectivity can have on business via customer experience and user data. Therefore the emphasis here is on exploiting the big data that emerges from connected vehicle usages.
At the Paris show, Mercedes-Benz announced “CASE”, its strategy (likewise in four parts) for the mobility of the future. These are “connectivity”, “autonomous driving”, “sharing”, “electrification”. Here it is clear that one main thrust is IoT. The possibility of interactions between the user and/or the vehicle and/or other connected objects. In other words, the focus is on the vehicle as a smart portable device.
Application performance and connected services
Between the release of those two 4-pronged strategies came the signing of an agreement by Microsoft and Renault-Nissan. With an emphasis on “staying connected”, their approach combines vehicle-centric innovations (driving/safety, purchasing/maintenance, navigation, insurance, etc.) with more mainstream consumer activities such as infotainment, work, and social networking. One main principle is the carmaker as a provider of its own services and applications.
Under the Renault-Nissan/Microsoft partnership, Microsoft Azure will serve as the cloud platform. Obviously other automotive innovators have been looking at cloud platforms, too. Unlimited scalability is a key concept because of the recognized potential of big data and the vast possibilities for location-specific offerings.
Of course none of this would be possible without top-notch mobile connectivity. Therefore, just like e-retailers or corporate IT departments, carmakers must monitor and test communications infrastructures as well as the applications and services they provide. Market research puts revenues from connected car services in USD billions each year. Therefore it is well worth their while to do so.
They need to be sure that their services and applications are being delivered seamlessly to in-car users, and that data from those usages is being collected efficiently. In the world of IoT, can the car ‘thing’ connect and stay connected to the remote maintenance ‘thing’? Can the passenger continue to work productively on the road? In terms of revenues, it makes sense to ensure that no link will fail when the traveler has a location-specific need.
ip-label has been assisting car manufacturers throughout Europe in their reflections regarding the topic of mobile connectivity and user experience. Furthermore, ip-label is a regular speaker at events such as connected cars in London. ip-label provide insights into monitoring connected services to ensure excellent application performance and user experience.