Technology is constantly evolving at lightning speed. Everything you never knew you wanted to do while driving is possible or in development. The modern connected car concept is not limited to touch interfaces and glossy screens. Consumers want to feel confident that the state-of-the-art devices serve a purpose and can be trusted not to be mere nuisances.
Current Status of Connected Car Hardware
The Connected cars 2017 conference was held in Brussels. Presenters stressed that a solid infrastructure, or ecosystem, must be built to ensure a successful connected car experience. It is feared that this lack of a cohesive system (i.e., applications, services/solutions, networks, data, etc. Limiting the possibilities will be a limitation. It is crucial to work together.
Driverless cars could be possible shortly, but the current automation levels for most cars are only 0-1 (with 5 being complete automation). Tesla is working on cars that are at least level 3. True automation does not mean that cars can only connect cars. Talking cars are not only for technology’s sake but also for safety purposes.
Consider a potential conversation between cars on the road: V21, V2C, V2V, and V2P (Vehicle to Network/Vehicle to Vehicle/Vehicle to Pedestrian, respectively) are all possible onboard connections. C-V2X is the next step in mobility. This gives the vehicle the ability to connect to all things. This could signal to other cars that a car is slipping on ice.
The Next Next Generation
Collaboration between connected applications should be a conscious decision. However, transmissions are slowed by the time they take to move through networks. Some companies in the industry are creating innovative interfaces. Others, like the 5G Lab in Germany and HPE, are analyzing data to create better-performing systems. Higher quality mobile connectivity systems will be created if the systems can process information faster.
Mobile connectivity is only one aspect of the future. The other is utility. To make it worthwhile, users must gain something from it. Novelty can only go so far if the system doesn’t function properly or isn’t functioning properly.
All the gadgets in their cars test consumer trust in the auto industry. If simple features constantly break, consumers rightly question the viability of supposedly accident-proof driverless cars. Understandably, a single accident with a car driving itself is unacceptable. This undermines its whole purpose.
I was distracted by the bright flashing lights.
We are now back at the idea of consumers trusting the connected systems in their cars and being able to rely upon them. These must be seamless and work alongside the most critical parts of your car (e.g., Engine, brake, exterior strength, etc. ).
The majority of connected car systems that are currently available are more about fancy screens than about functionality. Although data is being streamed and shared, not all consumers are happy with the current system. Companies can create their mobile systems with little notice to others. Therefore, it will take more time to link these units together.
What’s More Important?
All this car connectivity raises the question: What do we need in our cars? Many of today’s gadgets seem unnecessary, but others can save our lives if used correctly. The learning curve for all technology is constantly increasing as it is supposed to make driving safer. Drivers are already familiar with how to drive, so it is less likely that drivers will choose to use standard technology rather than adopt new features. Companies will increase trust in these systems if they develop mobile connectivity that is reliable, more useful, and works in conjunction with other systems.