Think about the future of mobility. You don’t have to travel far in the lanes of time. The smart car is here and is only expected to get more intuitive than ever, delivering superior experiences. By continuously sensing the needs of the driver and the passengers, and dynamically adjusting its system accordingly, smart cars will help drive more personalised experiences. A smart car won’t be about moving us from point A to point B, but making our lives better.
It is not about just an Internet connectivity linkage, but making transportation smarter, safer, greener, faster, and experiential. It is also a great economic imperative for our cities, offering better access to millions of jobs, smarter services, and helping us improve health, well-being, and the quality of life of people.
So how does this all work? It starts with how we design and build cars now. Previously, cars were designed primarily through automotive and mechanical engineering efforts, but now software, computer hardware, and wireless communication (5G) engineering and technology are becoming a part of the design of a car. Cars have become a bundle of complex software navigating through billions of smart devices, sensors, and things all around us. Our cars have transformed into intelligent, real-time data-generation and consumption machines, on the go—driven by embedded intelligence, self-learning algorithms, and the Internet of Things.
Connected cars are evolving to be smart cars that can process data, and communicate over the Internet or with other cars and devices, just like your mobile phone or home computer. With cars now connecting to everything, crunching data like a computer, integration and diagnostic data offer novel insights about how the car is being used, both within, and outside the vehicle. Accelerating the demand for connected cars is the growing digital native population, sustainability concerns, and government support for smarter transportation and cities. The Covid-19 pandemic has only hastened the shift as everyone is concerned about safety, social distancing, and work from home.
In order to get to “intuitive experiences” we need to continue to drive connectivity and intelligent technology in these smart cars. On the topic of connectivity, imagine how easy life would be if your car is able to talk to other cars, billions of devices, and connected systems in a wireless mesh network. When we enable cars and devices to talk to each other, we will see a slew of product innovations in the industry. What we need is peer to peer integration, between wearable and vehicle, between the dealers and the third parties, and other types of systems which are going to drive superior experiences.
On the topic of intelligence, and smart cars, 80% of vehicles developed in many countries now have data and telemetry built into the car. The good news is exponential data growth in connected vehicles and real-time data crunching on the go is driving novel innovations and applications in the automotive industry. This is driving new advances in video analytics, self-driving cars, driver monitoring, surveillance cameras, and artificial intelligence algorithms driven by sophisticated Edge computing systems. This intelligence will help you drive more safely through autonomous driving features, as well as warning you and helping you avoid unsafe conditions while driving.
Now this is where the fun comes in. Through connectivity and intelligence, we can now start delivering more and more intuitive experiences. The smart car helps comprehensive and contextual information sharing between the driver, the manufacturer, the retailer, smart devices and phones, and the partner ecosystem. These “connections” between different devices and partners, enables owners to have a more personal experience. For example, you can remotely lock or unlock your car, turn on heating or cooling, monitor tyre pressure, detect impact or intrusion, entertain yourself, buy things, including payments at gas stations, insurance and safe driver discounts, safety, or health alerts, or make a parked car drive to you.
Connected cars are evolving to be smart cars that can process data, and communicate over the Internet or with other cars and devices, just like your mobile phone or home computer. With cars now connecting to everything, crunching data like a computer, integration and diagnostic data offer novel insights about how the car is being used, both within, and outside the vehicle.
It will also make it easier to own and operate your car, automatically scheduling maintenance appointments with your service partner, ensuring parts and repair windows are available, scheduling a rideshare service to drop you off at home, or having a technician pick your car up. This can all be done automatically to simplify your ownership experience.
The intuitive experiences can also extend to the community and your surroundings. These smart cars, will help drive innovation in smart cities, communicating with devices in the city to enable things like adaptive traffic lights, intelligent signals, traffic control and reduction, and automatic route planning. All of this helps us decrease emissions and save on travel time, ultimately helping us maintain a greener planet and more safety for people.
It is estimated that by 2030, most cars are expected to be connected “smart cars” that generate approximately 1 GB of data in a day. We are moving fast to equip our cars with personal assistance technologies to smartly navigate the right lanes, or seamlessly taking blind turns, or automatically monitor passengers’ health through wearables.
This is significant as studies indicate that 60% of the world’s population will be living in cities. Rising car ownership will also have a growing impact on urban infrastructure and the environment. Congestion and emissions, if not managed well, will pose serious economic, health, and climatic threats, lowering the liveability of a city and the happiness of the people.
To embrace the future of mobility, the ecosystem must collaborate, co-create, and co-innovate, securely and seamlessly managing the vehicular data, leveraging, building, innovating, and integrating novel solutions to create new and unique experiences throughout the customer journey. For a smooth journey into the future of mobility, greater collaboration and integration will be critical. Let’s drive into the future.
Views are personal. The author is EVP , chief product and technology officer, CDK Global.