What’s in Your Connected Car?


The connected car has been the talk of M2M for the past few years. Everything from autonomous vehicles, to safety functionality, to preventing distracted driving have been hot topics for discussion. But what type of infotainment can consumers expect in the next generation of connected cars?

Jörg Brakensiek, technical workgroup chair, CCC (Car Connectivity Consortium), www.carconnectivity.org, says right now car connectivity is all about content, and the sooner the industry can make content suitable for in-car consumption, the sooner car connectivity will achieve its promise.

At the LA Auto Show, taking place this week, car manufacturers, M2M providers, and even the Car Connectivity Consortium are making big announcements that will drive the connected-car industry forward, giving consumers a fun way to interactive with the vehicle.

The CCC, for example, announced app developers can now begin coding with version 1.1 of the CCC’s MirrorLink standard. This will give developers a one-stop shop to create apps that are driver-aware and interoperable. Also, announced just this week, MirrorLink will be in the 2014 series production of nearly all brands from Volkswagen, www.vw.com, starting with mid-to-high-level head units.

This will bring to the car what has long existed on mobile devices—apps that are designed with consumers in mind. In order to bring this type of connected infotainment experience into the car, a number of content providers need to come together.

Consider a parking app or in-vehicle service. Automakers and developers will need to tap into a database of parking information in order to give drivers the latest information about parking availability. Such  databases exist from organizations like Parkopedia, www.parkopedia.com, which provides parking information. Just this week, Parkopedia announced it is partnering with Volvo, www.volvo.com, to provide in-car parking services globally.

However, as with any technology deployment in the car, automakers need to ensure the entertainment experience is safe and secure.

In order to address this, Abalta Technologies, www.abaltatech.com, and Green Hills Software, www.ghs.com, announced a new partnership that will integrate Abalta’s connected car solution, WEBLINK, with Green Hills’ in-vehicle infotainment platform, INTEGRITY.

This partnership will give automakers the technology to deliver a safe and secure in-car app experience across a range of platforms and markets. In the end, consumers will have the ability to sync the connected-car experience with smartphones.

The connected car is evolving. Pretty soon vehicles will be connected to everything including the road and other cars, alerting drivers to traffic jams, potential collisions, or even open parking spots. As this is beginning to happen, technology providers are determining how best to deliver this in-car infotainment experience to drivers.

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June/July 2014
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