From luxury to necessity, cars have undergone extensive transformation owing to technological advances. Connected cars have arrived and the industry needs to adapt to this disruptive technology as soon as possible. In the last few years the focus has completely shifted towards connecting a car with its surroundings to augment the user experience. A cluster of technologies like, IoT, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence along with Internet connectivity will have the ability to effectively optimise its functioning and enhance user convenience, safety and comfort. This ecosystem is fuelled by Big Data that has made connected car a reality!
Car connectivity has become a primary requirement for many. Technologies like V2V (Vehicle to Vehicle) and V2I (Vehicle to Infrastructure) will allow cars to connect with their surroundings, such as other cars, traffic lights etc. Other facilities such as virtual personal assistant will take care of scheduling meetings, sending messages, knowing about the closest cafe, entertainment etc. All of this and much more, while on the move!
Holistically, it is not just the end consumer who would reap the benefits of autonomous vehicles, but the complete ecosystem, that is, the manufacturers, the service providers, the vendors and the traffic departments. The manufacturer will be able to update software remotely, the service provider will monitor the smooth functioning of the car by reviewing “wear and tear” metrics, and the vendors will offer services according to usage patterns. These are just a few examples.
It is inevitable that an enormous amount of data will need to be processed for each car. Data generated every moment will need to be collected, monitored and processed. Most of the data that will be processed will be done in real time to mitigate against accidents, traffic jams, or an overheated engine etc. In the words of the BWW CEO, “Data is the new oil” and undeniably it is going to drive the next gen cars.
While consumers are more than eager to notch up to the next gen cars, they do have their set of valid concerns. The predominant worry being digital safety and data privacy. Recent years have witnessed an exponential rise in data breach and incidences of data privacy being compromised across the globe. This has created certain uneasiness towards connected cars. There is a potential risk of car connectivity being manipulated and data getting hacked or misused. This can only be resolved with data being secured not just at the device level but also when it is transmitted and where it is stored.
Since it is a massive leap from the traditional cars, there is some hesitation about giving full control to a vehicle. However, it is important to understand that an autonomous vehicle may considerably reduce human errors, thereby resulting in a safer driving environment. These are some of the hiccups that the industry will have to be prepared for while making decisions about real time application of this technology that definitely is the future of the automotive industry.
While developed economies like USA with mature infrastructure, have a comparatively easier path ahead of them, it is the developing economies that have an arduous journey ahead, owing to the lack of infrastructure. In a rapidly growing economy like India and China, the technology is expected to take another 3-5 years for market-wide adoption. While market penetration is low and shall remain so in the next few years, however, undeniably such economies are the biggest untapped opportunity.
What is accepted today will be expected by the consumer tomorrow and the industry needs to brace itself to meet these demands. We need to look at support by governing bodies across the globe primarily for strong infrastructure and data safety rules and regulations. We need a robust legal framework that is in sync with the technological advances taking place. The change in the industry is coming sooner than expected and what was once a part of sci-fi movies will soon be a reality!
—by Roop Singh, Executive Director, India at ATCS....