The “Intelligent Car” May Be Just Around the Corner

November 23, 2011
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Earlier this year, I noted on this blog that automakers were focusing more and more on their vehicle’s software rather than hardware, to the point where they are actually starting to rethink their business models. The idea is that vehicles might evolve into “app players on wheels”, comparable to the rise of the smartphone and its implications for hardware vendors.

Earlier this year, I noted on this blog that automakers were focusing more and more on their vehicle’s software rather than hardware, to the point where they are actually starting to rethink their business models. The idea is that vehicles might evolve into “app players on wheels”, comparable to the rise of the smartphone and its implications for hardware vendors.

Recent news indicates that this trend is gaining momentum. Toyota and Microsoft have agreed on a joint-venture to build a cloud-based platform that connects cars, homes and electrical smart grids. The plan is to support mobility apps that can encompass communications, GPS, power management and safety – a scope of functionality that goes way beyond cars. GigaOM gives the following example: “Car owners could start their vehicles and air conditioning systems remotely through a smartphone and could also turn on their home heating system from their car using the same platform.” According to GigaOM, the joint platform will be launched for US and Japanese electric and hybrid cars as early as 2012. As for the integration of web-based infotainment systems into vehicles, this has already been realized by vendors such as Daimler. In other words, the intelligent car may be just around the corner, literally.

At the recent Teradata Universe conference, Daniel Rodriguez Sierra of Telefonica said that data analytics has become as crucial to the company’s success as its physical network. If the automotive industry really does evolve as the telecommunications industry has, we can expect its representatives to draw similar conclusions in the coming years. Integrated data will be the new oil? Quite so…

Hermann Wimmer