3 Predictions: Cloud Computing’s Impact On Your Car

When it comes to buying a car, the days of kicking the tires or looking under the hood are gone. The in-vehicle experience is center stage, it’s time to look forward, and inside, to see how cloud computing will change the way you drive. Intel is partnering with the automotive industry and applying its technology and expertise to help speed development of innovative, unique experiences from the car to the cloud. In fact, this week at CES 2014 in Las Vegas we are welcoming Infiniti and BMW into our booth to demonstrate Intel-based IVI devices – Infiniti InTouch and BMW ConnectedDrive. Get behind the wheel in Booth 7252 in the Central Hall to see for yourself.

As we kick off 2014, here are three bold predictions that I expect to become reality in our near future:

1. Real-time feedback will help automakers deliver a more compelling driving experience – Purchased a new vehicle recently? If so, you’ve probably received several follow-up emails and electronic surveys asking you to spend time providing feedback on vehicle performance and satisfaction. Unless you’re the rare person who enjoys taking surveys, this is a time consuming process that provides little meaningful or immediate benefit.

By looking at the vehicle as a device, allowing it to connect, communicate and share data with the cloud, we can provide automakers with critical real-time data on how we drive and use our vehicles. This will give them a better understanding of how their vehicles operate, if they are operating safely and what entertainment features drivers are taking advantage of.

Looking forward, in-vehicle software platforms will feature apps that allow us to install and upgrade safety, driving and entertainment features that are more important and customized to our driving expectations. In the long term, automakers will be able to gather driver preference data from millions of drivers to quickly and effectively make in-vehicle connectivity and performance changes to new vehicles much faster than the current five-year design cycle.

2. Connected vehicles will provide greater transparency, saving us time and money – Where to start? I think we could all agree that there’s real opportunity and benefit to putting real-time traffic, parking, and navigation data to good use. As we get more crowd-sourced technologies integrated into our cars, it will allow them to receive information and communicate it back to us.

A perfect example is the current traffic congestion or road closure information we get on our navigation devices. Much of this information is delayed and we don’t really know if the situation has changed. Do I take another route and spend more time and fuel to get where I need to go, or has the accident cleared? Getting this up-to-date information will save time and money on fuel consumption.

For companies that operate a vehicle fleet there is great opportunity for different kinds of savings, whether it’s tracking management, mileage, service, even driver behavior. Are they stopping at the right intervals, maintaining safety, driving too long or buying gas from authorized retailers?

For us average drivers, one of the biggest benefits will be the insight into how our vehicles are operating and the issues we may be experiencing. Instead of just a warning light, our vehicle will be able to tell us what the problem is through equipped sensors that monitor all aspects of our vehicle. Automakers can then notify us through system warnings when it is time to take our car in for an overdue oil change or to correct a potentially more serious brake malfunction.

3. On-demand entertainment options no longer confined to cable – We’ve come a long way since the eight-track. For those who don’t know what that is, let’s go with the tape deck. We can sync the music on our phone to play in the car or access satellite radio for even more options. Pretty cool, huh? Well, get ready for more.

On-demand cloud-driven entertainment is on the way. As if we can’t already get enough, we’ll soon be able to access the same movies, music and social platforms we get on our televisions, right in the comfort of our own vehicle. Passengers inside the vehicle will be able to sync their mobile devices with each other, sharing content and entertainment options. Really, this technology is in its early stages and there’s a lot of opportunity for innovation. It will be exciting to see where it takes us.

What are your thoughts? Give me your bold predictions on how cloud computing will impact your next car. And if you’re at CES this week, stop by the Intel booth 7252 in Central Hall and see the cars for yourself.

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