The Connected Car World: Where Does It Go from Here

Automakers put a lot of time and effort into delivering a reliable driving experience. They’re making tradeoffs in time-to-market to deliver the innovation and level of quality that we’ve come to expect, especially in the area of in-vehicle computing, given that it’s a computing experience that is critical to the driving and purchasing decision.

There’s still a lot of work to be done around creating a better user experience, and automakers are actively working on this to enhance the in-vehicle experience. A great example is the announcement today that Jaguar Land Rover will be opening a new Technology R&D center in Portland, Oregon to enhance collaboration on research and product development with Intel and other leading IT businesses. Below is a look at what the industry is doing to evolve the connected car.

Upgrade Vehicle Systems Monitoring

For vehicles to get to the point where they can receive and transmit data from the cloud, some architectural upgrades will need to be made. Increasing the number of sensors and cameras around the vehicle will make it safer and provide a better driving experience by gathering real-time data for instant analytics. These sensors can then be used to develop new features, like lane departing warning and blind spot detection systems.

Imagine a car, when released, has one level of parking assistance. Maybe it’s a simple backup camera. If the vehicle you’ve purchased comes equipped with the necessary cameras and sensors, your vehicle will have the infrastructure in place to upgrade when parking assistance advances to 3D display and sound. It will be as easy as simply accessing the in-vehicle app store to upgrade.

Transition to a Platform-Rich Computing System

It’s time we leverage the traditional strengths of software and hardware architecture to provide a more robust and connected in-vehicle experience. There is work that the automakers are doing to figure out how they translate an identified need into a platform they can actually innovate on and drive forward. This is a great time and opportunity for them to think about what they want their platforms to look like over time and about the total cost of ownership of a software platform as part of their overall solution.

With the growing number of software applications being integrated into vehicles, there is a clear need to upgrade the quality of in-vehicle platforms, especially when it comes to the processing power and performance needed to handle the large amounts of big data generated by an increasing number of robust software solutions.

Software upgrades and the gathered data will need to use processors that can handle the batching and processing of data in the vehicle to avoid flooding communication links in the cloud. Bringing advanced software and microprocessor capabilities into the vehicle will allow for effective use of network bandwidth, cloud computing and the devices we put in the vehicle itself.

This transformation is happening very quickly, particularly in an industry that is used to designing vehicles on a five-year design cycle.

What do you think automakers need to do to integrate the cloud and mobile devices into the vehicle?

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