Insights

Connected Cars and the Internet of Things

Senior Consultant
Valtech

April 23, 2015

Connected cars represent one of the most important trends in the digital economy in 2015. And naturally, the functionality of the networked services is constantly changing.

Providers have been mainly concerned with enabling Internet access within the vehicle, as customers understandably expect uninterrupted access to news, playlists and social networks. We want to be able to access information and expect to remain online without interruptions, be it in our own automobiles or in car-sharing vehicles. And consumers’ expectations of digital innovations and unlimited access are no longer exclusive to the premium section of the market, but for smaller cars as well.

As we move forward, the emphasis is increasingly shifting to making the car a part of the “Internet of Things” and to integrate it into the worldwide data network as a node. The key to these new applications lies in the online connection of onboard networks with the car manufacturer’s backend – creating a return channel. One way to create a secure connection between onboard networks and various back end systems is “Acon”. This solution can be integrated during the production process or be retrofitted at a later stage. Manufacturers can choose to implement their own box or an alternative system add on. Acon is an agile system solution – meaning it can be flexibly adapted to changes in requirements.

Through the data connection with the backend, a whole new range of applications and services can become a reality from which both manufacturers and customers can benefit. A current example can be seen car-sharing concepts in the premium segment.

Using such control devices, which can also be retrofitted without a large investment, automatic software updates can be installed in cars. Using this technology, vehicle recall campaigns and the accompanying negative PR could be a thing of the past. In addition, car users will no longer need to be directly contacted for check-ups or need to take their vehicles to be serviced at regular intervals. Thanks to a system of predictive maintenance, the control devices alert the system if they need to be replaced or repaired. Many new applications will only start to be developed as the technical infrastructure in the cities and between network automobiles continues to forge ahead. (Car2X/Car2Car).