Connected Car Expo in Los Angeles

The Connected Car Expo took place in November 17-19 at Marriott Hotel in the downtown Los Angeles. The Press and Trade event that unites automotive and technology professionals in the connected car industry this year again gathered the major top players and media.

In his openings remarks the mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti stated that people are waiting for time that technology liberate them from daily traffic daily and increase the safety they seek on the streets. And, it is the right moment when the technology is embracing the future instead of chasing it away.

Michelle Avary, VP Automotive Product & Strategy at Aeris and CCE Advisory Board member presented Top Ten Automotive Startups. Michelle is also a Founder of Women in Automotive Technology startup, Silicon Valley based networking group. She shared the outline of the selection criteria that CCE Advisory Board use to choose the notable startups in connected cars field. That are four broad categories: safety, mobility, connectivity and autonomous. The Winners of 2015 Top Ten Startups of the New Automotive Industry are: Capio, High Mobility, TriLumina, Getaround, Elio Motors, Sober Steering, Driversiti, Quanergy, Nebula Systems and HopSkipDrive.

Then CCE Emcee Brian Colley, Editor-at-large and host of CNET On Cars, took the stage to address the status of connected cars industry. What is the future of our streets and our cities? It can be called the connected cars era.

For the first time in 2015 an autonomous car drove across U.S. coast-to-coast road trip. On the panel The Long and Winding Road to Autonomous three experts: Prof. Dr. Thomas Form, Head of Electronics and Vehicle Research at Volkswagen, Brian Droessler, VP of Software & Connected Solution at Continental North America and Ph.D. Gary O’Brian, Global Director of Advanced Engineering at Delphi Electronics and safety discussed what the industry has done and what still need to be done in the road to highly automated driving.

What is the future of our streets and our cities?

As we have seen the last few years,  it is conversion to digital and electronics devices that have been flowing into the cars. In the next 10 years we will be seeing a change in the information, entertainment, navigation and logistics in our vehicles. There are changes on how we relate to the cars, how we fit with them and what we expect from them.  The connected cars are taking their seat at the table in electronic digital connected world and are a part of the Internet of Things (IoT).

When we think about technology, the mental picture that comes to our mind is: smartphones, smartwatches, and tablets.  It should be so, because we have many types of devices in our lives.  The reality is, the electronics and electronics devices are not technology. Technology is a word that we can find in dictionary, a word that pre-dates the era of electronics and pre-dates of the era of electricity.  Technology by a definition is: “A branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and the environment”. Technology in simply words means how we get things done. In the vehicles it means how we get where we want to go; how we do it efficiently, comfortably, and safely with the vehicle serving us, as oppose to us have to alter our life around the need of transportation.

There are 4 great challenges and requirements that we need to overcome and meet for connected cars:

Transparent – limit distraction via using the clean interface on the dashboard. In the past we had the remote controls that were extremely complicated and the customers were lost and did not use many of the functions. Simply too much was too much.  That cannot be the case for the car, the connectivity has to allow for focus on the driving, not the interface.

Intuitive – Easy to understand how to use and why, because the connected cars speak to the entire population:  people in different professions, tech geeks, TV enthusiasts, etc. Why means they need to understand– what is a benefit for a customer to have connected car, autonomous car, why they need that future.

Intimate – the internet is the future of the car. When we look at the cars now, the relationship between us and car is dumb in many aspects. The car doesn’t worry about you, the car doesn’t care about you, it doesn’t know more about you from the day bought and brought it home to the day you sell it. It is itself.  The car is just kind of a cold machine for the most part. In the future, the personalization will be flowing into the car through the connectivity, and make it better today than was yesterday. More about me the driver, better tuned to what I need from it.  This experience as well as services that we bring in, as the driver, I need them to follow me into the car, not just have them live on my phone, my desktop, my tablet, my TV or my home.

Constant – Reflecting the kinds of services that are second nature outside the car. At present, the car is an island. You have a routine of behaviors in your life, then, when you get into the car, the behaviors change, it is different. The view is different for the navigation dash, it use different media services. In the cars we feel a little cut off from our regular life, sort of an awkward little connection to those things we do outside of the car. This will be changed when we have constant heartbeat of all our services, relationships, personalization and digital world following us into the cars consistently. This will make the transportation aspect of our life consistent with the rest so it feels like the same space we live in, just one that is moving.

This is the goal of the connected car and what it brings, a new portion of our life that is now a continuation of the way we live, not a break from the real life or being held hostage and in limbo in traffic.  Work, social interaction, entertainment, enjoyment of the trip, recognition of who you are and what you do will all be part as the new experience for getting from point A to point B in a car in the next few years.

Text by Lidia Paulinska and Tomasz Kolodziejak







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