How manufacturers are tackling the Connected Car
Wednesday, 26 June 2013
Vehicle manufacturers know that the car of the future will be connected which is why it comes as no surprise that top car brands are already developing and launching their solutions: navigation, Wi-Fi, music streaming and security features with built-in or brought-in devices. The Connected Car Report 2013 gives us a closer idea of the services that car brands are focusing on.
Audi combines both built-in and brought-in devices. On the one hand , the manufacturer is working in managed intelligence to give the driver access to information on points of interest, fuel or navigation. On the other hand, Audi is developing entertainment systems for back-seat passengers: full Wi-Fi experience. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, satellite, and broadband cellular connectivity to enable the streaming of data for applications such as internet access, music streaming, real-time traffic and Google EarthTM satellite imagery. Furthermore, voice control systems will be an important part of Audi’s connected solutions.
The built- in BMW Connected and Mini Connected apps also uses smartphone connectivity in areas where built-in solutions are not flexible or fast enough. Their platform ConnectedDrive is the reference that the manufacturer puts as an example of the path they will follow. It includes three aspects: travel guide, entertainer and guardian angel.
Cadillac – General motors
Each vehicle within the Cadillac range will have an embedded connection. Their customers will be benefited by the wide range of telematics services, such as maintenance diagnostics and warranty issue management. The second path for Cadillac is the brought-in device option which is connected through Bluetooth, and uses the mobile phone as a ‘pipe’.
Kia uses Windows Embedded Automotive platform and its intelligent speech engine technology, which paved the way for Kia Motors telematics solutions and the roadmap for the Kia Connected Car including infotainment and safety functionality. Kia Motors fully embraces the brought-in smartphone as a means for connectivity. The Human-Machine Interface (HMI) in the Kia Motors’ car looks for simplicity. It has retained hard buttons and knobs to be pressed and turned rather than purely touched on the screen, and Kia has also applied the guiding principle that no more than two steps should ever be required by the customer to get to the deep root functions of the solution.
NissanConnect provides a wealth of information such as weather, flights, fuel and Google points of interest which are all connected over a standard Data-Over-Voice connection. Future developments of NissanConnect will be made available, including smartphone integrations.
Renault has launched R-Link, a multimedia tablet solution in the vehicle. It is an embedded tablet purposefully designed as an integral part of the vehicle and it provides a 7-inch tablet-like touchscreen with icons for Navigation, Multimedia, Phone, Vehicle, Services, and System commands. It is designed around security guidelines for driving, namely hands-free calling and email based on two scenarios. When standing still, the email solution will allow for standard interaction but when driving, text is automatically converted into speech, allowing the driver to listen to emails and discover details such as who sent the email.
Volvo On Call focuses on safety and security. On Call provides eCall (Emergency) and b-Call (Breakdown) services, initiated by a rescue incident (such as release of the airbags), and sending an emergency signal without time lags to the appropriate services. The product is now evolving to include convenience services accessed through a dedicated modem, which reinforces signal strength. These convenience services let customers heat their car remotely, read their dashboard remotely, or check whether or not the doors and windows have been locked. These functions are all accessed via available mobile applications.