By: Ellis Lindsay, General Manager, Customer Experience Solutions, Alcatel-Lucent
I drive to work and back home in my car every day. I tune in to a radio station for traffic news and upcoming events nearby. Like many of you I’m sure, this is a typical everyday activity. And like never before, we are connected to our home, our families, our phones, our work and our friends in a network that seems to be always on. Shouldn’t we be in a lifestyle where we are consistently connected to the everyday activities in our lives? Well, let me introduce you to the world of Connected Cars.
Talks on the topic of Connected Cars have been escalating over the years. It’s a recent Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technology which extends our connectivity to the world around us – bringing your vehicle to your lifestyle. Consumers are looking at Connected Cars as a technology which can be used to help protect you, direct you and connect you. A recent survey done by Accenture on Connected Vehicles reveals that 50% of consumers in 2014 are using Connected Cars for traffic information and 34% of consumers indicated an interest in getting information about available parking spots.
Connected Cars will give us the ability to bring the home experience right to our cars. By bringing M2M to the masses, the technology will help us manage our life better – our cars can remind us of calendar deadlines, help us to schedule our meetings, and then plan our trip with the least amount of traffic – all while finding the perfect parking space.
One of the many things I realized from Telematics Detroit 2014 was the concept of the digital lifestyle. And I couldn’t explain it any better than how Tom Gebhardt, president at Panasonic Automotive Systems of America, explained it at the event. “Without the car, you have a huge gap in being able to link your life experience. Consumers don’t want to have to change their technology just because they’re in the car,” said Tom.
What Tom said really won me over. It’s not so much about the Connected Car itself, it’s really about the lifestyle and customer experience. The car is only a technology which enables us to improve the two. Every day we are finding new opportunities to stay connected, whether it’s through downloaded apps, navigation services or new technologies. The Connected Car presents all of these features, along with the most important feature: location.
As I mentioned earlier, our network is always on. That means news feeds, notifications, changes of schedule and many other things that you would have known about if you were at home. But as soon as you step outside of those doors, you leave behind a suitcase filled with information. It is about being everywhere, while accessing everything. That’s what the world of Connected Cars brings to life.
To learn more about Connected Cars, take a look at the ngConnect program. What do you think is the most important feature of Connected Cars? Share your thoughts in the comments below. I’d like to know what you think.