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How the connected car is changing technology in the automotive industry

Chris Wicks, Chief Client Officer
Posted in: Digital, Innovation, User Experience

The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the way users connect their world with their vehicle, but how will it allow Autonomous Driving to change how we use our cars? Simply, everything is up for re-invention and everyone wants to be part of this innovation.

With the expected release date being pushed back, we are still a few years away from fully autonomous cars (Level 5 automation) being on the road. But when they do start to roll out, fully autonomous vehicles will change our relationships with cars forever.

The way people consume media whilst travelling in a car, for example, will drastically alter, leading to an increase in partnerships between Automotive brands and digital content creators. When drivers become riders, the car will become an entertainment room; think  large viewing screens, changes in seating configurations and the use of VR & AR content – we’re really going back to the future.

Concept cars at LA auto show highlight autonomous driving

The future of connected cars

Connected Cars are nothing new. Hardware such as a Sat Navs and utility apps have been part of our lives for so long now that they’ve become no less ordinary than mobile phones or televisions. However, this area is about to get a whole lot more exciting. Though few people realise it, increased access to big data poses both a challenge and an opportunity for the automotive industry, as we sit on the cusp of a digital revolution; one which will not only change how we use cars, but how we live our lives.

The aspect of this most exciting for Technology and Automotive companies is the increase in, and access to, the data which surrounds it. Currently, a connected car uploads 25GB of data per hour. Times that by the 360 million connected cars on the road and that is 9,000,000,000 bytes or 9 Petabytes per hour.

So, why is this so exciting?

As companies such as Google and Amazon tap into the monetisation of data, it has become apparent that there is a similar opportunity with the connected car, as the data collected will be of notable interest to roadside retailers and insurance companies. This is evident in the recent partnerships between IBM & BMWFord & Pivotal and Delphi & Otonomo. Whilst this concept is still in its infancy, the data will likely be of great use to roadside retailers and insurance companies in the immediate future.

Now we are faced with a new challenge: how to support this sharp increase in data usage. Governments and Technology companies will need to commit to improving current technical infrastructure, including  the roll out of the 5G network, which has already begun.

Digital agencies are also going to need to be prepared to handle such data. Currently, Brandwidth works with automotive brands to intelligently analyse and visualise the data being received from their vehicles to understand consumer trends. From this we can create bespoke, tailored customer journeys which will enhance user experiences, increase leads and conversions and ultimately build stronger relationships between brands and consumers. As the access to data increases, we and other digital agencies alike will need to constantly evolve to keep up with the amount and types of data being made accessible to us.

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