4 ways connected experiences will affect the automotive industry

By Adam Lacombe

Connected experiences are beginning to pop up everywhere. In the retail environment, we’re seeing beacon technology gather data on customers and passersby alike. In hospitals, wearables are changing the way healthcare is monitored and provided. In sports, TribalScale just recently finished an Amazon Alexa skill with the PGA TOUR. The automotive industry will offer a unique set of possibilities for the application of connected devices. The following post will explore 4 experiences emerging within the connected automotive industry.

Driver Profiles

As the majority of cars are driven by several owners, registering several driver profiles to a car eliminates the need to adjust preferences. The seat position, climate and radio settings, mirror positioning, and other preferences can be adjusted automatically based on the current driver. When a driver enters the car, there are several factors that could suggest the corresponding profile. Biometric identification like the weight of the driver, heart rate, or fingerprint could identify the driver upon entry. The driver is greeted and the settings are automatically adjusted based on that driver’s preferences. This profile identification will enable comfort, safety, and security alike.

Security

The biometric identification described above will lend itself well to security. No longer will one form of identification (a key) be sufficient to start a car. All of the factors described above will be required to engage the vehicle. If someone does manage to circumvent the biometric identification, vehicles will be easily tracked through GPS by the authorities. If your, then connected, home recognizes that all possible drivers are still in the house, the system will alert you that an unidentified driver is attempting to take off with your vehicle. You can then choose to disable the throttle and alert the authorities.

Automated Health Reports and Servicing

Utilizing sensors throughout the vehicle, it’s possible to gather large sums of data and analyze them in real-time to identify required maintenance. The system can alert a companion app on the dash or phone to inform the driver, avoiding further damage or potential incident. From the app, the driver can then choose to contact the repair shop. In addition to responsive action, the driver could take preemptive action and monitor the health of the vehicle through a virtual dash. Stats like fluid levels, tire pressure and wear, engine efficiency can all be monitored through the companion app.

Driverless Cars

Most of the above are already taking place in some fashion. Now to look to the future as these features culminate in a new age of private transportation — the mass adoption of driverless cars. The acceptance of driverless cars will most likely happen in the form of a subscription-based service. Much like uber, and most likely uber, a car could be virtually-hailed from an app. As the car arrives, the settings are changed to suit the needs of the passengers’ profile. The passenger can then activate the ride by applying a biometric identifier to their device. While the device remains in the car, the passenger will have total control over the entertainment and comfort settings(most likely with the choice of touch or voice user interface). Sensors and beacons will guide the automated car, avoiding collision, and identifying the most efficient route. Other sensors will ensure the vehicle is running at full efficiency and without danger of break-down.

The future of the connected vehicle opens a world of possibilities for connected transportation experiences. Users will interact seamlessly with vehicles, and vehicles will anticipate the actions and needs of their users. Vehicles will evolve to become more of a service, driven by an application, than a product, driven by a human.

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