April 23, 2015 — With the Internet of Things/Everthing (IoT/E) on the horizon, the connected car is one of the hottest topics out there. Integrating a slew of wireless technologies, the connected car and its associated infrastructure promises to make everybody rich.
Here’s why: Multiple telecom technologies will exist in the connected car. Including 2G, 3G, 4G/LTE, vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-grid (V2G). And wait until “5G,” comes on line.
It won’t be a fast integration, however, for several reasons. One, and perhaps the most significant is the life cycle of a car. Consumers usually upgrade their smartphones every two years, but not their cars, so longer-term functionality must be considered. That is a metric yet to be well defined. And, coming online as well will be Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE, and potentially 802.11p and DSRC. This is a lot of technology that will have to be worked into a communication + automotive platform.
And then there is billing. No one really knows what kind of billing model will work the best, and for what? Cellular is the obvious one, but what about steaming media? Or subscription mapping or GPS services? This is something intrinsic to telecom, but rather a foreign concept to the automotive industry. Stay tuned, however, because the parties know the value of the connected car so there is real momentum to get this traction.
Finally, and this is a big one. Connected cars won’t stand for “dropped calls” to the infrastructure or for V2V communications. I don’t want to end up in someone’s back seat because the connection was lost or interrupted, like my cell phone calls. That means that carrier-grade won’t suffice. We will need “Automotive-grade” products, which will have to meet the five-nines metric.
Keep your ear to the rail on this one. When all of this finally gains traction, don’t be in the way.