The battle for the dashboard keeps ramping up. We’re quickly going from a basic AM/FM/CD player to a stack of technology that can do wonderous things. In the process, not only are more vehicles are being sold but other areas of industry and society are changing.
Billboard sums things up in their coverage of the Connected Car Keynote which took place this week at the Music Biz conference run by the National Association of Recording Merchandiers (NARM):
Among the challenges facing companies trying to build businesses in the connected car ecosystem:
- Product development cycles take anywhere from 3 to 7 years from design stage to dealer lots. This compares to cell phones, which are replaced every year or two.
- Replacement cycles are even longer, with consumers hanging on to their vehicles for 7 to 11 years before buying a new car, further delaying broad adoption of any new technology.
- Safety concerns limit how much interaction drivers should have with new technologies being built within car dashboards. The National Traffic Highway Safety Administration recently weighed in on the topic, issuing recommended guidelines that could easily become regulations if car manufacturers and app developers go too far.
- Fragmented platforms, resulting from each auto manufacturer creating their own proprietary technologies, can crank up development costs.
- Consumer reluctance to try new technologies will also slow down adoption.
Meanwhile, Amazon is going ahead with a partnership with Ford to introduce their Cloud Player through iOS devices. The app on the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad will allow users to play music through their Ford Sync AppLink-equipped vehicles. Android users will get their shot in February. More at Mashable.
Why am I so hopped up on the connected car? Because I’m wondering where radio–a medium in which I’ve been involved for more than three decades–needs to adapt to these new technological realities. This is just my way of keeping these issues top-of-mind.