Companies Outside the Auto Industry Working on the Connected Car
If you’ve been anywhere near a car show or an automobile dealership over the last year, you’ll know all about the revolution going on in the dashboard. The race is on to create a truly connected car.
Ford, GM, Chrysler, Honda and BMW have done well with their respective infotainment systems. But the problem with each of them is that they are propriety, inflexible and have OSes that are hard (if not impossible) to update.
But now it’s becoming clear that the solution to the connected car may come from outside the industry. Wired reports:
Apps are coming to automobile dashboards — that much is certain. Sooner or later every new car will have downloadable applications, either through a tethered smartphone or a built-in data link to local wireless carriers.
But so far, it’s been slow going. Car companies and their traditional tech suppliers are struggling with a host of issues, like device compatibility, the auto industry’s endemic lag, and steady pressure from federal regulators who worry about a whole new level of deadly driver distraction. It all adds up to a battleship-slow, fractured market, with each automaker developing its own inflexible, proprietary approach: from the wholesale outsourcing of HondaLink to the tight leash of the iPhone-only BMW Apps system to Chrysler’s own cloud-connected ecosystem, Uconnect Ram.
Now two interloper enterprises are trying to bridge the gap themselves and crack the connected-car market, getting first to satisfy consumers who just want to get behind the wheel and enjoy access to the content and information they already get from their mobile devices.