Staying in touch with news from the connected car industry

Hey there, connected car enthusiasts! It’s that time of the month again, when we surf the web, and check out the hottest news in the autonomous vehicles world.

If a few years ago, things weren’t moving so fast in the technology world, now it seems that there are made improvements almost every day.

I noticed that we’re closer to living the life we saw in the science fiction movies. But enough with the introduction. Let’s see what are the highlights of the last few weeks in the connected car industry.

SAP partners with Volkswagen and Shell to create a connected car ecosystem

Without a highly-developed ecosystem, it’s hard for connected vehicles to exist. We’d all have the car, but not the means to be able to use the technology for the purpose it is has been developed. At SAP’s TechEd, that took place in Berlin, the three companies talked about the Volkswagen Mobility car app.

The app focuses on finding a place to park, and it also has a fuel finding feature. They are currently testing it in Hanover. Volkswagen and Shell send data about parking spaces and fuel pumps to the app. At the same time, users will be able to pay with the smartphone. Easy and fast! No more waiting in lines, and wasting time. Dr Olaf Dubel, head of new products at Volkswagen, states that there’s no way for the connected car ecosystem to be developed without partnerships between the IT and the automotive industry.

LG joins AT&T and other 12 companies in connected vehicles research

According to the AT&T website, “The AT&T Drive Studio™ is the first connected car innovation center in the U.S. to be opened by a wireless carrier”. They also welcome and encourage companies or developers to join them, and contribute to the creation of connected vehicles.

Since the in-car technology needs to be connected with smartphones, it’s only natural for electronics makers, such as LG Electronics to want to be part of this process. LG is not known particularly for their smartphones, but they manufacture pretty good home electronics products. I’m curious to see what they can develop further for connected cars.

Nissan and Microsoft launched a competition for in-car technology

It’s kind of late to enter your submission right now, since the competition has closed. With this competition, the companies aim to look for developers, designers, engineers, or IT professionals that would help at the research and the development of connected vehicles technology.

The three winners will be given the opportunity to work with specialists from Nissan and Microsoft, and they will have the chance to develop their idea. Also, after the workshop, the public will “vote for who they think should win the trip to Seattle and San Diego, where the winner will visit Nissan and Microsoft’s R&D facilities”, as they say on MSN Innovation website.

I think that this a great opportunity for developers, IT specialists, engineers, or designers to put a mark in the connected car industry.

Volvo wants to have 100 autonomous vehicles on the road by 2017

I like Volvo. When I think about the company, two words pop into my head: safety, and elegance. Their Drive Me pilot project, which started at the beginning of 2014, aims to introduce self-driving cars on the road of Gothenburg, which will be “driven” in everyday traffic conditions.

Klas Bendrik, the CIO of Volvo, said that in the next years the company will focus on having 100 self-driving cars on the road by 2017. Will this be possible? We’ll just have to wait and see.

In this pilot project, Volvo also focuses on the collaboration with one of its partners, Erricson, and on developing ways for cars to communicate with other cars, so that they are able to exchange information about mechanical problems, or road conditions.

Connected Car Expo – what developers need to know

The Connected Car Expo took place between 18-20 November. One of the panels from the event discussed the focus on developing applications, and software for the automotive industry.

Here are the most important aspects developers should keep in mind:

  • The market of developing apps and software for connected vehicles is just at the beginning, but they will grow and transform quickly.
  • Developers need to think about the user experience when developing an app or a software. Even if the app is innovative, they will not use it if they won’t be able to enjoy the experience.
  • A faster engagement of the users will help provide a more rapid feedback, so that the product can be improved as soon as possible.

The safety, security, privacy of your connected vehicle

There are constant issues with new technologies, with new emerging industry innovations. The privacy of your connected car is one of them. There were many discussions regarding this subject recently.

Nevertheless, a big step has been made in this direction. Some of the biggest car manufacturers in the world, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai-Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo, Mitsubishi and Mazda, agreed on 13 November to the Consumer Privacy Protection Principles. This means that the car companies need to disclose to their consumers what data they collect about them, and how they use it.

Stay connected

That’s about it for this week. Many exciting news, and I’m sure there are more to come.

Is there something I missed? Let me know down in the comments. Also, tell me what is the news you’re most excited about.

PS: Come back for more fresh news from the connected car world, or follow me on my social media networks.   

Philipp Kandal