Personalising the in-car experience

In our previous blog on CES 2016, we highlighted how new technology is enabling us to stay connected while we are in the car. Interestingly, many car manufacturers launched new connected services during the consumer electronics show, demonstrating how much the automotive and communications industries are becoming intertwined. General Motors’ new app is a good example of connectivity applied to the automotive sector: it enables consumers’ smartphones to interact with their vehicle, even allowing drivers to start their car remotely, adjust the temperature and park via their smartphones or tablets, effectively showing an alternative option to the trusty car key. Ford also discussed a joint venture with Amazon to explore how a connected car could talk to your smart home and vice versa, and Volvo announced a new media streaming service for self-driving cars.

The number of initiatives turning cars into a connected device is clearly on the rise, and aligns with the growing consumer expectation to be “always on”. From a technical point of view, however, this raises a few questions:

  • Should manufacturers ditch bespoke integrated solutions for a Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) approach?
  • How can consumers access their personal content inside the car whether it is on their local device(s) or at home?
  • Can technology create a transportation experience that is genuinely personal for each driver?

Integrated systems accessible from the head unit have long enabled drivers to access maps, weather forecast and fuel levels, enabling automotive manufacturers to maintain control over the driving experience and ensuring that motorists focus on the road rather than tinkering with buttons. While a BYOD approach provides more flexibility for consumers, it doesn’t always respond to these core requirements. This is why we believe that the right solution is a hybrid approach using standards-based technology, combining the security and reliability of the embedded in-car system with the flexibility and connectivity of BYOD.

Connectivity opens new doors for a more personal connection between the manufacturer and the driver. On the one hand, the head unit can aggregate data about the different car subsystems and store this information locally for later retrieval. On the other, connectivity enables drivers and passengers to access additional content, such as new or updated maps and music libraries, for each trip simply by downloading them via the cloud. The customer’s usage patterns can be fed back to the manufacturer via secured networks to enable them to create a new, more personal experience based on the driver’s favourite destinations, driving style, preferred music genres, etc. The information can even be utilised to ensure that the car delivers health and safety messages in a timely fashion for driver safety.

While we’re still a long way away from turning our cars into robotic butlers, 2016 is the year that personalisation begins, and we will see our cars start to tune into our habits to help us enjoy the road more than ever.

To learn more about ACCESS’ solutions for the Automotive industry, please visit our website.

ACCESS will also be showing its solutions for the connected car at the GENIVI members meeting in Paris, France (April 26-29) and the Automotive Electronics Conference in Ludwigsburg, Germany (June 14-15).

About the author:

Robert Guest

Robert is a Global Product Director at ACCESS Europe GmbH, with a focus on HTML5 platforms and media sharing solutions, including industry specific extensions such as HbbTV and W3C Vehicle APIs, so that ACCESS customers can deploy standards based state of the art products. He has been involved in projects with major customers in both automotive and TV and ensures a customer focused development strategy for ACCESS. His role involves working with telcos, middleware suppliers, STB OEMS, automotive tier 1s and automotive OEMS to ensure that ACCESS products deliver the features needed in these fast evolving markets. Follow him on Twitter / Linkedin

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