Mobile cloud M2M will change the automobile

The M2M market encompasses a number of unique industries and devices, one of the fastest-growing being the global automotive market. Forecasts predict that every vehicle manufactured by 2020 will be connected. These vehicles must incorporate and enable service delivery from cloud services, smartphones, mobile devices or other sources. And, as Leo McCloskey writes, they must scale bandwidth and accommodate both built-in and brought-in connections while prioritising specific services, such as the eCall mandate in Europe or similarly-legislated safety and security services.

Many complicated challenges exist for this future. New, broad and changeable eco-systems are emerging to service this burgeoning market opportunity. With 440 million vehicles on the road in North America and Europe, the market opportunity is measured in the tens of billions of dollars to companies that can successfully enable connected vehicles.

Consumers and businesses alike will see advanced machine-to-machine (M2M) services take shape. These may be the result of mash-ups that integrate navigation and social apps with voice recognition and text-to-speech capabilities. Or they may be entirely new categories of services.

To enable such an amorphous future, a focused effort is needed on creating an infrastructure to provide a ‘future-proof’ service delivery platform for automakers and their consumer and commercial customers.
Collaboration is essential, including automakers (both central and regional planning), mobile network operators, content companies, ISVs, and breakdown and emergency services. Since the vehicles of 2020 will also include alternatively-powered electric or hydrogen vehicles, the list will add utilities, charging locations, hydrogen locations and other energy-focused participants.

Where to today, sir?
By 2020, when you start your vehicle, it will recognise you and drive automaker customisation and individual personalisation to the vehicle, conforming to your digital lifestyle. The vehicle will consider best practices for consuming content while minimising driver distraction.

Driver-preferred content and services would be easily useable via the vehicle’s smart display, so that the driver never reaches for a device while driving. Content and services behaviour would adapt to the vehicle state, location and other rules. Moving images will become static once the vehicle leaves ‘park’. And parents can provide additional rules that, for example, prevent texting of any sort while in the car.

Fleet and logistic needs
Such services also have commercial implications. The fleet and logistics worlds that employ proprietary equipment and protocols will be incorporated into a largely IP-based environment, creating greater freedom of choice and portability between fleet management providers. This further expands the eco-system to include insurance companies, leasing agents, car rental, car sharing and other commercial market participants.

Given the wide choice in consumer and commercial vehicles, an adaptive, cloud-based service delivery platform is clearly required. The mobile cloud would hold an abstraction of the branded in-vehicle experience for each and every driver, and integrate with other providers that comprise the driver’s digital lifestyle.

The result is an automotive industry that customises to markets, personalises to drivers, and conforms to legislation and best practices for content and service consumption within the vehicle. We each get our car our way, and it will be just as familiar to you as your smartphone is becoming today.

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