The Auto Industry Revolution
Apr 21, 2015
In 1950 a car was a box of steel and glass with for wheels and an engine to make it go. For the next 60 years people dreamed that in the next few years it would drive by itself or take off seamlessly from the a highway and fly away.
Every year a new model would appear that included some incremental improvements and design changes. The dream, however, of a car driving itself off the lot has remained elusive with some people still saying that it will never come.
Recent shifts in focus by car manufactures have signaled that the auto industry in general is undergoing a revolution. A shift in mindset from auto manufactures trying to squeak out 1 or 2 extra mpg to making the time inside the car and experience worth preserving.
The birth of the connected car is following close behind the connected smart phone revolution and, while there is no sign of us jet setting across the globe in a ford anytime soon, the major players in the market are promising to make your car a part of the world around you and connect you, rather than separate you from the world that is going on outside the steel and glass bubble.
On its face the connected car is a merging between a car and a smart phone. If the prospect of playing candy crush while you are stuck in traffic doesn’t appeal to you, there are plenty of other advantages of having a car that that is on the web.
From listening to your favorite music and seamless integrated navigation to hands-free controls and parking apps, everything that your smart phone can do, in now available on your rideable mobile.
But a connected car goes far beyond these features and allows you to access your car from the inside out. Remote starting, unlocking and locking and internal systems diagnostics are now part of the package.
These features are more than a gimmick. The new eCall system being installed in European cars automatically call emergency services in the event of an accident and promises to safe up to 2500 lives per year through quick responses.
And driving is getting much safer as well. Cadillac has announced that the 2017 models will include suppercruise, a “semi-automated driving including hands-off lane following, braking and speed control under certain driving conditions.”
These “vehicles use a fusion of radar, ultrasonic sensors, cameras and GPS map data” to see better that humans can and never get distracted.
While their first version is designed to only work on freeways and bigger roads, Audi hopes that in the next few years it will be able to put its “Predictive Efficiency Assistant” into production models that “maps out the most economical routes, adaptive cruise control, and a traffic jam aid that can speed, slow, and steer the car at speeds below 37.3 mph.”
Noosphere Ventures is always at the forefront of new technologies and sees that connected cars are not just a fad. They are here to stay and represent a huge opportunity for the wary investor. Mckinsey recently reported that, “while the total cost of ownership of vehicles will remain stable for consumers, the dramatic increase in vehicle connectivity will increase the value of the global market for connectivity components and services to €170 billion by 2020 from just €30 billion today.“
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