Making the Connected Car a Win-Win-Win Thing

The connected car is the talk of the town – not only among automotive experts. Expectations are manifold: Car owners are looking forward to new information, entertainment offers and new services in general; marketers can’t wait for the Big User Data the connected car is going to generate; urban and traffic planners are already blueprinting automated traffic management systems, and auto makers assure us that the self-driving car is closer around the corner than most of us imagine.

As with any new technology, while the expectations are great, so are the concerns. A recent CSC survey in Austria, Germany and Switzerland revealed that some 70 per cent of respondents generally appreciate the idea of being chauffeured by self-driving cars, yet in real life still lack confidence in the safety of such systems. In particular, the risk of hacker attacks gives rise to doubt. These issues are valid, and the various industries involved are busy addressing them. Already, the auto industry is forming alliances with chip producers, software architects and network operators to meet these challenges.

In any event, the connected car is not going to take over night. Most new technologies first go through a ‘toy phase’ before becoming established commodities. In this phase, only early adopters accept them while the broad majority sits back and waits for initial deficiencies to be eliminated and ‘grown-up’ uses to emerge. Just think of social media, which set out as a means mostly for kids to connect but soon went on to become indispensable business tools. Similar things go for the mobile and many other technologies.

Having said that, I think that the connected car is already more than just a gadget on wheels. Even today, certain connectivity capabilities are being built into cars for very serious purposes: Vehicles that automatically send emergency calls in the event of an accident are no longer science fiction, and theft-protection by way of GPS positioning has become a standard in premium cars.

If history has taught us one thing, it is that any new technology will not unfold its full potential until all stakeholders along the entire value chain benefit from it. This is usually the case when the technology supports the primary purpose of the environment where it is deployed. For the car owner, the primary purpose of the car is reliable mobility – driving. For the carmaker and dealer on the other hand, the car is the single most important means to ensure customer satisfaction and therefore create loyalty – as long as it does its job of driving. Consequently, we should be looking for ways to exploit the new connectivity in order to improve the car’s reliability.

Of all the data the connected car is able and supposed to share, the technical data are thus most important. Accordingly, a connected car platform should not only read out the vehicle’s  telematics data but to also process, interpret and analyse its data appropriately on the basis of Big Data and the vehicle’s history. By doing just that, state of the art solutions such as the CSC Connect Service Platform (CCSP) will help predictive maintenance to finally arrive in the end consumer segment: For example: The dealership learns of unusual wear even before the board computer sees a reason to flash a warning light and so can proactively take action by inviting the customer to bring the car in for inspection without the customer having to take action. For the car owner, that’s highly convenient. For the dealer and the car manufacturer, it’s an invaluable tool of customer retention – a win-win-win situation for all concerned.

Comments

  1. Wow.
    It’s good technology for cars.

    Like

Trackbacks

  1. […] mobility and more digital services in the car itself as well as demands by consumers for a more connected car and autonomous driving. Carmakers need to adjust their products and services and the way each is produced in order to meet […]

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