Integrating cars with other devices and uploading data to the cloud has become an obsession for major car producers. General Motors, Ford and many others have all unveiled new cloud based systems which use in-house software and apps to do everything from planning your route to monitoring the weather and informing you if you’re running out of gas. The current consensus within the car industry seems to be that whoever can make it work effectively and across the range can get a head start on future processing advancements and software packages.
The problem though, according to Ban Lamm, CEO and founding member of Chaotic Moon, is that the rapid attempt to embrace apps in cars is producing far too many variants of the same programs, none of which can work across the board between different manufacturers and ranges. Commentating from his experience working with Toyota and Lexus on their upcoming prototypes, Ban believes that the number of in-dash tech combined with the different ways it has been produced has led to a mass fragmentation of the emerging in-car application industry.
Much ado about nothing – we have lots of prototypes, where are the apps?
The problem is that automotive industry leaders are out of touch with the new requirements of operating with cloud computing. There are collaborations and projects on going but these are prototypes, publicity stunts or they exist outside of the main car industry. Most of what goes on is an attempt to move forward but with a viewpoint inexperienced in how to do it.
To create a streamlined experience, the apps market must be limited and the amount of installed applications on cars brought to a minimum so that background apps are not running while the driver is driving. This will lower driver distraction and hopefully give a streamlined feel. The problem is that even if they all decide on one system, the car industry still has far too many applications floating around that will need to be trimmed down or altered to prevent distraction to the driver.
New safety restrictions are limiting the amount of in-dash technology. These restrictions have yet to be embraced by the car industry on the whole; however, the industry needs to embrace them and work around the limitations to produce a safe driving experience that still fosters connectivity, consultation and the context of the situation.
General Motors and their 4G connection
General Motors has recently announced the addition of a 4G connection in their cars. This is a response to the growing trend of cloud computing in cars and will foster bring-your-own-device environment. Hopefully, this will lead to greater innovation and consultation within the industry as to what nature of application and in-dash technology can be used while the vehicle is in operation.
The development of in car cloud systems, using signals between components such as the GPS and engine computer to judge things such as gas stops and alternative transport has recently been explore by BMW. The idea of having a secure cloud based system in the car is interesting and may pose a step forward for car manufacturers, but is currently not wide spread enough to be commonly used and is nowhere near ready to be put into mass production. That being said, cloud systems for cars exist, only they need to be fine tuned.
The issue is that there are so many systems, all of which are different and incompatible with each other. New rules being made for these apps need to be adopted in order to amend this, and users of cloud technology and in-built dash technology for cars need a simple elegant solution to this mess.
Drive functionality and convenience and not the only benefits auto experts look for in car apps. As a matter of fact, cloud capabilities are more than just cool, fancy accessories for owners to play with. Most of them are meant to increase the safety level your vehicle. Cloud services are capable to enable more effective GPS-enabled reality devices. This range of new auto features will help protect both the driver and the passenger. Bottom line, cars need apps to become more accurate, and although they’re in trend as well, their goal should first be focused on increasing safety.