Connected Cars'15: fresh news right from the field

As you may know, The annual Connected Cars conference took place in Amsterdam last week. Archer Software took part in the round table discussions, tech meetings and attended the panel discussions with major OEM such as Audi, Jaguar, BMW, Honda, Seat, Feat, Nissan, PSA, tier 1 and 2 companies like Tomtom, Harman, Ericsson and others hardware, software, connectivity, government bodies and insurance providers. Here are some of the hot topics that were discussed at the conference:


  1. Where the connected cars concept is now, what the next steps are and the key issues that major players see. There are still a majoк unified standards problems. This touches everything from communication protocols and vehicle related data. Each OEM provider defines their own proprietary format for infotainment apps and integration models. When a driver decides to buy a car, he has to take all this into account. He has to consider which developer designed the infotainment console, and decide between all the different API’s provided by Tier 1 companies like Tomtom who are trying to develope the high definition maps that are critically needed for Autonomous cars and more HAD. The Institute of Standardization for OEM providers has been established in Europe to resolve these issues and to create new standards.


  1. There are a lot of hurdles that self-driving cars have to jump including navigation, technology, legislation, driver acceptance and more. Today many companies claim they can let their driverless cars out on the streets. Speakers at the Connected Cars conference discussed the technology aspects, like the algorithms that help a driverless car move in traffic. Various sets of sensors that take readings of the surroundings and the second source of information is other traffic participants: other connected cars, connected traffic lights, etc. They also use cloud storage to process all this data.The driverless car’s algorithms analyze all that data and direct the vehicle on the calculated path.


There were other topics that were discussed there including the moral and legislative aspects of releasing autonomous cars on the street. A lot of regulations about collision and cornering situations should happen at government and local levels before the driverless car will become a regular part of the traffic.


  1. There are many market opportunities and entry points now for development companies and startups that gather and process vehicle and road related data. TomTom introduced its navigation connected car kit. BMW, Audi, Ford and PSA presented their parts of the eco-systems dedicated to engage the app developers to become a part of driving experience that OEMs deliver to their Drivers. For wxample, the TomTom kit projects all information to the windshield instead of to monitors that diverts from driving and the road situation. The driver reviews this information: answers calls or selects the route using buttons on the steering wheel. And Ford and PSA encouragement programs are helping young startups that are ready to build a product that will be unique in the OEM app market.


  1. One quite exciting tech discussion centered on ew features / user advisory approach / better UX for Head Units infotainment and supplying apps VS legacy car models, user data security and various connectivity problems in regions with lower telecom coverage and multi-suppliers roaming use cases.


  1. Since drivers can now control and service the car with their smartphones, the whole direction of Smartphone and Vehicle UX models were discussed. To track all activities and car usage, owners can generate one time key on their smartphone to have access to the vehicle. It can be useful in food or other product delivery, when a courier brings the package and leaves it in the car without the car owner’s participation. But it raises a questions on data security, data ownership, and it’s usage against interests of the user.


  1. Another big topic for a number of panels was the Driver Behaviour based Insurance models including current trends in this direction worldwide and specifically in the UK and Netherlands. Existing government invested NGOs and independent startups demonstrated their current products and models of user engagement. The global trend in UBIs is now huge and soon we’ll see a lot of new roducts coming out arounds this opportunity.


Archer Software offers embedded connected car solutions for all of the aforementioned industries. We have extensive experience developing mobile applications for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and Blackberry, including apps which feature geolocation, geopositioning, and embedded solutions.