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August 1st, 2019

The Next Big Automotive Revolution is Here

Learn how to Navigate the Evolving Connected Car Ecosystem

While the connectivity space is bursting with ideas and new players are entering the automotive ecosystem at record speeds, the concepts developed over two years ago are beginning to shift quicker than anticipated. As a result, today’s mobility ecosystem is evolving faster than we can keep up with.

The connected and autonomous spaces are saturated by both providers of key technologies, partners in service delivery, innovations of in-dash technology and niche content providers. But today’s roadmap to the future is being paved by one key component in the ecosystem – the evolution of connectivity. Specifically, how it will be done.

Introducing the Connected Car Ecosystem 2.0Ⓡ

With the advent of 5G technology on the horizon, networked roads showing up and a growth in smart cities, there’s tremendous momentum in the automotive ecosystem. While the current model is exploding, no one has successfully captured all the wants and needs of consumers.

About the Ecosystem

In order to create an optimal experience in the ecosystem, what we need is a future-proof platform where we can take the best components of the current ecosystem services and integrate them into a software system. To achieve this model, it’s crucial that we stop thinking in the hardware sense and transition our thinking in such a way to include software solutions. This creates the opportunity to design open APIs that allow you to connect to the vehicle. By connecting the vehicle via cloud ecosystem backends, it allows one to exchange information across a multitude of providers – creating the ultimate connected car ecosystem.

Navigating the Complex Ecosystem

Integrating various pieces from the array of content providers into the vehicle roadmap is a challenging task. It forces manufacturers to make difficult decisions that often force them down a path that doesn’t serve their customers or the public in the best way. By creating an open platform model, manufacturers are able to tactfully integrate the individual desired services to create the unique customizable platform that consumers are demanding.

Think about it this way; why should we limit customers to what we think they want?

There’s an abundance of choices in the market, but the current state of the ecosystem is eliminating the choices and influencing what consumers use. There is little to no ubiquity in the design and delivery of the current car services. The car is essentially a mobile device that has to connect to everything that is not mobile, but by putting the car at the core of the ecosystem you fail to create the optimal customer experience. Consumers buy into certain software-based entertainment or travel ecosystems, if you fail to provide an interlink back to any and all of these services in the marketplace, you are in essence telling the consumer the choices they made are wrong. Or that in order to connect with this specific vehicle they must change who they work with. With the current model of limited service offerings in the existing ecosystem, manufacturers run the risk of losing brand loyalty.

Examples of Content Provider Ecosystems Influencing the Connected Car Ecosystem:

  • Music Providers: Choosing the music streaming service they want to subscribe to or the news channels they prefer, rather than the one the manufacturer picks.
  • Travel Agents: Integrating the navigation and/or HD maps that each individual customer pairs their mobile phone with.
  • Digital Assistants: There’s a rise of virtual assistants connecting all aspects of one’s life- connecting the phone to the house and even to the car. Providing drivers an assortment of assistants to choose from, integrating the car with their personal life.

Even with so many players jumping into the connected car space, consumers are still not getting an optimal experience. The answer lies within creating an explosion of choices, bridging the gap between the car and the exponential growth of content providers that will outpace the current capabilities of in-vehicle inside the vehicles today.

*And yes, it goes without saying that security is implied in this thinking, but that’s a whole blog in itself.

— Michael Deittrick, SVP, Digital Strategy & Chief Digital Officer


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