There is a paradigm shift in the automotive industry today, from predominantly a mechanical driven to software driven vehicles. It is estimated by the Boston Consulting Group that by 2015, more than 60% of the new cars will be connected to the cloud, to users’ devices, to infrastructure, and to other cars! A typical premium-class car has more than 100 microprocessors and operates on more than 100 million lines of code. Cost of electronic parts as a percentage of total vehicle cost is expected to rise to about 40% by 2015 compared to 20% a decade earlier. With this “connected car” paradigm, new industries are shaping up giving stiff competition to existing strongholds; customers expectation drastically differs from yester years and newer business and monetisation models are evolving. We look a peek at what is to come in this area.
While in-car infotainment has been one of the early drivers, vehicular connectivity has expanded to include passenger and car safety, economising energy consumption, containment of environmental pollution, and most of all providing an awesome experience for users. The car manufacturers have been working along these lines. The Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) is being implemented by car makers such as Volvo, Mitsubishi, Ford and Volkswagen that includes adaptive headlights, night vision, blind spot detection, roadside recognition, pedestrian detection, collision warning, intelligent speed assist and driver monitoring systems. The engine and transmission control units in today’s cars provide real-time measurement of hundreds of parameters related to the performance of engine, transmission and other sub systems. However, going further, these myriad of information will be analysed in
detail and used for various purposes.
An interesting use case is in the insurance industry. When an accident occurs, the values of various parameters such as driver’s conditions and driving habits; the surrounding environment including presence of conditions such as heavy mist, rain or traffic; the health of the car including that of brakes, and transmission systems are instantly analysed along with the drivers’ personal profiles to calculate the maximum permissible claim amount. Historic information of such incidents are used to arrive at the premium amount, all fully data driven.
Recently we have seen a large number of vehicle recalls by car manufacturers to fix manufacturing defects that could potentially create safety hazards. Just in the week of June 16 alone, there were eight recalls in the US of more than 100,000 cars from manufacturers such as