Can the car, cloud, and smartphone be integrated more successfully?

Lots of people use the phrase "connected car," but what does it really mean? What, exactly, is connected, and what is it connected to?

In the past, my QNX colleagues referred to four types of automotive connectivity:

  • Connectivity to phones and other mobile devices — for handsfree calling and for accessing music and other media
  • Connectivity to the cloud — for accessing off-board navigation, voice recognition, etc
  • Connectivity within the car — for sharing information and applications between systems, such as the instrument cluster and the head unit
  • Connectivity around the car — for providing the driver with feedback about the surrounding environment

Problem is, the distinction between the first two categories is becoming progressively softer. As my colleague Kerry Johnson argues, if your car connects to a smartphone that draws information from the cloud, can you really distinguish between mobile-device connectivity and cloud connectivity?

Mind you, making such distinctions is of secondary importance. The real issue is whether we can integrate the car, cloud, and smartphone much more successfully. Can we, using widely accessible technologies, harness their combined power to deliver a significantly better driving experience?

This is just one of the issues that Kerry addresses in his new blog post, which you can read here. If you're interested in the future of the connected car, check it out.

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