Connected Cars

Last month Control F1 project manager Kathy Thornton attended CW (Cambridge Wireless) “The Connected Car: The Next 500 Million Connections” event. In this blog post she gives us her six top takeaways from the day.
Connected car infographic

Towards the end of 2015, AT&T connected more cars than people – over one million in total – and connected vehicles may just be the single largest new category of mobile connections. The market is set to explode, with over 500 million cars predicted to have embedded connectivity by 2023 (compared to under 50 million vehicles today).

To discuss this huge growth area within the field of IoT, CW held an event, with speakers including Mike Bell of Jaguar Land Rover, Uwe Pützschler of Nokia, Phil Skipper of Vodafone, Moeen Khawaja of Thingful and Control F1’s very own MD Andy Dumbell, who is leading our i-Motors initiative, funded by InnovateUK and focused on standardisation within connected vehicles.

Andy Dumbell, Control F1

Andy Dumbell, MD of Control F1 presenting at the CW event

The event threw up a number of interesting ideas, but here are my six top takeaways:

  1. Privacy is a key issue, especially in relation to location data. Speakers at the event felt that customers should be given the opportunity to sign up rather than opt out. This will allow consumers to remain confident that their data is protected.
  1. Latency is critical for safety. Recent tests, however, look promising, demonstrating that the latest technology is capable of the low latencies required.
  1. We can’t rely on mobile devices. Safety critical features must be handled by specifically designed hardware and software/firmware, although mobile devices can supplement with extra features and functionality.
  1. Every situation is slightly different. The level of complexity is very high when it comes to “unrehearsed decisions” – situations that vehicles have not encountered before. In such circumstances, the vehicle can lack the data needed to make a decision and may need to learn from other vehicles. 
  1. Do we have the bandwidth? With the huge exponential growth in connected vehicles, there are still a number of unanswered questions, including whether or not we can support the bandwidth as the number of devices increases. 
  1. There’s still a long road ahead. If we’re going to provide a reliable service to customers – such as using real-time telemetry data to ease congestion and anticipate hazards on the road – improvements in network coverage are still needed.

Presentation image