Notes from Jasper's Connected-Car Confab

In a wide-ranging conversation, executives from AT&T, General Motors, LoJack and ChargePoint discussed the IoT in context of today's and tomorrow's connected-car applications.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor

But LoJack's Isaac was more direct on the topic of connected-car security, noting that hacks will happen and that vendors need to act proactively when they do. Isaac also offered some advice that is sage, regardless of your particular vertical: It is paramount for any company developing IoT solutions to establish a team dedicated to security. "Don't have the same people who set up your IT also set up your security systems," he stated.

Five Years From Now
In terms of what the next five years will bring to connected-car technology, ChargePoint's Agrawal said he thinks that just as consumers shifted to smartphones, they will shift to connected cars as well. We'll look up in 2020, he predicts, and just about all cars will be connected. Of course, consumers purchase new phones far more frequently than they buy new cars, so even if the comparison is apt, the rollout will be far slower.

Schwinke said he was confident that semi-autonomous vehicles would become common in five years, with such safety features as crash avoidance. He also envisions a level of personalization enabled by connected-car technology that will let a driver communicate with his or her car. Just like consumers who buy a new smartphone can customize it with the apps they want most, drivers will be able to do the same with their vehicles. "How are you going to make it your experience, so it matches your lifestyle?" he asked. "That's where I see us moving the needle, so that people have this love affair with their car."

That may not happen to the degree that GM's sales force would like to see, however, if the trend away from car ownership and toward a reliance on ridesharing services continues. Yet, it's easy to imagine a day much sooner than 2020, when you will hail an Uber and step into the car, and the vehicle's radio will start playing your favorite podcast or Apple radio channel, or a touch-screen in the back seat will queue up your favorite game.

Mary Catherine O'Connor is the editor of Internet of Things Journal and a former staff reporter for RFID Journal. She also writes about technology, as it relates to business and the environment, for a range of consumer magazines and newspapers.

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