Cars that can think for themselves have clear advantages over flesh-and-blood drivers.
Commercial Link, announced in April 2016, lets plumbers, electricians, and other small-business owners monitor and track the location, speed, mileage, fuel usage, oil level, tire pressure, and other variables of their individual GM vehicles and small fleets in real time. The service leverages Connexion’s Flex software platform, in conjunction with the pioneering 4G LTE OnStar hardware built into every GM car and truck. Connexion, which already has partnerships with GM and nine other automakers to use its miRoamer internet infotainment systems, expects to announce fleet management services similar to GM’s Commercial Link with five other automakers over the next couple of quarters, Parthimos says.
Worldwide, 1.24 million people die each year in road accidents and as many as 50 million are injured (WHO figures, 2013). Human error causes over 90 percent of these collisions. Driverless cars, which can sense other vehicles on the road as well as obstacles and lane markings, are already proving much safer than human-driven cars. In trials of Google’s autonomous Prius fleet in Silicon Valley in California, the only accidents were caused by human error.
Driver less cars use a mix of GPS, cameras, complex scanners and sensors to detect vehicles, traffic signals, curbs, pedestrians and other obstacles. Ford and Toyota, for example, are pioneering software that facilitates better communication between a vehicle’s internal computer and a consumer’s smartphone. The Register reports that in order to compete with solutions created by technology companies, BMW is working with tech companies to integrate smart home functionality into their vehicles, with capabilities like remotely locking/unlocking doors and adjusting thermostats.
As well as detecting their surroundings using ultra-sophisticated mapping systems, future cars will be able to communicate with each other, allowing as many cars as possible to fit on the roads. Connected vehicles will feature safety warnings that alert drivers of potentially dangerous conditions – impending collisions, icy roads and dangerous curves.
Experts say it’s not the technology holding us back, but legal and practical issues such as who is responsible in the case of an accident, urban planning and the security of car computer systems. Once these details are worked out, and motor manufacturers have used sophisticated software tools to eliminate all potential problems, it won’t be long until we’re all a lot safer on the roads.
A New Vision for Mobility
Connectivity is at the heart of all of this, driving a huge number of innovations that are either here now or in the works. That’s really just the beginning. New SYNC Connect technology will let you remotely start your vehicle, unlock the doors, check the fuel level, and much more from your smartphone, operating through the new FordPass app, available this Spring.
Data is key to the success of connected and automated vehicles. It’s also one of the biggest potential pain points for consumers and manufacturers alike. Auto manufacturers and their technology partners stand to make a great deal of profit by monetizing the data collected through connected vehicles with abilities like targeted ads and services. But the ownership of the data that might be collected is ill-defined at the moment. Currently, members of the House of Representatives are advocating for a bill to determine data sharing standards and more in CVs and AVs. Certainly, it’s worth considering how this data will be distributed and managed, if at all.
Oracle is obviously a leader in data and information. They’ve got the tools for us to be able to extract value from that data we would be collecting. And they’ve also got the channels for us to potentially sell select data. They have 420,000 customers worldwide that are using one of their products.