Real Wireless expert John Okas is one of four people who recently founded a Cambridge Wireless Special Interest Group (SIG), dedicated to looking at the growing ‘Connected vehicle’ sector.
The connected car is a concept that gets a lot of people excited and rightly so. The potential applications are enormous and it’s one of the more tangible areas of the nascent Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications market.
The new SIG will look at the part played by wireless in the automotive and transport sector, covering private and public vehicles, as well as road, rail and air transport systems.
Its remit covers everything from streaming music to your car, autonomous cars, and Wi-Fi on trains, buses and planes, through to vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle road management systems and pay as you go insurance. It will even examine the connected bus on demand services that inform users where a bus is and its estimated time of arrival.
It’s not just drivers who will benefit from these services; this technology will bring a lot of new companies into the space, including many who will never have previously seen wireless as a potential revenue stream.
For the manufacturer and its brand it provides new opportunities to keep the driver tied in to its ecosystem, via services such as remote diagnostics, vehicle tracking, servicing and preventative maintenance that detects issues that may need attention. These are likely to be connected using a 3G/4G unit in the vehicle, with a fixed SIM that is inaccessible to the driver.
There is also the potential for Wi-Fi connectivity to be supplied to the vehicle, as many cities and mobile operators look to providing carrier grade Wi-Fi services.
The M2M sector offers a lot of potential, but it’s also an incredibly complex and technical ‘system of systems’. Vehicles are set to have significant computational, connectivity and human-to-machine interfacing capabilities, both built-in and stemming from passengers’ phones and tablet devices.
There are plenty of technical and commercial challenges ahead before this sector will mature, and that’s why we’ve helped establish this new Cambridge Wireless SIG. If we’re to hope to make the most of this new technology and market, all of the companies in the space need to get together to share their collective expertise and experience.