Publication Name: www.thehindubusinessline.com
Date: October 2016
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There are a host of issues that need to be pondered over
It is a busy Monday morning and you are travelling auto pilot mode in your car while checking mails. At a traffic signal, your car retrieves data you want, takes a picture of another flashy set of wheels nearby and keeps this aside for you to be looked at later.
Is all this reality or fiction? Welcome to the world of tomorrow’s connected vehicles which will enable new services and advance driving assistance systems now available only in premium cars.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a rising innovation among many industries, including automotive. With extensive use of smart devices, web-based content and connected cars, automakers can now build new experiences with customers during the selling process including pre- and post-sale phases.
With more time on their hands, drivers and passengers will opt for networking, social media, note taking, email and entertainment. When it comes to IoT and automotive, new areas of discussion should be considered to accommodate user experience in autonomous cars.
The first is safety which, in terms of passengers, means goods inside the vehicle or data shared on cloud. Pretty much all data from emails and social media to personal data is vulnerable to hacking. The goal is to gain customer trust and create complex firewall levels to prevent this from happening. This will lead to the next generation of cyber security and standards which will spawn new features. Safety could change the insurance business model as accidents could come down drastically.
The second aspect relates to IoT which allows users to stay connected and access a set of features, not just inside the car but also when away from it. IoT is not just meant for entertainment or accessibility but will play a major role in traffic systems such as lights or warnings. It will also help in parking the car.
Entertainment comes next where in-car infotainment is one of the fastest growing technologies. However, in autonomous cars, it will have a different approach. The car can access social media accounts and help users to connect with friends and work out plans.
Personalisation will become the key factor. It will recognise the user and his/her preferences which include the seat position, climate controls, music preferences and so on. Smart applications will see a significant rise in cars.
Energy saving is the fourth issue. Customers generally keep track of a car’s health by servicing it at regular intervals. However, autonomous cars can take care of themselves as they can directly communicate with the manufacturer or service centre. Car health is important in reducing emissions and being energy-efficient. With the growth potential of electric cars, autonomous options can also plan their charge days which in turn will help their users too.
Will artificial intelligence eventually take over from man in the mobility space? Or will people still want to be in control and yet expect their cars to perform a host of regular functions? The next digital revolution wave will answer these questions.
The writer is Lead Designer, User Experience Design, Tata Elxsi