May 20, 2014



The Connected Vehicle in the Internet of Things

By Rob Cadena


It has been predicted that by 2020, there will be 75 billion connected devices – about 10 devices for every person on earth. This eye-opening statistic prompted me to understand how many devices I manage already. To my surprise, I already own or manage 21 fully connected devices and 12 partially connected devices, as shown in the diagram below. Not surprisingly, I am astounded by the amount of time and effort it takes to keep all of these devices up to date and communicating properly. Today’s reality imposes a huge cognitive load on consumers, who just want their devices to work and to communicate with each other through the cloud.


Internet of Rob’s Things



Vehicles Need to be Connected

The amount of time that people spend in their vehicles is too significant for them to be disconnected while driving. How many times have you been stuck in traffic wondering if there was a faster way to get to your destination?  Wouldn’t you like to access your music, news and social connections the same way as on your smartphone? Wouldn’t you want your car to update itself easily and automatically without visiting a dealership?

Because the population of connected vehicles is too small, app designers haven’t yet focused on automotive applications --- but once the vehicle becomes connected, the industry will start to see some of the coolest vehicle apps.

Vehicle Interconnection with Mobile Devices is Key

Not only do vehicles need to be connected, but they need to interact with the other devices you already own. When the vehicle cloud is connected to your device cloud and your home cloud, the possibilities are staggering. When I reviewed my personal Internet of Things, shown in the diagram, I noticed the best applications work across the PC, phone and tablet platforms – allowing me to continue using an app or service on one device exactly where I left off earlier on a different device. I am able to configure preferences and settings easily on a PC and apply them to the service running on any device. However, my television Blu-Ray players, satellite and audio/video receivers interact only to their manufacturer’s cloud using a clumsy built-in user interface. To improve this experience for the vehicle owner, carmakers will allow you to configure your vehicle’s preferences using a mobile device app or website. Vehicles must be able to interact with today’s consumer apps and those that will be released over the next 10 years.

To discuss the “Internet of vehicle things” with me further, catch me at the GENIVI All Members’ meeting May 20-23 in Gothenburg, Sweden, where I will showcase our OpenAir infotainment systems, or at Telematics Update Detroit on June 4-5, where I will participate on a panel discussing vehicle Internet of Things opportunities.


Rob Cadena is infotainment manager and a technical fellow at Visteon, responsible for leading infotainment development. Rob has been involved in the design and development of automotive audio and infotainment systems for 14 years. He received a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan, with a concentration in digital signal processing. Rob is an avid triathlete, musician and Detroit Lions fan.

1 comment:

  1. Rob, good points. Looking forward to the panel we'll share at Telematics Update Detroit this week.

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