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Connected Cars at the Front Foot – Recent Developments in Automotive

Developments in Automotive
Published on Mar 31, 2017

The digital revolution has indeed showcased the potential to transform industries, including the automotive sector. The wide-scale disruption in the automotive industry is poised to redefine customer experience with connected cars at the forefront.

We all live in a ‘stay connected’ world. Amid all this connectivity, the auto industry also has its own vision to change the way the world moves. As connected cars evolve over a period of time, users will get to use smartphones to remotely start the vehicle, check fuel levels, unlock/lock doors, and regulate the AC prior, thus transforming them into ‘ultimate mobile devices’. The industry has realized that mobility is enhancing customer satisfaction. Key automotive players are upping their budgets in mobile industry events such as the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017.

Recent Developments in Connected Cars

The future of the automotive industry is in mobility solutions, and not just new cars. Some examples of the integration of digital platforms with connected cars are smart keyless entry and car hiring through mobile. Automotive manufacturers have to integrate their technology to meet the customers’ needs for digital services. Connected cars will disrupt the automotive industry, with its market size expected to reach $46.69bn by 2020.

The connected car ecosystem is witnessing innovative partnerships, which include third-party telematics platforms, digital devices, OEMs, digital content & data providers, telcos, and data management.


Peugeot – autonomous mobility

Peugeot unveiled its premiere concept car “Peugeot Instinct.” Powered by a 297bhp plug-in hybrid system with four driving modes, the car is equipped with drive boost, drive relax, autonomous soft, and autonomous sharp. The company has partnered with Samsung’s Artik IoT connectivity platform, which gathers data from connected devices. The car uses the data to create profiles of the vehicle’s user and provides seamless driving experience.

Ford – Vodafone 4G modem in cars

Ford shared its vision for “City of Tomorrow” and key developments related to in-car connectivity and future urban mobility. Additionally, the company showcased its “Autolivery – autonomous parcel delivery vehicles” concept. Ford has partnered with Vodafone to equip 4G modems in its cars in Europe. The modem will be able to connect to the 4G network through Wi-Fi, and can connect up to ten devices at a time.

Mercedes-Benz – CASE strategy

Mercedes-Benz presented its CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Service, and Electric Drive) strategy, which covers several products under the Daimler umbrella, including Moovel and Car2go. The company also showcased its digital services, including connectivity apps, navigational tools, and mobility services.

BMW – connected car plans

BMW expanded on its connected car plans. The company highlighted the future of intelligent driver-car connectivity as one of its key functionalities along with the next upgrade to autonomous parking.

Roborace – first electric racing car

Roborace unveiled the world’s first self-driving electric racing car “Robocar”. The car can gather speeds of 199mph and features Nvidia’s Drive PX 2 technology. This technology is an open AI car computing platform capable of 24 trillion AI operations per second and is powered by five LiDAR sensors, 18 ultrasonic sensors, six AI cameras, and GNSS positioning. The technology uses deep learning for 360-degree situational awareness about the car.

Ficosa – smart connectivity module

Ficosa presented the third generation Smart Connectivity Module (SCM) that turns the car into a self-connecting device integrated with the IoT.


Mobile industry congresses have been serving as a platform for car manufacturers to showcase their connected car solutions since 2013. Ford adopted the connected car trend early, and many companies are following suit.

The advanced wireless capabilities of 5G will usher in new use cases necessary to fulfill our vision for increasingly connected and autonomous vehicles

– Kim Jin-yong, EVP, LG Electronics

The convergence of car and Internet technologies, artificial intelligence, autonomous driving — they are all coming together, that’s a core industry for Europe and Germany. That opens up plenty of opportunities but also risks and if you’re not fast enough, you’ll definitely lose

– Dieter May, Senior VP of Digital Services, BMW

If you look at a company like Tesla, where’s the software? It’s at the top of the pyramid, and that’s where things are going

– Jason Collins, VP of IoT Marketing, Nokia

Intelligent transport is set to be one of the key application scenarios of future mobile communication systems

–Edward Deng, President of Wireless Network Product Line, Huawei

Car companies believe that integration holds the key toward building technologies for connected cars. However, the current solutions are not efficient enough to bridge multiple players into a single platform. The development in connected vehicles has been slower than anticipated, especially in terms of a true interoperability ecosystem. Car manufacturers are increasingly focusing on building a system that can talk to all other standalone applications or platforms.

Inventing the Future of Connected Cars

No single company alone can fully capitalize the opportunity of connected cars, thus necessitating the need for collaboration. Incremental innovations in connected cars are driving OEMs toward mobility. These manufacturers realize that the competition is not limited to Silicon Valley tech giants – even car-as-a-service providers such as Uber and Hertz are also going to compete in this space. Moreover, car manufacturers want to integrate with technology players but do not want to dilute their brand value. Thus, OEMs are likely to be at the center of technological advancements in their bid to control the connected car ecosystem. The future of the car ownership model will change, especially in urban centers. And, the in-car technology is likely to be the focus area of premium brands.