The next phase of the Connected Car evolution will incorporate a wide range of technologies for wireless connectivity services that relate to improved safety and traffic management, infotainment and vehicle relationship management. Some of these services are delivered by linking the car to the internet via cellular broadband (2G, 3G, 4G and/or Wi-Fi) and/or by using satellite communications.
In the face of rising wireless system complexity, automotive manufacturers will need to continue to invest in extensive testing to ensure performance and reliability over the lifecycle of the vehicle. Development time and cost will inevitably and substantially increase as a result of this surge in testing. Automotive manufacturers need to address several development challenges that arise from the implementation of complex vehicle wireless systems. The mobile industry typically conducts testing in the early stages of the development cycle when issues are less complicated, time-consuming and expensive to rectify. The automotive industry would benefit from adopting similar test methodologies in order to reduce development time and costs associated with delivering the Connected Car vision.
Emergency call directives
Directives issued by government legislation and regulatory bodies will help to improve safety and traffic management as well as reduce carbon emissions, accident levels and related costs. Several governments are now mandating that an emergency call capability (e.g. eCall in Europe) must be integrated into every new car manufactured as early as 2017. The aim is to reduce the response time to an accident to half the current average.
To achieve this target, mandate dictates that in the event that an accident is detected (e.g. triggered by the release of an airbag or by the driver), cellular connectivity (using 2G, 3G or LTE) must be immediately established with the emergency services and maintained long enough to report the location and scale of the incident.
Connecting the vehicle to the internet
Future applications such as enhanced traffic information services, multimedia services, vehicle relationship management (VRM) services