Dubbed by Apple as “the ultimate mobile device,” cars are next in line to benefit from mobile technology. After all, it is inevitable for in-car tech to become more and more advanced as automobiles are the center of day-to-day living for many people, especially those who need to get to and from work on a daily basis. In fact, Audi sales chief Luca de Meo thinks that by 2020, electronics and digital features in cars will become just as important as their power units.
Apple and Audi are not the only companies that have expressed interests in in-car technology. Ford CEO Mark Fields also mentioned the accelerating “intersection between cars and wearables” during a recent visit to Ford’s new Palo Alto research center.
“A lot of the research that we’re doing down here is working with companies on wearables and sensors and things of that nature and what would that mean for cars. And is there an experience on that that makes sense to integrate into our cars?” he said in an interview.
Similarly, mobile chipmaker Qualcomm Technologies and Diamler AG have recently collaborated to develop new technologies that will enable wireless charging of electric vehicles and in-car wireless charging of mobile devices. The companies will focus on transforming future vehicles with mobile technologies that enhance in-car experiences and vehicle performance, like 3G/4G connectivity and wireless charging technology for in-vehicle use.
This presents a lot of opportunity to mobile developers, although it also comes with a plethora of challenges. For one, the new user interface should be hands-free and not-visually-oriented, or else it would be too distracting for the driver. App developers would need to rethink the whole architecture of their app to provide the best user experience.
An example of a mobile developer that can step up to the challenge is IT Craft, which has over 15 years of experience in empowering businesses with innovative web and mobile application technologies. IT Craft has already provided mobile programming services to clients across many different industries, including flight planning, education, games, and retail. Its experience in cross-platform development of custom application can help the company take the challenge of creating apps for automobiles.
But in spite of the myriad of possibilities that in-car tech offers, it also has a huge downside: traffic jams in virtual highways. A study from Machina Research revealed that connected cars would cause a 97 percent increase in data traffic over the next ten years. It is anticipated that mobile networks will see connections from connected cars increase from 250 million in 2014 to more than 2.3 billion worldwide by 2024, but this only represents four percent of overall network traffic.
“Connected cars, as with other M2M devices, don’t behave like smartphones. They represent a very diverse set of challenges to operators through highly varying network traffic patterns at different times of the day,” said Matt Hatton, founder and CEO of Machina Research.
Hatton also highlighted five key areas that mobile network operators need to focus on to prepare for the influx of connected cars. These are support for various networks, flexible network management, development of comprehensive planning tools, management of individual devices’ needs, and spectrum re-farming.
In other words, a more sophisticated and comprehensive approach to mobile network planning is needed. Network operators and mobile developers like IT Craft should work hand-in-hand to make sure that the mobile tech invasion in automobiles will be as smooth-sailing as possible.
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