"connected cars" entries

Connected for a purpose

Are we finally seeing connected vehicles doing more with the connection than infotainment?

A few months ago, I rented a Toyota Prius and was driving it up the 101 when, predictably, I ran into a long stretch of mostly-stop-with-some-go traffic. I remember thinking at the time, “It’s too bad this thing didn’t see this traffic jam coming; it could have topped off the battery and I could be motoring through this bumper-to-bumper on much more efficient electric drive.” Instead, I entered the traffic with the battery relatively depleted and ended up running the engine a bunch even though I was only going 5 mph.

Then last week, I was getting my car worked on and saw this sign in the waiting room:


That was cool because it was the first time I had seen an auto manufacturer (in this case, Mini) using externally obtained data to actually improve how the car operated instead of using it for some lame in-dash “experience.” It got me thinking. Read more…

The connected car experience continues to fall short

Connected cars need more UX design emphasis on behavioral science and neuroscience.

Editor’s note: this post originally appeared on Roger Chen’s blog, Beyond the bell curve. It is reposted here with permission.

There’s been a lot of buzz about the connected car recently. That’s nothing new, but it feels a little more serious this time around. The discussion has become more sophisticated, driven by the ongoing maturation of smartphones and device connectivity. My reason for interest in the connected car remains a rather simple one: cars aren’t going away. Smartphones aren’t either. And people will only use information technology more and more going forward. Yup, more selfies and snaps behind a steering wheel (I feel myself getting angry already).

A lot of discussion has centered on how the connected car will evolve. How heavily will car makers lean on third-party platforms like Android or iOS? How will car companies facilitate third-party integration? How much do they want to do on their own? What about cross-brand functionality? What standards will have to be in place? Who’s going to set them — the automotive industry or the government? Given the plethora of existing content and legitimate uncertainty about the answers, I don’t want to focus on those issues here. Instead, allow me to dive into how drivers will interact with the connected car. Sure, people have discussed this as well, but there is a critical point that most seem to overlook: the winning connected car experience will be the safest connected car experience, hands down. Read more…

Big data not only will change our world, it will change the world we imagine

It's not a big data bubble — it's a big data revolution; connected cars are here; and executives get in on big data.

The magnitude of big data’s role eclipses the hype

In a post at NPR, Adam Frank argued that the potential and extent of big data’s role and influence in our world is akin to the role the steam engine played in technological and scientific advances in the 19th century.

Frank highlighted a piece at Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in which one detractor warned against becoming “bewitched” by data or expecting it to “replace our traditional methods of discovering the truth,” and argued that human intuition will still be required to achieve understanding. Frank wrote that while the writer’s point is taken, it doesn’t diminish the magnitude of big data’s potential:

“I believe there is something real and powerful happening in the Big Data revolution. It’s more than just a fad. It’s the next link in the long chain connecting culture and technology to human history. … Through new fields like data science and network theory, Big Data will not only change the world we move through as individuals, it will change the world we imagine through science.”

Read more…