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Connected Car Developments

Connected Car Developments

September 5, 2014

Some people go to Las Vegas to play the slots, see some live shows and soak up the desert sun. In the car business, we go to learn more about the cool new mobility technology that’s going into the next generation of automobiles, which, if you’re a car lover, can be just as exciting.

A number of auto industry enthusiasts will be in Vegas for Super Mobility Week (Sept. 9-11), one of the wireless industry’s biggest gatherings and a showcase for how the automobile is becoming the ultimate mobile device.

The Connected Car Expo, an event put on by the auto industry in Los Angeles in November, has put together a roster of companies to attend the Vegas event and discuss issues shaping the automotive and wireless industries across a broad range of connected car subjects.

“The Connected Car Expo at Super Mobility Week is going to be where the great minds of automotive technology and mobility meet,“ said LA Auto Show President, Lisa Kaz.

How does this impact drivers here in B.C. and the Lower Mainland? The technology and trends discussed at these industry events help to shape what devices go into next-model vehicles that you purchase.

Technology companies and auto manufacturers are developing what’s being called the “connected car,” which means it has Internet and smartphone features embedded right in the vehicle. It’s a step up from the GPS systems many of us now have – and can’t live without.

Connected cars can tell us if the tires need more air, manage our phone calls and messages, and provide safety measures such as locking down the car if it appears to be stolen or if it detects that the driver has had too much to drink. Some of this technology is already being built into some newer model vehicles, but is expected to become even more widespread in the coming years.

GSMA, a mobile operators association, predicts that 20 per cent of vehicles sold around the world next year will have embedded connectivity solutions. More than 50 per cent of those will be connected either by embedded tethered or smart phone integration, it says. GSMA also forecasts that every car will be connected “in multiple manners” by 2025.

Global revenues from consumer and commercial telematics are forecast to reach nearly $20 billion (US) by 2018, according to a recent report by consultancy Juniper Research.

It’s clear that we’re entering a new era of automobile manufacturing – and driving. Of course connected car technology needs to be used responsibly by drivers, but I believe it will make our roads safer.

This is what the auto industry will be gathering in Las Vegas for a few days to talk about. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it!

Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at bqualey@newcardealers.ca.

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