Last week, the Federal Communications Bar Association’s International Telecommunications Committee hosted a brown bag lunch on “The Role of Satellites for Connected Cars.”
All in Connected Cars
Work on the development of new and innovative services supported by the ATSC 3.0 “Next Gen” television transmission standard is continuing apace with broadcasters ramping up their efforts to make 2020 the year that Next Gen TV really takes off.
Last year, it was apparent at the Detroit Auto Show that car companies still had not figured out how to market autonomous cars. Despite the widespread excitement about this technology, it was barely mentioned on the show floor, where the displays instead focused on the traditional elements of automotive marketing—speed, power, and personal expression.
CES 2019 focused again this year on connected cars – not just fully autonomous vehicles but also improvements in connectivity that will be used to enhance both safety and the customer experience. We’ve noted before that deployment of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications have the potential to greatly improve safety. The presentations at CES also highlighted that greater connectivity will be used to provide customized user experiences, enhanced entertainment options, and seamless integration with other IoT services (like voice assistants and payments).
Autonomous vehicles, connected cars, and the future of mobility—these topics are top-of-mind throughout the auto industry today. While Silicon Valley startups have made inroads in these areas, the traditional automakers have been eager to demonstrate their seriousness in taking on this challenge. This week, Ford announced the details of one of the largest (and most concrete, in a literal sense) steps in that direction: the company has acquired the long-derelict Michigan Central Station, and intends to transform it (and the surrounding Corktown neighborhood) into a testbed and development hub for its next generation mobility initiatives.
The widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles is anticipated to be a major force in changing the way Americans live. One of the industries most impacted by these changes may be the insurance industry. While many questions remain unanswered, the industry already has certain products that may serve as a platform for insuring risks in the next generation of automotive travel.
Trickle-down may be controversial in economics and politics, but it is an established fact in the automotive world. Antilock brakes and airbags debuted on high-end luxury cars in the 1980s before making their way to mass-market vehicles. Other technologies have followed a similar trajectory. Turbocharging was once rare enough that the single word “Turbo” became the iconic apex of Porsche’s storied 911, but these days it’s used on anything and everything, from Ferraris to Ford Fiestas.