The Consumer Electronics Show is going on this week in Las Vegas. It's that time of year when companies large and small can show off their latest technology — and there's a lot of action from car companies. Not surprisingly, as cars become more connected, the cloud is going to play a greater role to transfer information to the manufacturer, between devices and other cars, and even with your house.
The car is the next logical place for the cloud if you think about it. The connected car provides a world of data about the condition of the car, the weather, and road conditions. Some of this could be helpful for the individual driver, and some could help all drivers.
Consider a service like Waze, which requires users to deliberately communicate road conditions in a shared community from a smartphone. Waze then uses this data to help redirect you to the fastest route based on the information it has. Imagine if instead your car were communicating that information via the cloud to some central traffic data repository without requiring a user to transmit the data. It would be so much more efficient and could include more data.
This approach could also work with road condition information. Say you're driving down the road on dark winter's night, and you encounter black ice. Your car slips, and the anti-lock brakes and traction control kick in. As this happens, your car transmits this data to your manufacturer, which shares the data, including the location, with other drivers on that road and warns them before they encounter the icy patches, helping prevent accidents before they happen.
The Car and The Cloud
This is exactly what Volvo demonstrated last year at Mobile World Congress. The data from the vehicle is transmitted to a private cloud and shared with people who own cars running this service.This week at CES, Volkswagon, which obviously is trying to change the conversation after its emissions fiasco, was showing off a prototype of a future car that , among other things, could connect to your house to set the temperature and turn on the lights before you got home.
Meanwhile, Delphi wants to put a system in your car that can communicate with other cars to determine where cars are on the road, with infrastructure like traffic lights and even pedestrian smart phones — all in the name of safer driving and accident prevention.
As cars grow increasingly sophisticated and we move to a future with driverless cars, sharing information via the cloud will increase dramatically. For today, the cloud can help share at least some information from the car, or maybe just from your smartphone.Photo Credit: (c) Can Stock Photo