As well as automating our homes, the Internet of Things is driving the development of cars. We all know of engine management and entertainment systems, but cars are becoming more connected, transforming them into extensions of homes and offices.
Car manufacturers and technology firms are all competing to develop operating systems and software that will run cars and applications inside them. The likes of Tesla, VW and BMW use and are developing their own operating systems, while Apple and Google are developing systems to compete with the BlackBerry QNX system and Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform. At the moment, it’s not clear what systems will dominate, but they will definitely change the way we use vehicles, both for personal and business use.
Indeed, there is great potential for businesses to use cars in the future as mobile offices. If driverless cars take off, there’ll be no reason for drivers and passengers to be confined to a cramped cockpit and interiors could be redesigned with seats facing each other, desk surfaces for working and equipment for meetings and presentations. Already many cars make use of BlueTooth, but connectivity will improve so that laptops, tablets and smartphones, as well as vehicles themselves, can connect to the internet and a business’s own systems permanently. This will enable business travellers to access and work on messages, emails, calendars, tasks and documents, syncing data with corporate IT systems, as well as consuming media from podcasts and videos to music and entertainment.
Packed with so much equipment and with access to valuable business data, security will be beefed up too. From GPS for the vehicle to navigate and for the business to track it to systems that shut down access to data, lock away and protect hardware, and manage secure access to vehicles using biometric voice, retina or fingerprint data, technology will play a key role in providing tough security.
In-car technology has the potential to transform journeys from dead time that drains energy on long motorway drives to productive working sessions. Businesses will also be able to track individual vehicles or fleets to optimise travelling time and to ensure the safety of travelling executives, mobile workers and delivery drivers.
Some applications, such as fleet tracking for logistics purposes and connections to mobile devices, are already available as standalone services and these will continue to become integrated so that as well as smart devices, we travel in smart vehicles.
FX7 Solutions can advise on what applications are available to you now and can keep you informed on the journey to incorporate connected cars and vehicles into your business as the technology develops.