the headline makers this year, at Geneva Motor Show held in March,2014, was
launch of CarPlay.
is a system for integrating iPhone5 and its higher versions to the vehicle's
entertainment system. Users can then control various phone features like call,
text, music and navigation, using in-vehicle controls, such as steering wheel
buttons, touchscreen or SIRI from the iPhone.
what is the buzz about? Why there is such an anticipation building with
analysts, industry honchos and customers at this launch? Haven't we been
witnessing increasing footprint of telematics for the last decade or so now?
are some of the larger scenarios and ramifications (for both automobile and
consumer electronics) being discussed by analysts in various forums:-
Automobiles - A new platform for consumer electronics to expand: With a
forecasted one in two new cars (about 50 million) produced being connected by
2020 globally, this presents a relatively unexplored market for the
Hi-Tech/Consumer Electronics industry giants to tap into. Potentially, we are
looking at millions of cars as iOS and Android platforms for customized Apps
this year, at CES 2014, Google also announced an alliance with leading car
manufacturers, that may see infotainment systems running on the open-source
operating system this year.
of user interface: Imagine the customers of iPhone and Android smartphones,
getting the same user interface and ease of navigation on their in-vehicle
entertainment systems, as they are used to on their smartphones. This will
translate into a big surge of Apps, services usage for the device
for supremacy on multiple fronts, and competition for OEMs: We will witness
contest of iOS Maps v/s Google Maps, iTunes Radio v/s other radio/entertainment
services, and serious competition for telematics OEMs and suppliers of the
likes of Delphi, Harmans and so on.
news for car companies: The biggest advantage for car companies is that
they can focus all their R&D and spend on hardware and car mechanical
design and innovation while benefiting from the shorter product release cycles
of the consumer devices industry. This also gives them ability for launching
quicker upgrades of in-vehicle entertainment software in the vehicles within 1
year timeframe; which is quite unlike the extensive timelines of 4 to 6 years
cycle to bring innovation to market.
are set to gain and be happy: Every time, any market sees more competition,
customers are set to benefit with more feature rich products, quicker upgrades,
dropping costs and increasingly better customer service and this in turn feeds
into higher demands. And that is what each sector and economy needs to keep
Hi-Tech giants descending in the auto industry with all seriousness, we can
expect their next battle to be fought in our car consoles.