Automobiles, industrialization and software
Cars Car Tech 101 What exactly is a connected car [Source: Techesty http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylBvzH8AyDQ]
It's all about me.
No, I'm not being a narcissist but rather conveying the mindset of today's digital consumers. They're demanding individualized experiences with everything they do. Even when they're behind the wheel of a car.
This demand for personalized experiences is driving a lot of innovation. And the automobile industry, which recently went through some very tough times in the U.S, is beginning to capitalize on these new all-about-me trends. Detroit's Big Three are coming to look at themselves as developing computers that are drivable instead of building cars that happen to have onboard computers. This corporate evolution could have fascinating repercussions for the American Midwest and, more specifically, Detroit. Companies like General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler are exploiting technologies in telematics, mobility, and even social media. For example, a telematics enabled system can remotely unlock a car's door after one has accidentally left the keys inside. They view the connected car as the next frontier for innovation and competitive differentiation. By investing heavily in smart tools and apps that will define connected cars coming to showrooms soon, these industrial giants might re-make the rustbelt into a tech-friendly region filled with innovation hubs.
Once the fourth-largest city in America, these days Motown doesn't even come close to cracking the Top 15. Detroit's marked population decline reflects the transformation of the U.S. economy towards information and services and away from heavy manufacturing.
Old companies can also transform themselves into entities that can conquer new markets. The Detroit story is more complex, however, because it involves an entire region and three notable industrial powerhouses. Think of the sheer number of apps that a connected car could utilize and that car buyers might demand. The Big Three are taking bold steps to create app innovation factories within their respective walls. It's also why some bright, talented software developers who graduate from the University of Michigan - one of America's top schools - are doing what was once unthinkable: remaining in Michigan after graduation! In-house applications developers at automotive companies are bent on transforming these firms into technology companies that deliver their products on four wheels.
It's not the automotive industry alone which is going through paradigm shifts and is benefiting from changes in consumer demand. Newer demand for user-centric applications is driving dramatic growth in software volumes and that is expected to accelerate industrialization. The need for higher quality, reduction in TCO, aggressive delivery cycle and improved predictability is giving birth to assembly-based development. That has been the holy grail for a while, however, it is taking firmer shape right now. The rules of the game are changing with software being delivered in very different ways.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that tech will replace handcrafted development. Cars and software are just a few channels for the world's next wave of computing innovations - only the tip of a multifaceted transformation iceberg.