In a recent Detroit trip, it was reinforced to me that there are still no rules in the connected vehicle world, as the entire market is still affectionately referred to as the "Wild West." Each automaker has taken an independent approach in the development of its brand of connected vehicle. But, while essentially 'anything goes', it is important to keep in mind that many of the "traditional" players still think traditionally, and most partnerships will need to transcend this thinking.
To advance and accelerate the evolution of the connected vehicle ecosystem and enable productive relationships that produce profitable revenue models and comprehensive end-user and societal value, we've identified some of the most glaring hurdles that need to be tackled and overcome.
- Ecosystem Complexity: The connected vehicle landscape is rapidly evolving, has many layers and a wide variety of participants, . with most vying for a slice of market share or a way to cash in on the opportunity. Many have no experience working together, and some have conflicting business requirements, so wading through the noise to get to business value and financial models will be difficult but necessary.
- Lack of Standards (or too Many) and Adoption: Despite numerous activities and initiatives among purposeful global working groups, there has not been a single, common global standard adopted consistently by stakeholders. Interoperability issues, government regulations, consumer wants, and technical requirements will remain a moving target for some time.
- Big Data: As each new connected vehicle joins the plethora of devices streaming information, the volume and velocity of data increase, as well as the variety-- combinations of unstructured and structured data will require normalization and semantic harmonization.
- Data Privacy Issues: The more devices and vehicles that connect, the greater the demand is for the consumer and vehicle data generated by advertisers, auto OEMs, dealerships, insurers, location-based retailers, municipalities, and a host of others. While consumer data privacy is a real concern, regulators making policies have difficulty keeping pace with the rate of data explosion.
- Cybersecurity: Government agencies, municipalities, OEMs, and others are taking a hard look at the implication of a network of vehicles and infrastructures, all communicating with, and reliant upon, each other. A hostile attack to any node in the network could have far-reaching and detrimental implications for the entire ecosystem.
- Technology Cost: Because of the greater technology density - more onboard sensors, telematics, digital displays, cameras, voice conversion systems, and so forth - as well as the price of data network roaming, the cost of the connected car will be higher than "unconnected" cars for some time. We anticipate this will persist until industry can reach sufficient adoption levels and production volumes (i.e., critical mass) to bring some of these costs down.
- Critical Mass: Reaching a broader level of adoption volume will be necessary to drive the benefits up (and costs down through higher production volumes). While a single vehicle enabled with sensors and cameras can sense the road, obstacles, and other vehicles, providing "passengers" with a seemingly safer and less burdened mobility experience, these vehicles will, for the foreseeable future, be surrounded by "traditional" vehicles that are still driven by "distracted drivers." This fact alone makes it difficult to substantiate significant road safety claims. Data from the U.S. DOT and related sources suggests that it will be a while before the existing fleet of passenger vehicles is refreshed.
It is critical for stakeholders to understand the barriers they are faced with, and work on creating viable solutions.
Automotive OEMs, need savvy corporate IT, and help from their key tier suppliers and wireless carrier partners, but they will play a pivotal role in the connected vehicle market. These automakers hold the end consumers as a captive audience, and therefore essentially, the keys to the castle at this point in the evolution of the ecosystem.The good news is that we have finally begun to see Detroit OEMs give up some of the sacred "not invented here" mentality, but we now need to ensure healthy collaborative processes that foster innovation internally and with partners are achieved to successfully, and profitably overcome connected vehicle barriers.
Please comment on how your company is overcoming barriers and forging ahead in the CV ecosystem. Subscribers can also read more detail in the report Business Strategy: Harnessing Connected Vehicle Ecosystem B2X Opportunities .