Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Crossing the boundaries: Cooperation across industries will fuel the connected car

A guest post by Brian Salisbury of Telecommunication Systems (TCS)

Connected car – these two words appear together more and more these days. Consider, for example, two events that took place in February: The Connected Car Executive Lunch organized by Fierce Wireless and held during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and the Telecom Council’s Mobile Forum: Connected Car meeting hosted by Marvell Semiconductor in Silicon Valley.

Speakers at these events came from mobile operators (AT&T Mobility, Orange, Sprint, Verizon), auto manufacturers (Ford, Hyundai, Nissan, Toyota), and platform and solution providers (Nokia, Pioneer, QNX Software Systems, TCS). No doubt about it, the car is now connecting industries.

Although these two events were held on different continents, the topics on the minds of attendees were very similar:

  • Who “owns” the customer?
  • Will the connection be part of the car, or brought to the car by its driver?
  • How can the “wild west” of the Internet be safely incorporated into the car?
  • What is the business model for such a multi-part solution?
  • What will be the “killer app” for connected car, or is there no such thing?

The presentations and discussions were diverse, as each group sought to define their role in terms that extend logically from their own past experience, and that could provide them with some control over the outcome. Thankfully, every group shared the common goal of making sure that connected cars are safe cars, and that the introduction of new connected services doesn’t create driver distraction problems.

We are clearly on the verge of a new generation of services being extended into the car that can enhance many aspects of owning, operating, and riding in tomorrow’s vehicles. Those of us fortunate enough to be part of one of these groups will have some amazing opportunities to bring the best of our respective industries into this new space, and to build new relationships across industry boundaries.

For an example of how TCS is helping to enable the connected car, check out this post on the VW Polo that was showcased at Mobile World Congress — Ed.

Here’s a little more about Brian and TCS:

Brian Salisbury is director of business development at TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (TCS), where he is responsible for developing new business with OEMs, platform providers, and developers in the LBS ecosystem. Brian has worked in the mobile industry for more than 25 years, with most of that experience being in mobile data and location-based services, and within semiconductor, device manufacturer, and network operator companies.

TCS (NASDAQ: TSYS) is a world leader in highly reliable and secure mobile communication technology. TCS infrastructure forms the foundation for market leading solutions in E9-1-1, text messaging, commercial location and deployable wireless communications. TCS is at the forefront of new mobile cloud computing services providing wireless applications for navigation, hyper-local search, asset tracking, social applications and telematics.

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