The Internet of Things is already a reality, and “connected cars” are set to become a critical part of this new ecosystem.
The Promise Of Connected Cars
“Connected cars” can communicate wirelessly with each other and are able to adapt to driving conditions, traffic patterns and signals. They will be able to help drivers avoid dangerous situations by reacting, in real time, to information outside the driver’s purview. Connected cars will eventually evolve into driverless cars, but for now the focus is on improving driving efficiency, saving gas and producing fewer emissions across the board.
Not surprisingly, every automotive manufacturer is trying to imagine the connected car of the future by capitalizing on new sources of information available in a connected world. For example, French car manufacturer PSA Peugeot Citroën began the move towards connected cars already a decade ago.
A Decade Of R&D For PSA Peugeot Citroën
The Group pioneered the emergency and assistance call system, which contacts rescue services automatically in the event of an accident. To date, more than 1.6 million Peugeot and Citroën vehicles have been equipped with this system. In 2012, PSA Peugeot Citroën introduced the Peugeot Connect Apps and Citroën Multicity Connect service platforms, which let drivers gained access to online services, assistance and communication via a 3G connection. The group also launched a dedicated Business Unit called “Connected Vehicles and Services”, which pursues four objectives: improving safety, delivering savings for drivers, saving time, and using/serving vehicles more effectively.
Today, PSA Peugeot Citroën experiments with innovative solutions to position Peugeot, Citroën and DS vehicles at the heart of the Internet of Things. For example, a technology such as Qeo could enable a dialogue with domestic appliances and remotely control the heating or television. Another experiment allows drivers to access sources of information, such as improved weather updates via onboard sensors of temperature, lights and windscreen wipers in Peugeot Citroën cars. Car Easy Apps, a software platform for creating a secure ecosystem of applications that can be connected to the user’s vehicle, are designed to deliver real digital continuity with a smartphone or a tablet.
Li-Fi For The Ultra Connected Car
To meet the expectations of increasingly connected consumers, the group is collaborating with the startupOledcomm to develop a new generation of wireless transmission through light. Li-Fi is a technology very similar to Wi-Fi, in the sense that it is wireless, but its mode of transmission is much faster and through the light. And, for this purpose, it requires only conventional LED lamps. Streaming connected vehicle data through Li-Fi will improve the vehicle’s awareness of its environment, other vehicles and other connected devices, literally at the speed of light.
Obviously, the powerful capabilities of connected cars not only reshape competition within the automotive industry, but they expand the very definition of driving toward a more personalized, differentiated and safer experience.