RECAP: Connected Car

Author: Linda Hull, Director, Telecom Council

170413 Connected CarWith thanks to our Sponsor, Rohde and Schwarz, and our host Elektrobit the Autotech Council and the ComTech Forum community met at Club Auto Sport in San Jose to discuss the technology and relationships surrounding Connected Car.

If a picture paints a thousand words, the sound that accompanies it would speak exponentially.  Before a single presenter had taken the stage, the room was buzzing  with conversations.

Kicking off the meeting was Kartik Gada, Executive Director at Woodside Capital, who discussed the tremendous amount of disruption AI brings to the automobile ecosystem.  Setting the scene, he reminded us that cars were traditionally low tech, but with the diffusion of more and more technologies, such as AI, upgrading cars becomes more like upgrading a computer, not because it no longer works, but because of the new features on offer.  The perfect storm of parallel computing and big data has fueled AI proliferation.  Kartik discussed two applications; how AI might reduce automobile accidents (1.2M deaths a year, 30-50M injuries) and how driving analytics could maximize utility of existing roads.

Our Fireside Chat brought John Kenney, Principal Researcher at Toyota and Takafumi Ueno, Sr Manager of Vehicle IT at Nissan to the stage to discuss “how might we connect the connected car”, with emphasis on working in partnership with carriers.  Discussion mostly focused on DSRC but 4G, 5G, WiFi all featured along with where cloud and data centers might need to be incorporated.  While safety might be driving the technology, our speakers acknowledged that the potential for other applications are open.  Adopting a common language, standardization, and connectivity tech that will span the full life of the vehicle, were also discussed, with car companies realizing the value of the data that can be pulled out of vehicles in moving the industry forward.

Speaking on the panel today were Balaji Ayyaswamy, LBS Wireless Product Leader at Rohde & Schwarz, Walter Sullivan, Head of Innovation Lab, SV at Elektrobit, Matthew Eichenberger, Sr Dir Product Management at Qualcomm Technologies and Michael Hall, CTO at Magnetti Marelli.  The topic of how the supply chain might change opened with the emerging opportunities for startups to be part of that supply chain … less perhaps for connected car where established companies have the edge (and where we see many moving into the connected car space), but certainly in the advancement of autonomous driving.  The panel discussed the unpredictability of the market and the challenges of aggregating the technology so that it appeals to the consumer.  The idea that cars are becoming moveable smartphones was discussed and with both using similar technology the overlap is already happening.  The prevailing theme that data collected by the vehicles is going to be invaluable was discussed here also and this is where the closest relationships between car manufacturers and carriers will be required.

Thanks to our analyst, keynotes and panelists for sharing their expertise at today’s meeting, and for the conversation their discussions prompted.

Following the panel, 10 startups took to the stage to pitch their solutions:

  • Veniam – moving data between vehicles and the cloud
  • Caruma Technologies Inc – preventing crashes before they happen
  • RapidSOS – providing a direct data link to 9-1-1 responders
  • RideCell – managing the platform for new mobility services
  • Mogol Inc – eliminating the traffic jam
  • Hyperdrive – teaching people to drive better
  • Excelfore – building smart mobility networks
  • PathSense – faster, more accurate location services
  • VRgineers – offering enterprise ready VR
  • Simless Inc – simplifying cellular connectivity

As always, members can find today’s agenda, attendee list, presentations and photos from the day on the member library.  Elevator pitches from our 15 demoing companies are below:

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