Another thought on the topic of connected car standards. More evidence today that the car manufacturers are resisting moves towards a common software standard as car chiefs defended their stance at the LA Auto Show. With the exception of Ford (perhaps), most auto manufacturers want to keep control of the technology in their cars.
Challenges to common connected car standards
General Motors Chief infotainment officer, Phil Abram provided a long list of challenges faced by the industry. These challenges, it is claimed, are holding back real progress;
- Which smartphone represents the standard?
- How do we get information to the driver when there is no smartphone in the car?
- How does car technology keep up with rapidly evolving phone technology and so on and on.
Without doubt these are real issues, but whilst some OEMs keep talking about it, others are doing something about it – with Ford opening up its AppLink to all other OEMS and announcing a recent partnership with start-up Livio (which had been collaborating with GM) to drive forward connected car. There’s a lot of momentum behind some of these moves, and I feel this will help drive more common connected car standards.
We’re keeping a close eye on this topic, and, frankly, have heard a lot of talk about the desirability of common connected car standards – and much of this talk is coming from automotive OEMs. However, many of these OEMs are less than enthralled about a common standard giving what they would perceive as a dominant position for Apple or Google. Furthermore, the biggest enemy of arriving at a standard is the elusive quest for “splendid” differentiation by virtue of a more exclusive platform. This quest will kill attempts at a common standard, which would be seen, in that context, as a compromise.
This blogger believes a standard will merge, and the auto OEMs will adopt it. I also believe that most of the core elements of connected car standards will come from the computer/tech giants, rather than automotive OEMs. Maybe, there will even be 2 or 3 of them. iOS in the Car, Google and SYNC.