Well there’s plenty of connected car angst out there to concern them.
Here are just four of the crucial open questions circulating around in the industry:
Connected car angst #1: Do we open up our cars to the operating systems of others?
This topic concerns itself with interoperation with third party operating systems, for example, those of Apple iOS or Google Android. This process has already begun in small fashion, with every car that reads the address book from a mobile phone. Some vehicles are already much more integrated, with Ford and Sync being an example. How long before there’s more iOS in the Car than native OEM platform/operating system? What does that mean for control, differentiation, safety, security and customer loyalty?
Connected car angst #2: Can we ever allow truly independent crowd-sourced development?
Connected car angst abounds right here. Will my dealerships get inundated with customer care enquiries about each and very app? What happens to the data, and will my brand be tarnished by runaway data on-selling to spammers? Crowd-sourced development is usually platform and OEM agnostic, i.e. “they won’t care about our cars and loyalty to our brand, whereas our own developers do”.
Connected car angst #3: Can we rely on others to uphold our standards of safety and security?
Will third parties care about safety and security? Will their app jeopardise the operation of the car? Will rogues bring trojans and other nasties in? Will the car get hijacked?
Connected car angst #4: Should we work towards a more common standard?
What if this slows us down? What if we lose differentiation or mastership of our own destiny? Which is the right standard, and is this with the tech computing firms, telcos or automotive consortia?
Connected car angst #5: How can we make money from this?
How can services be charged? Should they become standard, embedded in the price of the car? Subscriptions? Or should we try and monetize the data, perhaps by selling to service vendors and the like?
I’m not saying these connected car worries can’t be addressed. In fact, I believe there are well formulated solutions for most of these concerns already. But that won’t stop the OEM manager worrying.
I am sure that there are many more sources of connected car angst troubling OEM managers – what do you think? Contributions most welcome.