Have you ever wondered why an OEM’s connected car platform seems to be closed to the crowd of app developers out there? It seems like sometimes only a selected band of developers get hold of the APIs and access to the goodies.
If we step outside of our Connected Car fanboy standpoint for a second, and view all this from an outsider’s perspective…Connected Car – its the next big thing, isn’t it?
Market revenues (according to some) of $51 billion by 2018, 60 million cars connected globally to the internet etc etc. It seems we have been hearing these sorts of predictions for so long, but with no evidence of any real rush to connect the car. Sure, top of the range car and concept cars are beginning to show off more of the potential, but the reality is that Connected Cars and the enabling connected car platform still typically represent a modest proposition – an emergency-call facility, some info- assisted navigation and varying degrees of connecting with a smartphone. And yet, smartphones and tablets have revolutionised many of our lives; the rest of our world, beyond the car is very, very connected.
Fixing the problem
So what’s the problem? Probably the automotive OEMs themselves contribute to the problem – too concerned about opening up their cars to others, beyond the industry and yet the gains could be huge. With the tech giants lurking on the sidelines, surely it is time for these two industries to work better together. I think OEMs need to look fast at how to get app developers, big and small, working with them. To do this they need to open up their connected car platform. It is now time to stop talking about it and start doing something about it – we have been waiting too long.