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V2X technology could integrate lifestyles with vehicles

CONNECTED CAR DETROIT: Vehicle-to-home applications could integrate people’s lifestyles with their cars, but a lack of communication protocol standards will present problems. By Xavier Boucherat

Tomorrow’s connected car has often been imagined as an extension of the home. The multitude of potential applications suggests this will prove true. Speaking at Connected Car Detroit by Automotive Megatrends, Roland Krause, Engineering Director, ICS Automotive, detailed a number of scenarios in which drivers could benefit from an ‘integrated lifestyle system’ built into their car.

For example, said Krause, streamed music or radio shows could pause when a driver leaves their house, and resume once they enter their vehicle. Lights could automatically turn themselves off when a car leaves the garage. A car could detect when a driver has forgotten their wallet. In the event of an event such as a tyre bursting, the car’s infotainment system could make a video call to a home’s smart TV. This might prove especially useful for younger, inexperienced drivers.

The challenge, said Krause, comes with the diversity of home connectivity. Vehicles are assembled by a single OEM, and the technology enabling connectivity is tightly controlled and uniform. “The OEM knows every little piece that goes in there,” said Krause. “This is not the case in the home, where a light-bulb comes from hardware store A, and a boiler comes from hardware store B.” None of these systems talk to each other, he said, and communication protocol standards do not exist, with new protocols emerging every month.

Standards would nurture the vehicle-home ecosystem, he said: “You have to understand the importance of developing open standards, otherwise you have a problem referred to in the Internet of Thing (IoT) community as the basket of remote controls. This puts people off using technology. In turn, that technology fails to make an impact.”

In addition, a connected integrated lifestyle system will have to gain acceptance among drivers. “In order to get consumers to accept it, you have to actually show how it could significantly improve a person’s life.” The question becomes then, what can the car do which a smart phone cannot? “It’s an infotainment space for multiple people,” suggested Krause, “a way to manage multiple devices, and share content within a space. Eventually it will become a workspace. You can’t do these things on a single phone.”

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