Wandering on the web this image caught my attention. A car floating on streets. Looking better it looks more like a car on a computer screen… I was intrigued, particularly by the sentence used as caption:
The automobile of the future will not just have Internet access; it will depend on it!
This is the opinion of Jon Stewart, writing for BBC Future.
It is quite a twist with respect of what is being done today. The focus of most (all) car manufacturers is on the car itself. Everything else is done to serve the car and it is basically an “add on”.
Therefore manufacturers are offering adds on like entertainment, ever more sophisticated, connection to the Internet, remote monitoring and maintenance….
As of lately, some manufacturers have started to open up the access to some data generated within the car to third parties so that they can use those data to feed applications. And some, very limited, actions created by this applications can affect the way you use and perceive the car.
In the future, and this is the point Jon is making, our cars will be defined by the applications running on them, as today our laptop is personal and unique because of the applications (and data) we are running on it, so unique, in fat, that we are shocked if something goes wrong and we lost it. Buying a new one just isn’t enough (unless you have created a virtual instance, a complete back up you can use to create another instance of your laptop).
There are several interesting aspects that follows from this first timid opening of the car to third parties, like issues of security, how will our perception of a car change (will it be like the changes brought by apps in the cell phone area?), how will different cars communicate one another and to what extent the overall road infrastructure will dominate cars…
You can read all of this in the article.
What is of interest to me is the huge amount of data that will become, potentially, available. Cars, as noted in the article, may have 80 or more computers on board, each crunching and generating data at high speed. It is a huge avalanche that just waits to be exploited.