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Our connected future

October 15, 2015 10:10 AM

Category: Happier Subscribers Better Services Subscriber Analytics | by Dr. Ralf Guckert

Connectivity is bound to define this era. While we dream of a connected world and see science-fiction scenarios play out in the movies, the pace and adoption of innovative technology is fast. Even the way we use technology is changing, we are becoming smarter and more efficient – a characteristic set to influence every part of our lives in the years to come.

In the future we will see more and more connected technologies, but what will be the next connection to truly define our lives? In the last year the automotive sector is one sector that is making great strides. The connected car is becoming one of the most recent and important trends in auto show-rooms and exhibitions, especially following BMW’s launch of the  connected car in March 2015. This technology allows drivers to purchase value-added services and access greater functionality, at a touch of a button and while on the road. The concept comes after a successful collaboration with Redknee and other specialist providers to create a complete in-car system with a user friendly interface, supported by order management and product catalog applications that allow for the seamless integration, ordering and delivery of products, along with an integrated billing and charging system - all in real time. This real-time connected car concept has allowed BMW to redefine the automotive market, unlocking significant value and opportunity. In order to create value for its clients, BMW has created strategic partnerships and offers users greater value through in-car applications. For example a partnership with TomTom enables drivers to access very accurate real time traffic and routing information via the connected drive system; other examples are applications to assist the driver to find their car in a car park or crowded environment by activating the horn. Possibilities are endless. 

While the launch of this system is just the beginning, the car is set to become more influential with the creation of innovative apps and value-added services. While apps will define the more immediate value, it should evolve to create a more consistent customer experience. The connected car will have a strong personal touch, evolving into an extension of the highest level of personalized customer experience: its home. But how can that happen? Automated intelligent driving assistance can help reduce the stress placed on the car, on one side, and offer a higher level of comfort on the other side. This is achieved through a personalized environment that adapts to the drivers preferences such as music preferences, radio or news stations to products that can assist in daily work and commuting, or even physical comfort like preferred climate and driving settings. And all this, even in a rented car. Such concepts and technologies can take car sharing and “Car as a service” models to the next level, with a personalized touch and excellent user experience. 

We are also seeing automotive technology shaping other parts of our lives; Tesla is showing us that it is possible to create clean and efficient vehicles, but also apply this technology to other aspects of our lives, such as using the car battery to store relatively large amounts energy to power other devices in the home. 

The automotive industry has the potential to transform our lives in the same way the smart phone did over the last decade. The rise of mobile internet and smart phone devices have changed our attitudes towards connectivity and set us on a path to the next big step: Internet of Things (IoT).  This has inspired many industries to create concepts such as connect the car. 

Now that we accept and are used to being accessible and connected in every location and in every way technology will continue to define our future to bring more efficient and enjoyable experiences to the consumer. As we continue to evolve and integrate more technology into our lives, the theme of interconnectivity will continue, but it is the level of consumer value generated by connecting smart devices that will define the next decade.