The Internet of Things: Automotive as a Microcosm of IoT

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As the Connected Car Expo fast approaches, the Application Developers Alliance draws attention to the connectivity of car and phone. The white paper titled “Automotive as a microcosm of IoT,” released today, provides a greater understanding of how the Internet of Things (IoT) will impact the future of the automotive industry.

According to the recent release by the Alliance, “Car manufacturers and platforms are actively recruiting involvement from developers.” The white paper goes on to highlight different ways developers can get involved with the automotive space of IoT and what sort of apps the industry is looking for.

Connectivity is a top priority as the constant need to be on the grid grows. A 2013 report by GSMA, a global association of wireless carriers, forecasted that every car will have some type of connection by 2025. Furthermore, the market for technology to connect cars and the Internet was an estimated $18 billion in 2012 and is expected to increase three times that number in the next four years.

This technology is still emerging which presents a great opportunity for developers to get involved. Terry Hughes, Managing Director of AppCarouse says, “It’s just like mobile was 10 years ago…a decade ago the only way to get an app distributed was to cozy up to the mobile operators and get featured on their WAP decks. Fast forward 10 years and it’s all changed, but automotive is where mobile was 10 years ago.”

Technology leaders have already taken initiative in advancing connectivity between cell phones and automobiles. “On January 6, 2014, Google announced the formation of the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA) a global alliance of technology and auto industry leaders committed to bringing the Android platform to cars starting in 2014. The OAA includes Audi, GM, Google, Honda, Hyundai and NVIDIA.”

The consortium seeks to create a standard for Android devices and software to work with in-car systems.”

Not to be outdone, Apple and Microsoft quickly followed suit. “Apple established its own partnerships with Honda and Hyundai to get its car-friendly iOS 7 operating system into their models. Microsoft similarly has its own “Windows for the Car” moment with its Windows Embedded Automotive 7 platforms.”

Here are five areas industry leaders indentified for app development:

1. Run apps in the in-vehicle entertainment systems

2. Use a link to a smartphone

3. Remote access to the vehicle through an API

4. Access to data through the On Board Diagnostics port called OBD-II

5. New and emerging initiatives The Alliance advises developers to focus on creating apps that work seamlessly across a variety of devices and platforms. Users want to see a connection between their phones, computers and cars.