The reason we're saying connected cars could be traveling on city streets sooner than earlier expected has very much to do with the rapidly increasing field of partnerships between technology companies and car makers focused on making driving safer, more convenient and far more automated.
Earlier this month Council Lead Partner Microsoft and Toyota announced a much expanded partnership to focus on connected cars and a safer, more convenient driving experience. Council Lead Partners Daimler and AT&T and Associate Partners Intel and Huawei and others have working relationships with major car makers on connected car projects. And that's a small sampling of a very long list of collaborations in the industry.
The new Cisco partnership with Hyundai will, at least in the beginning, concentrate on the next generation of in-vehicle connected car technologies -- specifically to speed up both the transmission and reception of data in cars and between the systems within each car. Their plan is to research the flow of data and confirm new connected car technologies. Hyundai also will be investing in cloud, big data analytics and security technology R&D.
"This is truly an exciting time to collaborate with Hyundai Motor. Digital disruption into the automotive industry is being driven by technologies that are creating new user experiences; and our leadership in the areas of connected vehicles, security, and large-scale communication technologies will be crucial to establishing an industry-leading platform," said Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins.
Euisun Chung, Hyundai Motor Vice Chairman, shared a similar view. "Future connected cars will open new innovations in qualify, safety, and security, as never before."
Predicting the future and getting it right
It's interesting to note that a Cisco survey conducted about three years ago found the majority of consumers had a positive attitude about connected and self-driving cars. At the time Andreas Mai, director of product marketing for Cisco's Connected Industries Group, commented "Most consumers expect to be connected to the Internet wherever they are. Since they may spend much of their time in their car, it stands to reason they want their car to be more connected."
Doug Peeples is a Portland, Oregon-based writer specializing in technology and energy. Follow @smartccouncil on Twitter.