Connected car

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A connected car is a car that can communicate bidirectionally with other systems outside of the car (LAN). [1] [2] This allows the car to share internet access, and hence data, with other devices both inside and outside the vehicle. [3] For safety-critical applications, it is anticipated that cars will also be connected using dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) or cellular radios, operating in the FCC-granted 5.9 GHz band with very low latency.

Contents

Both the U.S. and EU scenarios concentrate on 5.9 GHz communications, however, the EU scenario has a clearer path towards the use of hybrid communications (through the proposed CALM approach) than does the U.S. scenario. As such, the EU scenario is considered more integrated and scalable. Together with other emerging vehicular technologies such as automated driving, electric vehicles and shared mobility, connected vehicle is contributing to a new type of future mobility, which is autonomous, connected, electric and shared vehicles. [4]


History of connected cars, 1996–present

General Motors was the first automaker to bring the first connected car features to market with OnStar in 1996 in Cadillac DeVille, Seville and Eldorado. OnStar was created by GM working with Motorola Automotive (that was later bought by Continental). The primary purpose was safety and to get emergency help to a vehicle when there was an accident. The sooner medical helps arrives the more likely the drivers and passengers would survive. A cellular telephone call would be routed to a call center where the agent sent help. [5]

At first, OnStar only worked with voice but when cellular systems added data the system was able to send the GPS location to the call center. After the success of OnStar, many automakers followed with similar safety programs that usually come with a free trial for a new car and then a paid subscription after the trial is over.

Remote diagnostics were introduced in 2001. By 2003 connected car services included vehicle health reports, turn-by-turn directions and a network access device. Data-only telematics were first offered in 2007.

In the summer of 2014, Audi was the first automaker to offer 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspots access and the first mass deployment of 4G LTE was by General Motors.

By 2015, OnStar had processed 1 billion requests from customers. [6]

AA plc (formerly known as The Automobile Association) introduced Car Genie, the first piece of connected car technology in the UK that connects directly to a breakdown service, not only warning of issues with car health, but intervening directly with a phone call to customers to help them prevent a breakdown. [7]

In 2017, European technology start-up Stratio Automotive provides over 10,000 vehicles predictive intelligence enabling fleet operators to better manage and maintain their vehicles. [8]

In 2020, Pitstop Connect a leader in predictive maintenance technology announced a strategic partnership with Sensata Technologies a global leader in sensing solutions. This partnership enables vehicles across the globe to take advantage of predictions to reduce downtime by 25%.

Types of connectivity

There are 5 ways a vehicle can be connected to its surroundings and communicate with them: [9]

  1. V2I "Vehicle to Infrastructure": The technology captures data generated by the vehicle and provides information about the infrastructure to the driver. The V2I technology communicates information about safety, mobility or environment-related conditions. [10]
  2. V2V "Vehicle to Vehicle": The technology communicates information about speed and position of surrounding vehicles through a wireless exchange of information. The goal is to avoid accidents, ease traffic congestions and have a positive impact on the environment. [11]
  3. V2C "Vehicle to Cloud": The technology exchanges information about and for applications of the vehicle with a cloud system. This allows the vehicle to use information from other, though the cloud connected industries like energy, transportation and smart homes and make use of IoT. [12]
  4. V2P "Vehicle to Pedestrian": The technology senses information about its environment and communicates it to other vehicles, infrastructure and personal mobile devices. This enables the vehicle to communicate with pedestrians and is intended to improve safety and mobility on the road. [13]
  5. V2X "Vehicle to Everything": The technology interconnects all types of vehicles and infrastructure systems with another. This connectivity includes cars, highways, ships, trains and airplanes. [14]

Categories of applications

Applications can be separated into two categories:

  1. Single vehicle applications: In-car content and service applications implemented by a single vehicle in connection with a cloud or backoffice.
  2. Cooperative safety and efficiency applications: they provide connectivity between vehicles (or infrastructure) directly have to work cross-brand and cross-borders and require standards and regulation. Some may be convenience applications, others safety, which may require regulation.

Examples include, amongst others:

  1. Single-vehicle applications: concierge features provided by automakers or apps alert the driver of the time to leave to arrive on time from a calendar and send text message alerts to friends or business associates to alert them of arrival times such as BMW Connected NA that also helps find parking or gas stations. [15] The European eCall would be an example of a single vehicle safety application that is mandatory in the EU. [16]
  2. Cooperative safety-of-life and cooperative efficiency: forward collision warning, lane change warning/blind spot warning, emergency brake light warning, intersection movement assist, emergency vehicle approaching, road works warning, automatic notification of crashes, notification of speeding and safety alerts. [17] [18]

The connected car segment can be further classified into eight categories. [19]

Single-vehicle applications

Current automobiles entail embedded navigation systems, smartphone integration and multimedia packages. [20] Typically, a connected car made after 2010 has a head-unit, in car entertainment unit, in-dash system with a screen from which the operations of the connections can be seen or managed by the driver. Types of functions that can be made include music/audio playing, smartphone apps, navigation, roadside assistance, voice commands, contextual help/offers, parking apps, engine controls and car diagnosis. [5]

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. [21]

On March 3, 2014, Apple announced a new system to connect iPhone 5/5c/5S to car infotainment units using iOS 7 to cars via a Lightning connector, called CarPlay.

Android Auto was announced on June 25, 2014 to provide a way for Android smartphones to connect to car infotainment systems.

Increasingly, connected cars (and especially electric cars) are taking advantage of the rise of smartphones, and apps are available to interact with the car from any distance. Users can unlock their cars, check the status of batteries on electric cars, find the location of the car, or remotely activate the climate control system.

Innovations to be introduced until 2020 include the full integration of smartphone applications, such as the linkage of the smartphone calendar, displaying it on the car's windshield and automatic address searches in the navigation system for calendar entries. [20] In the longer term, navigation systems will be integrated in the windshield and through augmented reality project digital information, like alerts and traffic information, onto real images from the driver's perspective. [20]

Near-term innovations regarding Vehicle Relationship Management (VRM) entail advanced remote services, such as GPS tracking and personalized usage restrictions. Further, maintenance services like over-the-air tune-ups, requiring the collaboration of car dealers, OEMs and service centers, are under development. [20]

Despite various market drivers there are also barriers that have prevented the ultimate breakthrough of the connected car in the past few years. One of these is the fact that customers are reluctant to pay the extra costs associated with embedded connectivity and instead use their smartphones as solution for their in-car connectivity needs. Because this barrier is likely to continue, at least in the short-term, car manufacturers are turning to smartphone integration in an effort to satisfy consumer demand for connectivity. [22]

Cooperative safety-of-life and efficiency

These services relate to Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS), that depend on the sensory input of more than one vehicle and enable instant reaction through automatic monitoring, alerting, braking and steering activities. [23] They depend on instant vehicle-to-vehicle communication, as well as infrastructure, functioning across brands and national borders and offering cross-brand and cross-border levels of privacy and security. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for that reason has argued for regulation in its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on V2V Communication [24] and argued the case in US Congress. [25] NHTSA began the rule-making process on December 13, 2016, proposing to mandate dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) technology in new light vehicles. [26] Under this proposed rule, vehicles would broadcast a defined data packet, the "basic safety message" (BSM) up to ten times per second, indicating vehicle location, heading, and speed. In March, 2017, GM became the first US automaker to provide DSRC as standard equipment on a production automobile, the Cadillac CTS. [27] The US also has appropriate standards – IEEE 802.11p – and frequency rules [28] in place. In Europe a frequency is harmonised for transport safety [29] and a harmonised standard, called ETSI ITS-G5, [30] are in place. In the EU there is no push to oblige vehicle manufacturers to introduce connect. Discussions about a regulatory framework for privacy and security are ongoing. [31]

Technologically speaking cooperative applications can be implemented. [32] Here the regulatory framework is the main obstacle to implementation, questions like privacy and security need to be addressed. British weekly "The Economist" even argues that the matter is regulatory driven. [33]

Hardware

The necessary hardware can be divided into built-in or brought-in connection systems. The built-in telematics boxes most commonly have a proprietary Internet connection via a GSM module and are integrated in the car IT system. Although most connected cars in the United States use the GSM operator AT&T with a GSM SIM such as the case with Volvo, [34] some cars such as the Hyundai Blue Link system utilizes Verizon Wireless Enterprise, a non-GSM CDMA operator. [35]

Most brought-in devices are plugged in the OBD (on-board diagnostics) port for electrification and access to vehicle data and can further be divided into two types of connection:

All forms of hardware have typical use cases as drivers. The built-in solutions were mostly driven by safety regulations in Europe for an automated Emergency Call (abbr. eCall). The brought-in devices usually focus on one customer segment and one specific use case. [36]

Insurance

The data provided by greater vehicle connectivity is impacting the car insurance industry. [20] Predictive-modeling and machine-learning technologies, as well as real-time data streaming, providing among others information on driving speed, routes and time, are changing insurers' doing-of-business. [20] [37] Early adopters have begun to adjust their offering to the developments in the automotive industry, leading them to transition from being pure insurance product provider to becoming insurance-service hybrids. [37]

Progressive, for example, has introduced its usage-based-insurance program, Snapshot, in 2008, which takes into account driving times and ability. The data gathered through an onboard diagnostics device allows the company to perform further personal and regional risk assessments. [37] Another innovation being tested in the insurance industry regards telematics devices, which transmit vehicle and driver data through wide-area networks and are subsequently used to influence driving behavior, for legal purposes and the identification of fraudulent insurance claims. Further applications are dynamic risk profiles and improved customer segmentation. [37] Future services include coaching on driving skills for fuel efficiency and safety reasons, the prediction of maintenance needs and providing advise to car owners regarding the best time to sell their car. [37]

The following trends are strengthening the shift towards a fully developed connected cars industry, changing the concept of what is understood as a car and what are its functions.

Technological innovation in the field of connectivity is accelerating. [38] High-speed computers help make the car aware of its surroundings, which can transform manoeuvring a self-driving vehicle an increasing reality. [39]

There are initiatives to use ethernet technology to connect the sensors that allow for advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS). Through the ethernet, network speed inside the vehicle can increase from one megabit to gigabits. [40] Further, ethernet uses switches that allow connections to any number of devices, reducing the amount of cabling required and thus the overall weight of the car. Moreover, it is more scalable, allowing devices and sensors to connect at different speeds and has the benefit of components being available off the shelf. [41]

In fact, research also shows that customers are willing to switch manufacturers just to be able to use mobile devices and connectivity. In 2014 there were 21% who were willing to do so whereas in 2015 this number climbed up to 37%. On top of that 32% of those customers would also be ready to pay for a service related to connectivity on top on a base model. This figure has been at 21% in 2014, one year before. The increase of customers willing to switch manufacturers and to pay for such services shows the increase in importance for connected cars. [42]

The Internet of Things will be used to provide mobile services in the car with high-speed Internet. This feature will enable real time traffic control, interaction with the car manufacturer service for remote diagnostics and improved company logistics automation. Moreover, in the beginning of the self-driven car era, internet will be used for information exchange between the cars for better route selection and accident reports. [43]

Criticism

Drawbacks and Challenges

Although the connected car offers both benefits and excitement to the drivers, it also faces drawbacks and challenges;

Fighting the challenges

Connected Car Service Features

ManufacturerServiceMobile AppFeatures (Compatible based on model)Safety ServiceSecurity Service
Audi myAudi [47] YesStart / Stop

Lock / Unlock

Climate Controls

Acura AcuraLink [48] YesStart / Stop

Lock / Unlock

Climate Controls

BMW Connected Drive [49] YesStart / Stop

Lock / Unlock

Climate Controls

Cadillac myCadillac [50] YesTBD
Chevrolet myChevrolet [51] YesTBD
Chrysler Uconnect Access [52] YesTBD
Dodge Uconnect Access [52] YesTBD
Fiat Uconnect Access [52] [ failed verification ]YesTBD
Ford SYNC Connect [53] YesStart / Stop

Lock / Unlock

Genesis GENESIS connected services [54] YesStart / Stop

Lock / Unlock

Climate Controls

Horn Honk & Light

Vehicle Status Check

Find My Car Location

Share My Car (APP Sharing)

Tyre Pressure Information

Seat Ventilation Control / Status

Air Purifier ON

Fuel Level Information

In-Vehicle Air Quality Status

Pro-Active Vehicle Status Alert

Auto/Manual DTC Check (Diagnosis)

Monthly Health Report

Maintenance Alert

Driving Information / Behaviour

Digital Car Key

Car Pay(In-vehicle Payment)

IoT(CarToHome/HomeToCar)

Auto Crash Notification (ACN)

SOS / Emergency Assistance

Road Side Assistance

Panic Notification

Stolen Vehicle Tracking

Stolen Vehicle Notification

Stolen Vehicle Immobilization

GMC myGMC [55] YesTBD
Honda HondaLink [56] YesStart / Stop

Lock / Unlock

Climate Controls

Hyundai Blue Link [57] YesStart / Stop

Lock / Unlock

Climate Controls

Horn Honk & Light

Vehicle Status Check

Find My Car Location

Share My Car (APP Sharing)

Tyre Pressure Information

Seat Ventilation Control / Status

Air Purifier ON

Fuel Level Information

In-Vehicle Air Quality Status

Pro-Active Vehicle Status Alert

Auto/Manual DTC Check (Diagnosis)

Monthly Health Report

Maintenance Alert

Driving Information / Behaviour

Digital Car Key

Car Pay(In-vehicle Payment)

IoT(CarToHome/HomeToCar)

Auto Crash Notification (ACN)

SOS / Emergency Assistance

Road Side Assistance

Panic Notification

Stolen Vehicle Tracking

Stolen Vehicle Notification

Stolen Vehicle Immobilization

Jeep Uconnect Access [52] YesTBD
Kia UVO [58] YesStart / Stop

Lock / Unlock

Climate Controls

Horn Honk & Light

Vehicle Status Check

Find My Car Location

Share My Car (APP Sharing)

Tyre Pressure Information

Seat Ventilation Control / Status

Air Purifier ON

Fuel Level Information

In-Vehicle Air Quality Status

Pro-Active Vehicle Status Alert

Auto/Manual DTC Check (Diagnosis)

Monthly Health Report

Maintenance Alert

Driving Information / Behaviour

Digital Car Key

Car Pay(In-vehicle Payment)

IoT(CarToHome/HomeToCar)

Auto Crash Notification (ACN)

SOS / Emergency Assistance

Road Side Assistance

Panic Notification

Stolen Vehicle Tracking

Stolen Vehicle Notification

Stolen Vehicle Immobilization

Lexus Lexus Enform Remote [59] YesTBD
Mazda Mazda Mobile Start [60] YesTBD
Mercedes mbrace [61] YesStart / Stop

Lock / Unlock

Climate Controls

Mitsubishi Mitsubishi Connect [62] NoTBD
Nissan NissanConnect [63] YesTBD
RAM Uconnect Access [52] YesTBD
Subaru STARLINK [64] YesLock / Unlock
Tesla Tesla [65] YesStart / Stop

Lock / Unlock

Climate Controls

Toyota Toyota Remote Connect [66] YesStart / Stop

Lock / Unlock

Volvo Volvo On Call [67] YesStart / Stop

Lock / Unlock

Climate Controls

Volkswagen Car-Net [68] YesTBD

See also

Related Research Articles

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An intelligent transportation system (ITS) is an advanced application which aims to provide innovative services relating to different modes of transport and traffic management and enable users to be better informed and make safer, more coordinated, and 'smarter' use of transport networks.

Mobile computing Human–computer interaction in which a computer is expected to be transported during normal usage

Mobile computing is human–computer interaction in which a computer is expected to be transported during normal usage, which allows for the transmission of data, voice, and video. Mobile computing involves mobile communication, mobile hardware, and mobile software. Communication issues include ad hoc networks and infrastructure networks as well as communication properties, protocols, data formats, and concrete technologies. Hardware includes mobile devices or device components. Mobile software deals with the characteristics and requirements of mobile applications.

Telematics

Telematics is an interdisciplinary field that encompasses telecommunications, vehicular technologies, electrical engineering, and computer science. Telematics can involve any of the following:

OnStar Subsidiary of General Motors

OnStar Corporation is a subsidiary of General Motors that provides subscription-based communications, in-vehicle security, emergency services, hands-free calling, turn-by-turn navigation, and remote diagnostics systems throughout the United States, Canada, China, Mexico, Europe, Brazil, and Argentina.

Vehicular communication systems are computer networks in which vehicles and roadside units are the communicating nodes, providing each other with information, such as safety warnings and traffic information. They can be effective in avoiding accidents and traffic congestion. Both types of nodes are dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) devices. DSRC works in 5.9 GHz band with bandwidth of 75 MHz and approximate range of 300 metres (980 ft). Vehicular communications is usually developed as a part of intelligent transportation systems (ITS).

TomTom Dutch manufacturer of automotive navigation systems

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Vehicular ad hoc networks (VANETs) are created by applying the principles of mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) – the spontaneous creation of a wireless network of mobile devices – to the domain of vehicles. VANETs were first mentioned and introduced in 2001 under "car-to-car ad-hoc mobile communication and networking" applications, where networks can be formed and information can be relayed among cars. It was shown that vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-roadside communications architectures will co-exist in VANETs to provide road safety, navigation, and other roadside services. VANETs are a key part of the intelligent transportation systems (ITS) framework. Sometimes, VANETs are referred as Intelligent Transportation Networks. They are understood as having evolved into a broader "Internet of vehicles". which itself is expected to ultimately evolve into an "Internet of autonomous vehicles".

TE Connectivity Swiss-domiciled technology company

TE Connectivity is an American Swiss-domiciled technology company that designs and manufactures connectors and sensors for several industries, such as automotive, industrial equipment, data communication systems, aerospace, defense, medical, oil and gas, consumer electronics and energy.

In-car entertainment Hardware or software that provides entertainment in cars

In-car entertainment (ICE), or in-vehicle infotainment (IVI), is a collection of hardware and software in automobiles that provides audio or video entertainment. In car entertainment originated with car audio systems that consisted of radios and cassette or CD players, and now includes automotive navigation systems, video players, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, Carputers, in-car internet, and WiFi. Once controlled by simple dashboards knobs and dials, ICE systems can include steering wheel audio controls and handsfree voice control.

Ford Sync is a factory-installed, integrated in-vehicle communications and entertainment system that allows users to make hands-free telephone calls, control music and perform other functions with the use of voice commands. The system consists of applications and user interfaces developed by Ford and other third-party developers. The first two generations run on the Windows Embedded Automotive operating system designed by Microsoft, while the third generation currently runs on the QNX operating system from BlackBerry Limited.

Vehicle safety technology Special technology developed to ensure the safety and security of automobiles

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Toyota Entune

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Cellport Systems, Inc., is an American company specializing in the invention, prototype development, patenting, and licensing of wireless connectivity technologies for Internet-connected vehicles and mobile devices. Cellport also develops vehicle gateways using secure blockchain technology. Cellport licenses its technologies to vehicle and wireless device manufacturers worldwide.

Airbiquity

Airbiquity Inc. is a business-to-business (B2B) software development and engineering company operating in the automotive telematics industry. Airbiquity's business model is to develop, deploy, and support the ongoing management of connected car programs for automotive industry customers using a software-as-a-service (SaaS) business model, and its Choreo cloud-based connected car service delivery platform.

Vehicle-to-everything Communication between a vehicle and any entity that may affect the vehicle

Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) is communication between a vehicle and any entity that may affect, or may be affected by, the vehicle. It is a vehicular communication system that incorporates other more specific types of communication as V2I (vehicle-to-infrastructure), V2N (vehicle-to-network), V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle), V2P (vehicle-to-pedestrian), V2D (vehicle-to-device) and V2G (vehicle-to-grid).

The industrial internet of things (IIoT) refers to interconnected sensors, instruments, and other devices networked together with computers' industrial applications, including manufacturing and energy management. This connectivity allows for data collection, exchange, and analysis, potentially facilitating improvements in productivity and efficiency as well as other economic benefits. The IIoT is an evolution of a distributed control system (DCS) that allows for a higher degree of automation by using cloud computing to refine and optimize the process controls.

Link Motion

Link Motion is an automotive software and hardware company developing embedded automotive systems that have been used in the Lamborghini Huracán. Their main product is the Motion T carputer which can implement a connected vehicle gateway as a separate unit or as a part of the cockpit solution (eCockpit). The Motion T carputer runs on NXP's i.MX8 multi-OS platform, supports four in-car HD displays and hosts connectivity features on Microsoft’s connected vehicle platform, a set of services built on the Microsoft Azure cloud, such as over-the-air software and firmware updates, telemetry and diagnostics data and secure remote access.

Automotive security refers to the branch of computer security focused on the cyber risks related to the automotive context. The increasingly high number of ECUs in vehicles and, alongside, the implementation of multiple different means of communication from and towards the vehicle in a remote and wireless manner led to the necessity of a branch of cybersecurity dedicated to the threats associated with vehicles. Not to be confused with automotive safety.

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