Sunday, November 20, 2016

Smart Cars the Next Big Moneymakers

Smart cars are predicted to produce one of the most up and coming economies, as they will be completed with sensors that will capture data and send it quickly and affordably to the Internet.  Within the next 15 years, the industry is projected to earn about $750 billion in revenue.  The high-tech cars would not only allow for more self-driving cars, but also the chance for companies to "sell details about driving patterns to real estate developers or use it in personalized insurance calculations."  Automotive companies are beginning to shift their focus solely to the development of this technology, but they are only scratching the surface.  Automakers who are already ahead with advanced automotive software, like Tesla or NextEV, are concerned for other car companies because they dont realize how deep an investment this transition from regular to smart car is and the factors that play into it.  

I think our world is becoming advanced very quickly and this has given automotive companies false hope that they can transform to be more data-driven within a short period.  There are two significant factors to consider in this process, which are how to design the cars and the software within them.  Well-known companies like Toyota, Ford or Honda, will face excessive difficulties costing them millions, like investing in a source of storage for the mass amount of incoming data they will collect.  Additionally, with data collection comes the threat of hackers.  The companies will need to develop teams who will be qualified to handle this data in addition to a security system which can keep the data of their customers safe. Existing companies are considering trying to implement software into existing hardware platforms, when realistically the whole design of the cars must change.  I think are being ignorant and looking at how they can cut cost corners to get a data-driven car on the market faster, but this will cost them in the long-run.  

Companies need to realize this will not be a cheap investment, that it will take dedication to develop a combined hardware and software that processes large amounts of data and there will be many problems they will face along the way.  Data connectivity and limits are two significant problems the companies will face on the software end and they plane to fix this by allow "fog computing," which is when the car processes a portion of the collected data.  This only supports the idea of automotive companies being unaware of how they will need to process the data.  They think of the smartphones as an example, but do not understand the backend of it.  I believe because the automotive industry is so old and dealerships have been so focused on the safety, appeal and frameworks of their cars, they have no knowledge of the way data works.  Until they understand the fact that they will need to start from zero to construct this new smart car they will be unable to succeed and compete with companies like Tesla.    

Word Count: 500



  1. I enjoyed reading this article because the idea of a smart car being released, has been around for several years now. As Taylor says, automative industries may not have the correct backgrounds to build theses cars correctly. Automative industries have never dealt with the amount of data and technology needed to go into a smart car and unfortunately it must be companies like apple and samsung that will release the first one. These cars will cost millions if companies do not have the correct technology needed to build a smart car. Apple however might have the competitive edge over car companies like Toyota and Honda.
    The second I googled "Apple Smart Car" a search came up that said "Apple Car Release Date". I did some more research into this to see how much Apple really has in releasing the first smart car. Apple is trying to beat out Tesla by releasing the iCar. CEO, Tim Cook said that Apple is always looking for new things and the car industry is an area that has a lot of technology available (macworld). Apple however, had to lay off of several employees from their "self driving car" project. They are planning to sell the new iCar at a rate of half a million per year which would be ten times that of Tesla(macworld). According to sources this car will be released by 2021 and a autonomous car by 2026. To me it makes sense for Apple to have control of the first smart car considering they have so much experiences producing the first ever smartphone. It has been rumored for years now that Apple is in the process of producing their first car and it will no doubt we has high tech as possible. It will need experience to produce the first smart car and if the car industry does not have that, then they may not be able to beat out one of the highest companies in the world right now.


  2. I have been intrigued by the idea of smart cars since Google announced their plans to create a self-driving car a few years ago. So, I was eager to read this blog that Taylor posted about smart cars. I was not surprised to read that this industry is one of the most up and coming economies because in my other business classes, the Internet of Things has been a frequent topic due to how popular it is becoming. I would consider smart cars an Internet of Things product because this software in the car would have to be controlled or monitored by some kind of network connectivity and that is what the Internet of Things is about, using a network to send and receive data remotely. Taylor also mentions that the sensors in the cars will capture data and send it to the Internet. So, if is part of the Internet of Things, then it definitely be successful as they are a popular trend of products these days. It without a doubt will be a cost heavy transition for regular car companies, but might be necessary if they would like to stay in competition with other car manufacturers and stay with the trends.
    Taylor brings up a point that many people who are against the Internet of Things also point out, the threat of a security breach. With home appliances, the threat of a security breach is not as serious as if a person hacked into a car’s system. In this case, it could cause car crashes or even allow people to reroute the drivers. Safety is a huge part of driving and home products that use the Internet of Things have proven that the security features on them just are not strong enough yet. Therefore, I believe that security must be stronger before they start selling and distributing these cars. This would also be another huge cost that companies would have to invest in as well as the team that manages the data and keeps it secure. Also, I do not know how I feel about companies selling details of my driving patterns. I would need to know more facts about this, but I wonder if companies would be obligated to tell their consumers that they will be doing this or if the consumers have to approve of it before, which I doubt many people would allow.

  3. Taylor's blog post on Self Driving Cars is a fascinating subject that is soon to the topic of discussion amongst the world. The idea of an autonomous self driving car has been around for many years. Tesla has actually started producing fully automated cars in their Model X and Model S. The idea of a fully functioning driverless car is absolutely mind boggling but it does concern me in terms of safety and insurance. I know that these autonomous cars have advanced safety features such as forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure prevention but what if these features fail? Tesla trusts their advanced safety technology so much that people can sleep while their car is driving them to their desired destination. But what happens if there is a data malfunction while the car is driving and you are sleeping and it causes the car to crash and severely injure yourself. How will an accident like this be insured? Who will be held accountable for this accident, Tesla, or yourself? This is the grey area that I am worried about for insurers and car companies alike. An incident like this could potentially cost someone their life, and could put a company out of business. Will insurers change their policies for customers if they purchase a self driving car? This quote further explains the issue that self driving car companies and insurance agents are now facing: "A few manufacturers publicly have stated an assumption of liability for autonomous vehicles in the event that a vehicle’s technology is found to be responsible. Yet if there is an option for a driver to assume control of a vehicle, questions of fault remain in play, subject to the prevailing legal framework in any particular jurisdiction." In my opinion I believe that if there is ever an accident that is somehow related to the autonomous driving technology then the car manufacturer must claim responsibility and cover the costs of the damages.

  4. I think that the smart-car technology that is going into these vehicles is becoming increasingly powerful, given the amount of space a car can provide. Look at the interior of Tesla's car for example - one of the most sophisticated and functional display monitor's in any car. This is because data processors are shrinking while their capacity is increasing over time as technology gets better and better.

    For this reason, I think we are right on the fringe of witnessing the perfection of self-driving cars. Sure, there are going to be many rules, regulations, and a myriad of other things that will come up in many different industries (think about how different are insurance policies going to be) other than automobiles. This is all because of the technology and the uses it provides given the big data that can be collected.

    One example is going to be driver profiles when they get in the car - how their seat is adjusted, how the mirrors are adjusted, what music stations are going to be playing, the temperature, etc. All of this information is easily able to be obtained by users, so the technology to process and make these things a reality is not too far off. We also have been improving GPS system over the past few years to help bolster the possibility of self-driving cars. With the addition of smaller, more accurate sensors and safety mechanisms, it can be expected within the next 10 years that self-driving cars will make a serious entrance to our lives.

    Yes, these investments are not going to be cheap, but consider how the automobile industry is starting to consolidate as companies create mergers and acquisitions. The same pattern happened with the telecommunications industry, and that is why companies will probably be able to afford to make this vision into a reality.

    I do agree however with those who are concerned with the security breach possibilities given the concept of the emerging "internet of things". I personally think that our internet of things is growing faster than our security technology. It seems that large security issues happen (Target or Sony hacks, for example), and then the technology to prevent such attacks plays catch up. Given this pattern, I am hesitant about self-driving cars and the ability for cyber-crime to impact people with smart-cars. It will be very interesting to see what regulations and laws come out with the technology that goes into smart cars - there is a lot of valuable information that will be in these smart cars (destinations of where they live, where they frequently go, who frequently is in the car, etc), so companies are going to have to seriously prepare their security systems to prevent such issues.


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