The Connected Car Expo begins tomorrow (November 18 – 20, 2014) in Los Angeles alongside the Los Angeles International Auto Show.  The question of Car or Computer? is at the forefront of the Expo.  Over the next four blogs I will share some of the intriguing questions, concepts and thoughts from the Expo…which begins to say goodbye to the automobile as we know it.  The disruption in mobility, the technology, constant connectivity and real time analysis of massive amounts of data are unbelievable.

First, let’s talk about connecting the dots…how the future of mobility will define the future of the automotive industry1.  Andy Gryc of CX3 Marketing says “Connectivity means so many things: V2V, V2I, communicating to a smart phone, or any other wireless network.  Today’s cars have all of these touch points  – and all of these touch points impact how cars need to be built and sold, how software is installed, how it is updated and how much input is needed from other companies.  It is a vast number of changes for the industry because connectivity means the car is not a standalone product anymore.”

Each part of the connected car community or eco-system views developments through its own unique lens and with its own unique agenda.

Governments regard autonomous driving features, as a path to increased safety.  Big cities see connected cars as a potential solution to traffic, congestion and pollution problems.

The Smart phone industry wants to be at the center of consumer’s lives by continuing their quest for a larger presence in connected cars.

Manufacturers see connected cars as a path to increased revenue and loyalty.  And even more importantly as a clear path toward improved quality, reduced costs, greater service revenue and that all important safety topic!  Rapid identification, rapid response

and rapid recalls is the mantra.

Connecting cars to the wider digital community means the automotive industry is increasingly working not only with more and significantly different suppliers, but shows that business models and product development cycles are substantially different.  Business processes and business models are no longer dictated by the OEM.  The OEM’s, their suppliers and dealers are all learning the notion of the new eco-system.  The existing eco-system was created in the late 1800’s.  It was built around roads, steel and gasoline.

Today’s eco-system is digital, built with collaboration from new players like Apple, Google and others.

The automotive industry is developing a new mindset about speed to market and market opportunity.  It has to. Consumers expect it.

Julie Liesse, Independent writer and communications consultant

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