At Connected Car Conference, Questions Asked and Answered
The Connected Car Conference zoomed in and out of CE Week Tuesday, leaving behind many things to ponder. Such as:
Are connected cars targets for hackers? More or less. A panel debated the issue vigorously. There are several concerns, among them the ability for people to hack into a car wirelessly from the next lane or an overpass and wreak havoc by stealing personal data or even commandeering the operation of the car. Needless to say there are all kinds of liability concerns surrounding this as well. There’s also the issue of the car owner or a trusted party being able to authenticate themselves to the car’s tech system. Think of it as a virtual valet key, intimated one of the panelists.
When will driverless cars arrive and what will they be like?There was a rough date of 2020 bandied about by panelists, but there was also general agreement that the process will be evolutionary as opposed to revolutionary. Already, we have seen elements of the driverless car, or autonomous car, come into being: anti-lock brakes, cruise control, parking assist, collision protection technologies among them.
The Internet of Things and cars. The ability of cars to connect to the internet can lead to all kinds of advances, the panel agreed, including the ability to sync up with parking spots or traffic lights for “endless green,” or the ability to share driving behaviors with apps to provide the safest ride. But there’s also a need to keep the cars up to date with the latest technology, which means the focus must be on software and the ability to update the car’s systems throughout its lifespan of a decade or more, said the panelists.
Distracted driving. A spirited panel led by CEA President Gary Shapiro debated how much regulation is needed to ensure that people drive safely with all of that technology in their cars.
Overall, the impression left was one of optimism and anticipation on what the future will look like – but also one that calls into question the fate of the aftermarket. With so much technology being built into cars today and going forward – including good audio systems – there wasn’t much talk of it.