Recently Ford celebrated the success of the SYNC® system with its 10-Millionth SYNC equipped vehicle. For those who don’t know what the Ford SYNC system is, head over to the Ford Technology page and get yourself educated. What’s important about this milestone is the fact car connectivity has reached critical mass. This milestone really is a building block that will pave the way for a fully connected vehicle experience with IOE (Internet of Everything). Doug VanDagens, global director of connected services solutions for Ford Motor Company is quoted by saying “It’s our goal to turn the connected vehicle into an intelligent vehicle.” Let’s imagine for a minute the possibilities.
You leave the house for work, get into your vehicle and turn it on. Immediately your NEST thermostat knows you are leaving the house and turns your thermostat to “Away” mode. As you’re driving to work your vehicle reroutes you automatically as there is an accident 5 KM ahead. While on your re-routed course you come across a Tim Horton’s and know you just gotta grab a Double-Double coffee. Pulling through the drive-thru you’re given your coffee and instantly your bank account is deducted $1.64. You arrive at work on time thanks to the re-route and park. Since you’re not a manager yet, your vehicle is outside, cold and covered with snow but that’s no problem as you open up your car starter app on your smartphone and allow your vehicle to warm up nice and toasty before the ride home. As you head home, the thermostat that’s been set to “Away” turns on to your desired comfort level and the outside lights are turned on for your arrival. You’re almost home but as you approach the wine store your car reminds you to pick up that favourite bottle of Shiraz you like. Home at last and in the garage, as you lock the vehicle the lights inside the house turn on ready for a relaxing night after a hard day at work.
All of this is possible within a few years, not the distant future you may be thinking. The above scenario is possible with “Smart Cities” and for cities to be smart they need to be connected to the internet. Having city infrastructures connected to the internet and the vehicles that drive within that smart city connected to the internet creates an ecosystem that supports the above scenario by all “things” talking to each other in real time. The possibilities are vast and endless.
What do you think about infrastructure and vehicles being connected? Are we headed down the right path?