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The Smart Connected Vehicle is Here – Now We Need Smart Connected Roads!

In the 3rd quarter of 2014, AT&T connected more new vehicles than new smartphones for the first time. Growing to reach a 40% share, automaker and aftermarket telematics will be the dominant sector for cellular M2M connections, according to ABI Research. The next frontier to create a differentiating connected vehicle experience is to connect our vehicles to our homes, our smart grids and most importantly a smart roadside infrastructure to deliver on the promise of safer, smoother and more enjoyable rides on our roads.

But smart connected roads appear to be utopia faced with a reality where current road funding is failing to even maintain our roads, and where bad roads are imposing a hidden tax on our economy, and as a result leaving underfunded governments to hold the lifeline for transportation innovation.

It is upon us again here in the Midwest. Our roads are facing the grueling cycle of freezing and melting that will strip away the band aids and rip open hardly healed scars from last winter and force us motorists to steer clear of minefields of treacherous potholes. In 2014, my “tax” for driving on substandard roads was two new suspensions, new steering seals and a set of new tires. Each vehicle owner in the U.S. pays this nearly $400 dollar “bad road tax” each year, totaling $80 billion according to a study by TRIP.

The “bad road tax” nearly doubles the roughly $100 Billion in fuel tax and tolls the U.S. collects and spends each year to maintain our road infrastructure. $100 Billion translates into a 0.4% return on our paved road assets of estimated $27 trillion in value and means that we are “sweating” our road transportation infrastructure for 250 years.

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Data Analytics, Targeted Advertising, and Privacy Go Riding in a Connected Car

I put a Zubie in my car today. I really wish that NPR’s “Car Talk” radio program was still on the air, so I could call in and say that sentence to Tom (sadly, deceased this week) and Ray Magliozzi, aka the “Click and Clack Brothers.” They’d have a lot fun with that.

After seeing so many interesting connected transportation solutions from Cisco and others at the recent ITS World Congress in Detroit, I felt inspired to get my own car connected! Zubie is one of a several available apps and services that allow you to “manage” your car from a mobile app, e.g., perform a car “health check,” see how well you drive, create geofences to track your car, for example, when your newly-licensed teenage child borrows it for the night.

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I signed up for Zubie even though I know they’re going to make money from the car-sourced analytics that they get from my car (beyond subscription fees, waived for the 1st year). According to their privacy policy, they will gather data about my vehicle usage over time, which includes speed, braking, acceleration, and the geolocation of the Zubie key that I plugged into my car’s OBD-II port. This data Read More »

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IoT at Mobile World Conference with Cisco and SAP

Wow, that was one heck of a week.  MWC 2014 is over, but, it was incredible.  The show was packed, the collaboration with customers was dynamic and, once again, Barcelona was a fantastic host.  For me though, it was also a clear statement that the Internet of Things (IoT) is exciting and gaining steam with mobile operators.  In fact, as I looked through three discreet lenses, I could clearly see the excitement from customers and the advancement of the technologies that will help to enable them.  I walked no less than 5 miles a day, traversing what became my own personal MWC IoT Triangle, jamming in customer and partner meetings in the Cisco booth, running to SAP’s booth to collaborate on our joint demos and then to the Plaza De Palau where I was hosting Smart and Connected City tours. Read More »

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Summary: My Thermostat and the Internet of Everything

To me, the Internet of Everything should provide real-time data converted and translated into actionable information, and this data should be available in the things I use every day. My car, my fridge, my…thermostat?

Read my full article for a closer look!

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IoE: My First Impression

As Cisco is sharing its Internet of Everything ( IoE ) vision today at CES 2014, it makes me reflect on what the future of this technology will look like. We’re in such a connected society now, with more information available to us than ever before. I ask myself, “Will being more connected, with even more information at our disposal be something our society could benefit from?” After evaluating this concept, my opinion is a resounding yes.

Imagine a world where you can have everyday items “speak” to you without having to initiate the action. Our lives are so busy now that having important information alerted to us without needing to query it ourselves is a huge idea. Here are some immediate thoughts on how the Internet of Everything could help solve everyday problems.

How many of us have gotten into our car late for some sort of appointment, and while driving, realized we didn’t have enough gas to get where we needed to go? Having a sensor in the car alert you that you’re low on gas would be a time/stress saver. In my house creating weekly grocery lists can be cumbersome. IoE connected kitchenGoing through cabinets one by one seeing what’s needed, and putting them down on the list. Of course, this always happens right when you’re ready to leave for the grocery store. Imagine going up to your refrigerator and having it email you a list of items needed. That’s huge, and can save you from having to run back to the store more than once because you forgot that important dinner item! Read More »

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