The Connected Car space has seen two big announcements in as many days from the biggest names in the IT sector. On Monday, Apple announced iOS in the Car and yesterday Google confirmed the purchase of Waze. Here, we provide some analysis of what this means for the Connected Car.
First up, it’s clear that the Connected Car is being taken very seriously by both of these guys – they see the car as an area rich with opportunity which is relatively untapped from the point of view of delivering advanced and tailored automotive services.
The two organizations have taken entirely different approaches to the Connected Car: Apple has chosen to focus on making it as easy as possible to render the phone’s display in the automotive context. This, coupled with Siri provides a means for the driver to interact quite directly with the phone. Google, on the other hand have done little to reveal their strategy although it is clear that maps and data form the lynchpin of their approach. (We did make some observations from IO which show aspects of how they are thinking).
As with the phone and tablet markets, it seems that Apple have got to the market first: they have demonstrable technology which makes it easy for developers to make auto focused apps and some agreements on support from auto manufacturers – although there is still some unclarity here.
However, as with phone and tablet markets, it is very likely that Google are playing a longer game and will provide auto integration solutions for developers soon which afford neater auto integration and leverage their maps and voice technology. Given the strength of Android, this is likely to have greater penetration if they can make the right relationships with the auto industry.
For their part, the auto guys have to think of longer timescales driven by the typical lifetime of the car. They see the tremendous changes in the computing sector over the last 2 years alone, likely resulting in a strategy which cannot be too dependent on any single compute platform. Standards and HTML5 will have to be key components in their arsenal.
All in all, the Connected Car is hotting up and the next couple of years are going to be a lot of fun!