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The Trainer #54: What Is The Connected Car?

What this industry buzzword means for you and your shop
Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - 06:00
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Over the past few years, there has been a lot of buzz about the “connected” car. But do you really understand what the industry fortune tellers are talking about when the topic comes up? 
Panel discussions, articles and blogs discussing the connected car are generally broken into two subcategories. The first refers to the integration of the vehicle into a person’s personal information network, tying the car’s systems into the Internet and turning it, basically, into one big smartphone. Telematics is another commonly used term when talking about the “Internet of Everything”, and how this technology creates a seamless transition for the vehicle owner in going from home to office to commute. 
In addition to bringing all the Internet has to offer to the cabin, telematics also refers to the ability of the OEMs to communicate with the vehicle’s onboard systems, gathering information on how the car is being driven and allowing the OEMs to use that information to market to the owner by sending them updates on their car’s condition or need for maintenance by email or text. Some OEMs are even performing flash updates via wireless cell technology to the vehicle while it sits idle in the driveway.
With this technology come some very real concerns. Among them are the owner’s right to privacy, and the vulnerability of these systems to cyber attack. 
And while these are certainly worth discussing, this month’s edition of the Trainer is focused on the second definition of a connected car – the one related to the idea of an autonomous car and the impact on safety such technology represents. Imagine the elimination of accidents caused by momentary driver distractions!
Some of the groundwork for this integration is already laid. Will your shop be ready for the challenge of keeping these systems working the way they should?
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