The future’s bright, the future’s content!

11 June 2014 #SMMT News

‘In an age of connectivity, the connected car is the potential base for a huge subscription opportunity for the future consumer, and also the automotive industry.’ That was the key message from the British Screen Advisory Council at the 2014 International Automotive Summit.

“The connected car could be the cause of the biggest leap in values since Henry Ford looked at the conveyer belt”, Adam Singer, BSAC Chairman explained. “The automotive market has tried or 100 years to lock in customers through subscriptions and access to data takes this to a new level.”

Research shows that 93% of drivers still listen to radio in the car and while manufacturers are looking to a future digital switch over, many are now already offering DAB. In the modern era of on-demand TV, movies and music, the future opens up to manufacturers and content providers. However, IP data streaming cannot match the current live coverage offered by broadcast radio.

“Broadcast radio is about connectivity – people want radio to be intuitive and accessible. That’s what we must work towards,” said Ford Ennals from Digital Radio UK.

But with emerging data connectivity, we can expect new premium services which could make our life easier and cheaper. There must be an increased use of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) as Professor Mark Selby from the University of Surry explained. “Imagine being able to turn up at a petrol station and with a single glimpse of an RFID chip, payment is made. This sort of thing is already being rolled out through a number of countries and is very useful with fleet companies. This is what RFID allows.”

Prof Selby finished the session with a thought for all. “With cars becoming connected and gaining subscriptions to data freely, we will be able to experience the same levels of connectivity as we have in our homes. Software will update overnight, and GPS maps will upgrade themselves seamlessly. But with such high revenues up for grabs, the question is who will make the initial moves to make the most of the opportunity.”

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