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Algorithms, Vehicle Security, and More: What’s to Come in 2016


By Mahbubul Alam, January 4, 2016

2015 was a defining year for the automotive industry for better and for worse with massive recalls and vehicle security breaches, but also with the prospect of the software defined car and the ever evolving user experience fueled by connectivity and over-the-air (OTA) capabilities. With the new year fast approaching, this is a good time to look at the predictions for the automotive industry for 2016 to learn what is in store for the cars hitting the road, and for the ones currently in the development phase.

One of the most interesting trends to pick up in 2016 is the inception of the algorithm-based everything much beyond the technological advancements in the “auto” features paving the way towards the autonomous vehicle. This includes vehicle pricing where services like Kelley Blue Book can expect a major overhaul through the augmentation of a vehicle with detailed usage history or warranty personalized based on driving patterns and road conditions. Also, beyond the purchase of a vehicle, maintenance and other services are key owner concerns during the usage period to keep the vehicle operational with the required functionality. Next year, we will start seeing a lot of algorithm-based maintenance services leading towards predictive services where software will be able to perform diagnostics and analytics related to maintenance. This will eventually lead to the implementation of context-aware recommender systems (CARS), where the driver/owner will be given recommendations based on behavior patterns and locations.

The market dynamics for 2016 are to a large extent expected to continue along the trends of 2015 with more vehicle security breaches caused by wirelessly connected cars and exploits by hackers to remotely control vehicle functions and access owner and vehicle data. “Many in the automotive industry really don’t understand the implications of moving to this new computer-based era,” said US Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass), “We anticipate the hacking to continue in 2016, since there is no good security practice in place.” Regulation-wise, there was no in-vehicle system regulation until the SPY Car Act. However, the legislation has now directed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to establish federal standards that will secure today’s connected car. In 2016, you will find a much greater involvement of the regulatory bodies in connected cars.

Increases in vehicle recalls will also be a continuing trend across all major car manufacturers with numbers expecting to increase beyond the 2015 number, closing at 65 million cars.

There are also new 2016 trends to been seen from the market dynamics with increased investments in vehicle security. “We expect to see cybersecurity VC activity rapidly expand from the Cloud, IT and consumer security markets to Internet of Things (IoT) security over the next two years,” says Steve Morgan, editor-in-chief of the Cybersecurity Market Report. “The automotive industry will be one of many IoT markets where we will see VC money flowing,” he adds.

2016 will no doubt be the year of autonomous vehicles where we expect more OEMs to follow Tesla in launching autopilot versions of their cars. Also, expect a big impact as far as advanced automobile safety is concerned with enhanced safety features enabled through a wide array of proximity sensors such as radar technologies and/or cameras. Self-parking cars will also be more broadly available solving both parking and traffic problems by better utilizing the available parking spaces.

When it comes to applications, smart cars are promising an all new form of ubiquitous computing, with context awareness being the key feature for safer and easier driving. In 2016, we will also see more real-time “crowd source”-based applications coming up for real-time accurate traffic information and route guidance such as that provided by WAZE.

The coming year, will not be all about services – we expect major progress when it comes to the technology under the hood as well. For example, as the number of vehicle Electronic Control Units (ECUs) in the average car grows such do space, weight, power and security concerns, necessitating ECU consolidation.

On the data side, the entire vehicle data will be captured and this historic and real-time data collected through on-board sensors will enable a new data marketplace to boost tomorrow’s new “software-defined world”. The coming year will also enable data collection and integration sent to OEMs for analysis and restructuring as per consumption needs of the end users. Vehicle data for monitoring, operational services and analytical data are three types that, through APIs, can be consumed and refined according to the requirement of end users. Next year, we will see lots of data being consumed real time.

2016 will be an exciting year in the automotive industry and Movimento is looking forward to enabling the next generation of the software-defined car together with our customers.

Mahbubul Alam joined Movimento as Chief Technology Officer in 2015 and is responsible for aligning automotive and information technology to enable Movimento to lead the automotive industry’s transition to software-defined vehicles. A 17-year industry veteran, Mahbubul will be a part of Connected Car Expo’s OTA Updates panel.