[ARTICLE] The Smartest Connection for Survival, 'Connected cars' and their Ecosystem


The Smartest Connection for Survival,

'Connected Cars' and their Ecosystem

Jan 03, 2024 

DRIMAES product mentioned within this articles are offered by DRIMAES, Inc.

Lately, the concept of "Connected Car" frequently catches our eye in automotive news. There's growing curiosity about what exactly a connected car is and how its full-fledged era might bring changes to our daily lives. This article aims to demystify the concept of connected cars, making it easily understandable.

What is a Connected Car, and why are we entering its Era?

Connected cars are an evolution of telematics technology. Originating from wireless communication technologies that remotely diagnose vehicle issues and track their locations, this concept has matured into the connected car, where vehicles, imbued with 'connectivity', function as a device. Simply put, it's about bringing the connectivity and accessibility of smartphones to automobiles.

Many companies are investing in embedding this smart technology into vehicles. The reason? As technology advances, consumers increasingly desire personalized and convenient experiences. No longer is having a good engine or a reputable brand sufficient. Consumer expectations have risen alongside the transition from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles (EVs). EVs are environmentally friendly and simpler to manufacture, lowering barriers to entry for new automakers. In this landscape, providing exceptional user experiences has become crucial for gaining consumer preference.

✅ How is a 'Connectivity' Utilized in Cars?

So, how can this connectivity in cars be utilized? Unlike smartphones, cars offer mobility, and when connected, can provide a wide array of services depending on what and how they are connected. Let’s explore some common uses of connected cars.

(1) Utilized in Developing Advanced Traffic Systems

Using standard communication methods like 5G, cars can exchange information with road infrastructure and traffic signals. This contributes to smoother urban traffic flows, as cars can receive optimal route suggestions from their navigation systems. Although South Korea has yet to fully develop such advanced traffic systems, gradual improvements in road infrastructure promise future progress.

(2) Supporting Safer Autonomous Driving

Autonomous driving includes the Stand-alone type, which operates solely on vehicle sensors, and the Connected Type, which integrates information from surrounding vehicles and infrastructure for more refined autonomous driving. Even Tesla, a leader in autonomous driving technology, currently relies on the Stand-alone type. For the shift to Level 3 autonomy, where driver intervention is needed only in specific situations, the Connected Type of autonomous driving must become feasible, necessitating the establishment of advanced traffic systems and seamless car-to-infrastructure connections.

(3) Providing Convenient and Enjoyable In-Car Experiences

From a user experience standpoint, drivers no longer need smartphones for navigation or entertainment. Cars themselves have become communication devices. Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) infotainment systems, now connected, suggest faster routes than before and no longer require USB updates. Connected cars can also interact with home appliances, enabling features like pre-cooling homes while commuting. The growing preference for connected car services suggests that soon, consumers may not opt for infotainment systems lacking connectivity.

However, the 'connected' features of infotainment systems will only deepen. Third-party apps entering the infotainment ecosystem is an example (Polestar 2's infotainment system already offers functionalities akin to Android smartphones). Infotainment systems will leverage the car’s numerous sensors and sophisticated systems to intuitively understand and cater to user needs, such as suggesting and booking valet services as an appointment time nears, even handling payments seamlessly.

✅ Key Players in Shaping the Connected Car Era

'Connected cars' have ended the era dominated by traditional automakers. Now, IT companies like Android, Apple, Kakao, and DRIMAES are the key players in the connected car domain, along with telecom companies, technology firms, chip manufacturers, and content providers. Look at some examples:

1. Tesla: Updates Both Software and Hardware

Cars have become connected to the world, enabling Over-The-Air (OTA) updates. Like updating a smartphone, infotainment systems can be easily updated. But Tesla has taken it further, updating not just software but also car performance through Firmware OTA. This has notably improved Tesla's battery performance post-update. The ability to update both software and hardware is a hallmark of a connected car.

2. DRIMAES: Creating a Mobility Service App Ecosystem

The innovation of smartphones lay in their 'openness'. Android and Apple provided development standards and environments for third-party apps, making them attractive platforms for business. DRIMAES aims to create a mobility service ecosystem by providing technology standards best suited for automotive environments. Currently, DRIMAES is also collaborating with electric vehicle service companies to develop charging infrastructure, accessible through infotainment systems. Establishing a mobility service ecosystem is vital for connected cars to be truly valued by users. 

In conclusion, we've explored what connected cars are and the value they can offer to the world and users. The possibilities of a moving, connected vehicle are limitless, much like the exponential growth in data and innovation spurred by globally connected smartphones. The leadership in connected cars will likely be determined by those who best utilize these connected vehicles, generating and implementing innovative ideas. DRIMAES is actively engaging in this competitive space, aiming to be at the forefront of the connected car era.

Stay connected with DRIMAES

Contact Us