driving

Cars as a platform for technology

Phones got a lot smarter in the last 10 years – now its time for cars.  Dumb Feature Cars, will become smartcars in the next 2 years.   I say Cars will become a Platform for Technology, because there are so many options.  From self driving, to touch wheels, to sensors that have yet to become developed.

mini cooper UI display

 

Lets consider cars the most beautiful and fast computer that happen to sit in – what would you want it to do.  Let’s go beyond satellite radio and an iphone dock.   Mini is making some great strides, apple too with CarPlay, and lets not forget Tesla who has the largest display of any manufacturer and their system is a full operating system, not just an entertainment kiosk.

The larger trend here is that the internet of things will continue to innovate on top of analog machines, and technology ecosystems will continue to overlap – leading to some exciting user experiences and great uses of contextual data. 

The Collective Intelligence of Waze

How can groups use collective intelligence to allow for individuals to make better decisions?

I’ve been using Waze for a few weeks now.  I have been using it ( to my own fault ) to try and figure out a better way out of San Francisco during a Giants game. Spoiler Alert – there is no fast route. However, in theory I wonder why more apps are not allowing us to make better decisions?

Rating sites like Yelp or even the way we view trending content online are one thing, but real time data being solved by multiple people passively is quite amazing – and another animal all together.

waze, distributed intelligence

 

Waze is amazing because the network of users only exists to save everyone time and make their lives better.  Many sharing services ( look up Sharing Economy ) are meant to redistribute assets or unwanted goods – not time or ideas.  Crowdsourcing of labor is a great new frontier.

Two other projects also come to mind – not new, but worth discussing.

1. BOINC – using distributed grids for computing – Think SETI@home but bigger.

2. Tomnod –  Using distributed volunteers for mapping

 

So the one outstanding question remains – Is collective intelligence accurate?  If the data set is biased and/or wrong, knowledge based on bad data is not really helpful.

There is an obvious benefit from utilizing natural experiments to improve the human condition. Any app that helps me spend less time on the car and more time with my family is a winner.  I am pondering how crowds can band together to solve other issues and help each other in this manner with minor effort.  In the age of social networks, we have the largest networked grid of intelligence and assets – what do we want to do with them and who gives guidance / moderation to these networks to prevent them from being a mob?

 

 

 

Why Apple’s Carplay Matters to the Auto Industry

Carplay is going to be BIG.   While apple could have simply make Cars be more compatible with iPhones, they took it a step further, and integrated with cars.  This is one of the first places we are starting to see an S curve in cars shifting from hardware & mechanics to software. 

My personal hypothesis is that most cars are similar enough – antilock breaks, power steering, top speeds, safety, etc.  So the other place they can go for points of differentiation is style or software.  This represents a new era of digital luxury in something that has always been very analog with digital touches.

I will continue to write about this in a few different posts – but this will really change things.

We are starting to see that networks are overlapping with other networks – which is an entirely new level of contextual awareness for machines.  Its the start of something really new.

It brings up some really interesting smaller and big questions including:

1. Will you choose a car based off of what carrier it has?
2. Will you service your car at an apple store or your local garage ?
3. How do you manage multiple drivers?
4.Are you allowed to download while driving?
5. What does this mean for privacy?
6. Could apps move into things that are essential car functions such as AC or performance?
7. Who would have thought Google & Apple would be large players in the auto market?
8.The idea of Cars as a platform, not a thing. 

-pd

 

Google Glass for Motorcycles is Awesome

While google glass is running into issues about the legality of use while driving, other uses of augmented reality are taking off.  Skully helmets have taken the same functionality to a niche, and found success.  On that note, Oakley was exploring the same UX a few years ago.

It seems that exploring a heads up display for everyone has run into challenges and fear, where AR solutions for the long tail and the particular have been embraced.

Where must PR have gone wrong where certain technologies drive people to the worse case scenario rather then what could be. Positioning off the bat is vital.  Listen to what your customer want, and deliver.  Capture their imagination off the bat. They will embrace the promise of something new rather then critique the holes.

pd. 8 mins

 

Which mobile company will win the auto market ?

auto-apple-car-ui-pd

I struggle using Siri to call a restaurant or fedex. I spend 2 entire minutes while driving finding the right location, and often it registers my “yes” as a “yet” and I have to start over.  The process is tolerable at best.

The outstanding question I have asked for the last 2 years is why is the car integration so bad? Apple knows I am sync’d via bluetooth, so why is the font so small, why is the UI not responsive, why can I not utilize something that minimizes the total number of touches?

It looks like finally that apple has started to form the strategic partnerships in auto interiors.  The race to the TV entertainment center has been amended to also include auto integration. And why not. We have become partial cyborgs in terms of mapping, directions, and search, and cars seem like one of the most underutilized places for tech and multitasking. Not that multitasking is safe, but I am just saying the technology and displays in car has been lagging compared to the rest of our entertainment universe.

According to PSFK,  the following auto makers will sign on:  Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo initially. BMW Group, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor Company, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota Motor Corp

I am excited to see how mobile continues to integrate into our daily commute.