One of the less obvious possibilities of the connected car–at least to the consumer–could be enhanced car diagnostic services. By taking advantage of wireless sensors and connectivity within the cars, automakers can have a better sense of how the car is performing–and be able to transmit that data wirelessly so it can be analyzed and interpreted. This could wind up being more of a feature for car makers and their dealers, but auto and carrier representatives said there is also potentially strong value for consumers as well.
GM offers developers access to some functions through its API program.
In January GM announced its “app framework,” which enables new APIs for developers that allows them to interact with and build upon the infotainment systems in GM vehicles. Tim Nixon, executive director and CTO of applications delivery at GM’s global connected consumer division, said the apps are still being built and the catalog will likely be limited in size. However, he said vehicle diagnostics are available through the APIs, creating the opportunity for an app with a richer set of diagnostic tools, he said.
For example, an app could detail for a customer why their car’s “check engine” light went on. “How do we demystify the vehicle ownership experience?” Nixon said.
Kevin Link, senior vice president at Verizon Telematics, said that as connected car services evolve, so too will diagnostic tools. For example, he said, diagnostic tools that more accurately help measure emissions could help automotive companies obtain more information about how their fleets are performing.
However, Link noted, connected car business models will need to change so that customers don’t pay for the connectivity that auto makers use. “As long as the customer has to bear the burden of connectivity, we will never reach full adoption,” he said.
What do you think of this article? Is the connected car something you are interested in? Let us know in the comments section below, or on Twitter/Facebook.
On Friday we’ll look at the future of the connected car for our final installment in this blog series, so make sure to check back then. To read the rest of this article, click here.
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