Connected car ecosystem still in transition

Sue Marek

The buzz around the connected car has increased lately--nearly every major car OEM has a connected car strategy and roadmap for the future. And car makers are even beginning to tout their in-car connectivity to consumers through television ads and marketing campaigns with the goal of calling attention to the advantages of driving a connected car. 

And consumers are responding. A recent survey from Compass Intelligence found that consumers, particularly millennials, are very interested in having an in-vehicle broadband connection.

But the connected car ecosystem is still far from settled--in fact, it's difficult to know which companies are the winners in this space because the players seem to shift every few months. For example, just last week it was reported that Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is developing a version of its Android software to be built directly into the console of the car, circumventing the need to have a smartphone connect to the car's infotainment system.

But that's not all. Earlier this month, Ford revealed that its latest in-car technology platform, Sync 3, is powered by BlackBerry subsidiary QNX and not longtime supplier Microsoft.

It's unclear exactly how Google's in-car system will work and what companies it will partner with to make this vision a reality, but I'm certain that this latest maneuver by Google, plus Ford's about-face on Sync 3, are both examples of how the connected car space is still in transition.

I'll be talking about the winners and losers in the connected car ecosystem as well as delving into the business model during a panel I'm hosting in Las Vegas in conjunction with the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday Jan. 6, 2015, from 7 a.m. until 8:45 a.m. at the Treasure Island Hotel. My panelists include Philip M. Abram, Chief Infotainment Officer at General Motors; Kevin Link, SVP at Verizon Telematics; Magnus Lundgren, Head of Connected Vehicle Cloud at Ericsson; John Horn, EVP and chief strategy officer at KORE Telematics; and Dominikus Hierl, CEO of Telit Automotive Solutions.

If you are interested in the burgeoning Connected Car space, you will definitely want to join me for this panel. To register click here. --Sue