TU-Automotive Europe 2017

Nadiia Martynova

TU-Automotive Europe Conference & Exhibition gathers innovators in connectivity and autonomity of the automotive industry for 15 years. This year, the event welcomed about 750 attendees and presented 80 speakers, 40 discussion panels and reports, and 45 carmaker’s booths.

The world of cars belong to men. Seeing a few women on the conference shall, we accept the stereotype that they lack interest or knowledge about the technical part of the automotive industry. However, this Tuesday, on November 7, I stepped into the automotive conference world and dived deep into the vehicle world. These are the discoveries I’ve made.

As a driver, I always relished manual transmission. Really. It gave me the feeling of interaction with the vehicle. Sentimental drivers always talk about a soul of the car. However, it could sound a bit old fashioned now. Nowadays, your car communicates not only with you reacting to your driving maneuvers, but it can talk and listen to the whole world. The car is connected.

TU-Automotive Europe 2017

TU-Automotive is an event devoted to in-car connectivity embracing all issues associated with the automotive industry transformation caused by the concept of connecting the car. Carmakers now face the need to create the whole connected ecosystem that did not exist even in theory just several years ago.

One of the questions discussed at the conference was data handling. After all, since a car is already able to collect data about its usage, industry faces a challenge how to handle this data, how to get value from it. From simple advice to a driver on changing their driving style to save fuel to usage-based insurance and the general understanding of how the cars are mostly used, data from connected vehicles open up endless opportunities. BMW, understanding these opportunities, launched CarData platform, for which they teamed up with IBM.  CarData platform handles vehicle-generated data (such as mileage, average fuel consumption, or event an automated service call) and enables many customized and innovative services for customer based on the telematics data – from infotainment to smart home functionality. Interestingly, CarData platform allows third parties, like repairs workshops, insurance companies, or garages, to use telematics data for their services. 

Ericsson has also presented their vision and current implementation for Connected Vehicle Ecosystem. It allows equipment manufacturers to use the benefits of the connected ecosystem: expose data in a controlled way, automate partner onboarding, monetize it and manage consent between the parties.

In addition to accessing the data, market participants think over business models to monetize value opportunities from car data.

Two significant aspects out of many related to connected car discussion are security and identity. Sharing vehicle data, you should wisely distribute data between car and cloud keeping security in mind. Allowing anyone effect your safety cannot be possible. There were several Cybersecurity Solutions for vehicles discussed at the Conference or presented at the Exhibition. For example, such as an amazing identity platform ForgeRock presented, which helps create personalized applications for vehicle users -

Major car brands continuously announce more and more vehicle APIs. Many small companies successfully use their platforms and APIs, thus confirming Gartner’s prediction:

“By 2017, 50% of IoT solutions will originate in startups that are less than 3 years old.” (www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2869521)

TU-Automotive Europe 2017

I was very pleased to see that the Conference provided the stage to startups and gave them a possibility to present their ideas and meet investors. Opening doors for creative people seems to be a general tendency. To name an example: Mercedes-Benz Digital Challenge, in which Sigma Software enthusiasts took part.

To summarize, the car turns into a device intertwined with other digital tools in our life. It performs the same functions as a smartphone – media, e-commerce, communication – and it does more. Connectivity is a done deal. The biggest next question is autonomous driving – will people trust machines? Are we ready to use it soon? Well, I guess we’ll try to answer this question at the conferences to follow.

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