Perfect Bedfellows, UKTI Blog Post

14 February 2011 – 5:49 am

The below written for UKTI during MWC 2011 week in Barcelona. UKTI is the premier UK Government body for supporting UK business, trade, industry and finance.

Perfect bedfellows

February 13, 2011

Mobile and motoring – a winning combination Xavier Adam, Founder and MD, AMC Network, considers the opportunities for mobile and motoring…

Until recently the worlds of mobile and motoring seemed unrelated, other than through laws that stated if you were using one, you should not be using the other.

By their nature the two worlds are however related. Motoring takes you away from home and office, and mobile is the way to keep in touch. Perfect bedfellows.

Vehicle manufacturers such as BMW have been offering engine management updates via the mobile network for a while, and cars such as the BMW Z8 came with its own Motorola ‘flip-phone’ back in 2000, but these mobile touches were on the whole just plush gadgets or had an impact that car owner never actually saw.

Fast forward to 2011 and we are seeing the worlds of mobile and private transport integrate. Some of the latest Ford cars for example have marketing campaigns, not around the vehicle’s speed and efficiency, but how effective the car is as a mobile entertainment and app centre.

At MWC 2010 there were some interesting developments on the navigation side, with for example a German company providing an in-car pictorial photographic representation of the street aspect via Google Maps, helping the driver know exactly where they were in real-time. Looking out of the car window, would show the same as on the virtual navigation display.

Considering the proliferation of electric cars now available, from mainstream and alternative manufacturers, a future where the mobile network and vehicles are fully integrated does not seem far-fetched. Unburdened by the internal combustion engine, technology firms such as Google and Apple, are able to develop their visions of personal transportation.

Sooner rather than later, coming via the mobile network will be real-time information, such as parking space availability, shopping offer updates pulsated out to opted in drivers in the vicinity, and other more practical features, such as the ability for the vehicle to go and park itself and to be called up for service via mobile by its driver.

These space-age developments are not far off and could make towns and cities less congested, ease parking problems and make transport around the world metropolises much easier.

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