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Cadillac Connectivity

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Upon arriving here in Orlando for the TMForum Management World, the car rental company was nice enough to give me a 2013 Cadillac ATS with a bargain price. 

It seems that the car industry is now quite aggressively competing with technological innovations like XM and HD Radio, OnStar support, Pandora music streaming and existing gadget connectivity. The car may tether Internet connectivity via Bluetooth mobile phone or rely on its own mobile subscription. OnStar has its own frequencies, but ultimately uses existing mobile operators. 

Although I found the HD Radio with multiple bitstreamed channels per station quite nice, I couldn’t help wondering about the complexity and overhead that all these overlapping technologies generate. OnStar has its own codes and subscriptions, HD Radio uses a proprietary encoding while XM Radio again uses something very different protocolwise. And the car ECUs are naturally only accessed thru the legacy CAN bus and OBD-II. 

In order to speed up development and offer more appealing services, the car industry should look for a common IP based bus gradually replacing the CAN bus. Each car would have its digital, master counterpart in the Cloud, continuously collecting performance, fault and user experience data and relaying back modified algorithms for better usability. Only one IP mobile subscription would be needed and subsequent services would be built on that. 

//Pasi

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