Innovation

Connected Cars Use Data To Personalize

The annual Mobile World Congress is underway in Barcelona, showcasing the latest mobile technology and featuring talks, panels and exhibits. Among them were discussions on the topic of autonomous cars: how big data will work to improve the in-car experience and how cars will increasingly become personalized digital platforms for content and services.

Dieter May, BMW’s SVP of digital business models, reportedly envisions the car becoming an extension of a home or a living room, said Adweek — an additional opportunity for media consumption and relaxation for consumers since programming would take charge of the actual driving.

“The interior will be much more adaptive, personalized like your apartment or your house at home, and it adapts to you and your personality,” May was quoted as saying. “Overall, it’s much more lounge-like, like you see in all these concept cars, because you don’t want to turn around when leaving autonomous driving mode. We can couple in all kinds of data feeds and third-party services.”

BMW’s connected cars are built around BMW Connected, an application that melds the car with a user’s digital device, whether it’s an iPhone or an Apple Watch, which first debuted in August of last year.

In order for BMW Connected to work, the user has to set up a ConnectedDrive account and create a customer profile, both of which work to personalize car services. BMW Connected includes an Apple Watch app and an Amazon Echo skill from which users can manage preferences. BMW now creates some two million connected vehicles a year, said Adweek — with some 20 percent of drivers opting to share driving and use data.

BMW Connected scans for any mobility-related information, like addresses, arrival times and calendar entries, and alert the driver of the best time to depart to arrive on time based on real-time traffic information. Coupled with forecast data, BMW’s connected car can, for instance, heat itself remotely before a driver’s usual departure time in the event of cold weather.

In another connected car presentation, said Adweek, AccuWeather spoke on developing car technology that detects and predicts inclement weather to help keep drivers safe.

“We’re getting out mile-by-mile predictions,” AccuWeather chairman and president Joel Myers was quoted as saying. “Eventually we’ll have that down to 10-foot interval forecasts for all the highways in the world so drivers will be better prepared to handle severe weather.”

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