Innovation

Summer Brought a Bevy of Connected Car Advances

The race is one to build a profitable ecosystem for connected vehicles — and activity over the summer showed the stakes involved.

Volkswagen, for instance, has a $4 billion plan for connected and autonomous vehicle technology, one that includes a proprietary software operating system and will support car sharing, delivery and other services. The German automaker’s investment plan comes as rivals are ramping up their own connected vehicle efforts and as the standards battle heats up for that industry.

Amazon and Apple, too, are finding a way inside connected vehicles. Toyota recently announced that its 2019 Corolla will include Apple’s CarPlay and Amazon’s Alexa. In fact, Volkswagen said it plans to embed “WePark” and other smartphone applications into VW in-vehicle infotainment systems and connect “vehicles with vendors like Amazon that can use an app to open cars so they can be used as delivery locations.”

A new PYMNTS interview with Xevo CEO Dan Gittleman digs even deeper into the ongoing developments in connected vehicle technology. Xevo, whose platform helps enable drivers to conduct commerce, access loyalty offers and discounts, and make gas and other payments from prompts seen on their vehicles’ dash displays, is seeing significant levels of buy-in via its software. And the company has an advantage: longstanding relationships with OEMs that are helping the company get its software to millions of drivers. The story discusses why commerce is the initial focus of Xevo’s connected car plans.

According to PYMNTS Digital Drive Report, 135 million U.S. commuters spend $212 billion annually in commerce as they drive to and from their workplaces and homes. Forty percent of these commuter spend over $18.7 billion getting their daily caffeine fix, while 54 percent order and pay ahead for food, influencing $47.3 billion in commerce every year.

Commerce, payments and transportation are combing into a single force, and the advances continue to come at rapid speed.

 

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