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IBM-connected-carThe past week has shown some surprising and “under the radar” announcements regarding the connected auto. On Friday, Nissan announced the Nismo Watch, which is less about connecting to your smartphone and more about connecting to your car. Today, IBM announced an international partnership with Continental automotive to put Big Blue squarely in the driver’s seat for “driving” data.

Continental is best known in the US for tires, but it makes infrastructure from chassis to brakes for many global auto companies. The two will jointly develop fully-connected mobile vehicle solutions for car manufacturers around the world. The agreement centers around the development of a highly scalable cloud platform that will enable automotive manufacturers to deliver a range of new mobile in-car services. Among them, according to IBM, will be software updates and vehicle control device functionality to be delivered over the Internet, removing service visits. Both companies also believe this solution may equally prove beneficial in other industries such as public transportation, insurance and retailing.

Dirk Wollschlager, General Manager Global Automotive Industry, IBM said: “Realization of the fully connected vehicle requires technology expertise across Big Data, embedded intelligence and the ability to deliver services over a highly scalable cloud platform. As innovators in our respective fields, Continental and IBM will accelerate the convergence of automotive and IT industries, enabling car manufacturers to integrate multimedia mobile services personalized in-car experience, infotainment and traffic flow management to the realization of a truly connected car.”

Continental has a stake in the game as well. It believes that vehicle automation, reduced emission, fuel-efficient driving, vehicle electrification and connectivity represent game-changing trends in the auto business. The vehicle will not just be connected to the Internet, says a Continental source, but will become part of it. Networked, intelligent mobility opens up enormous potential for cloud-based voice recognition, real-time traffic flow data exchange and anticipatory driving based on online and navigation data.

Anticipatory driving will be enhanced by Continental and IBM through the development of a next generation ‘electronic horizon’ platform, which will ultimately make highly automated driving a reality. Vehicles with embedded sensors will not only receive data, they will also transmit information such as position, speed or deceleration to the Cloud where data will be processed, analyzed and acted upon. The result will be a real-time map that will enable a vehicle to literally ‘look around the corner’.


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by Brandon Gutman
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Brandon is an expert connector and seasoned business development professional. As Principal of Brand Approved, he's led the advisory to become the bridge between brand marketers and best of breed service providers that are reshaping the industry.

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