LAS VEGAS — The word “connected” in the topic of connected cars represents more than just transmission and reception of data. That was the focus of the Sunday NAB Show Digital Futures Exchange session “New Business in Connected Car.” Attendees learned that those data connections provide much more than just information — they provide an opportunity to reach the audience behind the windshield with personally relevant information.
Audi Development Engineer Christian Winter (shown at right) spoke about the company’s hybrid radio that is featured in European versions of the Audi A8 and A6. Winter showed the system capabilities. The system is based on the RadioDNS architecture; Winter is a member of the RadioDNS steering board.
He says that the hybrid radio system for North American versions provides capability for AM and FM HD radio reception. “We love radio. It is still the number one button and the first tile on the shortcut [menu] screen.”
A demonstration of the system is located at the RadioDNS booth (N6021).
General Motors Director of Global Data Monetization Saejin Park was responsible for the rollout of 4G LTE data capability in GM vehicles. In her presentation, Park said GM has around 13 million vehicles with the OnStar system on the road today, and 8.5 million of those vehicles are 4G LTE-capable. That scale provides an opportunity to broadcasters. “You can get information on what the consumer inside is listening to, along with GPS data. When you have that kind of data, that kind of information, you can understand their listening habits.” Because of this capability, she said, “The automobile and radio industries have a chance to become more interesting and meaningful” in the coming years.
Avis Budget, one of the biggest automobile consumers, has embraced the connected car as a way to better connect with its customers. Panelist Jeff Kaelin, global vice president for product and customer experience for the Avis Budget Group, described his idea of a connected car: “a vehicle that we are able to interact with leveraging telematics equipment, and that allows us to gather information from the vehicle and communicate with the vehicle.”
Kaelin said that connectivity filters down to the entertainment options so Avis can provide “a personalized and customized experience for our consumers.”
The company has a fleet of more than 60,000 connected cars around the world; it expects to have more than 100,000 such cars by the end of summer 2018 and has committed to a global 100-percent connected car fleet by the end of 2020.