SPECIAL REPORT: Mobile World Congress Overview-Part 3 - Dan Hodges

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Part Three: The Connected Car & Eight More Mobile

Read Part One: The Mobile Industry on the Move
Read Part Two: Mobile Is Transforming Retail & Money

More than 67,000 visitors from 205 countries attended the Mobile World Congress (MWC) this year. MWC attracted executives from the worlds largest and most influential mobile operators, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies and media and entertainment organizations, as well as government delegations from across the globe. More than 50 percent of this year's MWC attendees hold C-level positions, including 3,500 CEOs. The race is on to transform the global economy, connect people and fundamentally change the ways we interact in business and in society. This is third of three parts that reviews the highlights and trends highlighted from Mobile World Congress.

1) The Connected Car

All major automotive manufactures already have or will soon be expanding the integration of mobile smartphone into the automobile operating system. These new additions must be done in a way that does not distract the driver. Voice activated touch-free interfaces will help keep driver minds on the road. By 2016, 97% of all smartphone screens will be high resolution replacing or supplementing in car navigation systems. General Motors took the lead on this with its "On Star" navigation system. Sprint announced that it will be the exclusive telecom partner with Chrysler's "U-connect" connected car system. At the RIM booth, the new Porsche 911 was featured with blue tooth technology.

A compelling video example of Ford's "911 Assist" product was reviewed in which a driver is in an accident and is semi-conscious as a result. Upon impact, the car notifies the police and emergency services to the location of the crash. The car then notifies the doctor and the driver's medical records are automatically sent to the nearest hospital for treatment.

Ford is also taking a leadership position in the Connected Car space and developed a three-prong strategy:

1) Build in- My Ford Touch has an 8" touch screen

2) Brought in – Sync and blue tooth technology

3) Beaming in – App link – voice access to smartphone mobile apps such as - Pandora, Slacker, CNN and others.

Ford has identified six areas in their "what's next" category.

1) Personalization, entertainment and information

2) Socialization of the vehicles

3) Location based services

4) Notification and alerts

5) Financial applications

6) Scheduling and planning

Bill Ford, Executive Chairman at Ford Motor Company, laid out Ford's "Blueprint for Mobility" which is outlined below.

"Blueprint for Mobility" adapts to a changing transport landscape

Ford's "Blueprint for Mobility" seeks solutions for a problem that is already becoming a reality in expanding vehicle markets around the world. In Sao Paulo, traffic jams regularly exceed 100 miles and the average commute lasts between 2 and 3 hours a day. Despite this, car buying is growing at a rate of 7.5 percent annually. In China, the world's longest period of gridlock was registered at 11 days during 2010.

The problem is not restricted to emerging markets, either. For example, it is estimated that the cost of congestion to the economy in England through lost time will rise to around $35 billion (€26 billion) annually by 2025. In Germany, sustaining a town of 300,000 people is estimated to require 1,000 truck deliveries daily.

Solving the issue of urban mobility is a huge challenge that will only be successful if government collaboration, infrastructure development and industry come together globally.

During his keynote address, Ford focused on the opportunities and challenges presented by expanding communication networks and increasing global demand for personal mobility and commercial transportation as he outlined his vision for a future transport network integrated with mobile communications.

And as with the company's "Blueprint for Sustainability," which set near, mid- and long-term goals for significant reductions in the company's global environmental footprint, the "Blueprint for Mobility" defines the start of Ford's thinking on what transportation will look like in 2025 and beyond, and the technologies, business models and partnerships needed to get there, including;

Near-Term (5-7 years)

• Ford Motor Company to be at the forefront of developing increasingly intuitive in-car mobile communications options and driver interfaces that proactively alert drivers to traffic jams and accidents

• Developmental projects such as the vehicle-to-vehicle warning systems currently being explored at Ford's European Research and Advanced Engineering Centre, in Aachen, Germany, and intelligent speed control features to grow in capability

• The delivery of a better-connected, safer and more efficient driving experience with limited autonomous functions for parking and driving in slow-moving traffic – building on existing Ford features including Active Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control and Active City Stop

• Further development and defining of new vehicle ownership models, as already demonstrated through the Ford collaboration with Zipcar, the world's largest car sharing and car club service

Mid-Term (2017 – 2025)

• The introduction of semi-autonomous driving technology including driver-initiated "auto pilot" capabilities and vehicle platooning in limited situations - technologies that will provide improved safety and driver assistance features, but allow the driver to take control, if needed

• Significantly more interaction between individual cars on the road through utilization of ever-increasing computing power and numbers of sensors in vehicles, helping reduce the number of accidents at intersections and enabling limited semi-autonomous and autonomous highway lane changing and exiting

• The arrival of vehicle-to-cloud and vehicle-to infrastructure communication that contribute to greater time and energy efficiency by enabling vehicles to recommend alternative transport options when congestion is unavoidable and to pre-reserve parking at destinations

• The emergence of an integrated transport network, featuring cars plugged into public databases

• New city vehicle options as more and more 1, 2 and 3-passenger vehicles are introduced to help manoeuver city streets

"Cars are becoming mobile communications platforms and as such, they are a great untapped opportunity for the telecommunications industry. Right now, there are a billion computing devices in the form of individual vehicles out on our roads. They're largely unconnected from one another and the network," Ford said.

"We'll increasingly take advantage of the car as a rolling collection of sensors to reduce congestion and help prevent accidents. I'm confident that we will see many of these advances on the road in this mid-term period because the early versions are already being designed, and in most cases, tested."

Long-Term (2025+)

• A radically different transportation landscape where pedestrian, bicycle, private car, commercial and public transportation traffic will be woven into a single connected network to save time, conserve resources, lower emissions and improve safety

• Arrival of smart vehicles capable of fully autonomous navigation, with increased "auto pilot" operating duration, plus the arrival of autonomous valet functions, delivering effortless vehicle parking and storage

Development of a true network of mobility solutions, with personal vehicle ownership complimented by greater use of connected and efficient shared services, and completely new business models contributing to improved personal mobility

2) mHealth


3) Capital investment to build out infrastructure. Mobile network investment, along with job creation and service innovation, are under threat if regulators do not ditch 'legacy' thinking. Vittorio

Colao, Vodafone's chief executive, said in a keynote session at MWC. "We need vast quantities of spectrum, which creates efficiencies and lower prices."

4) The need to re-write the regulations that govern the industry

5) Big data/ The Cloud

6) Education/ Agriculture

7) Machine to Machine Communications: From laptops, netbooks, tablets, e-readers, media players and games consoles to smart meters, smart vehicles, mHealth appliances and a host of diverse M2M applications, the number and variety of products incorporating mobile connectivity is expanding at break-neck speed.

8) Security: Subscribers are now demanding more and more from their operators, and mobile security has taken a new place on the corporate agenda. Trust in mobile providers – in particular, with respect to security - is now for the first time more important than service quality. It is vital that operators continue to provide a robust 'network to handset' security policy to reduce churn, increase subscriber loyalty and protect their investment in network infrastructure

Summary:The mobile industry is rapidly connecting the world. It is creating and changing industries and society. As Hans Vestberg, the CEO of Ericsson says, "When one person gets connected, their life changes. When everything connects, the world changes." History shows that those who adapt to change weather the disruptions better than those who sit on the sidelines.

As Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint says, "progress has no finish line," It is clear that the race has already begun. If you are sitting on the sidelines, now is the time to get in the race.

Part One: The Mobile Industry on the Move
Part Two: Mobile Is Transforming Retail & Money

Dan Hodges is Chief Revenue Officer of Verve Wireless, Dan works directly with agencies and brands providing solutions and partnerships across Verve’s national footprint of premium local media properties. Dan can be reached at daniel@vervewireless.com.

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