What 12V Dealers Should Know About the Internet of Things

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Visa Honda payments from car

One of the key trends of the future, which we glimpsed at CES in January, is that the Internet of Things (IoT) is coming to the car.  Here’s what 12 volters should know about it.

The Internet of Things is electronic devices with sensors and software that connect to a network and exchange data, says Strategy Analytics.

So an OBD2 car tracker falls under the category (like the VOXX Car Connection).   But that’s just the beginning.

IoT car devices will soon do a lot more.  Aftermarket devices will connect your car to your home network to automatically lock the doors when you pull out of the driveway.  And they may let you pay for your burger and fries by tapping on the car radio screen.

Amazon Echo
Ford is working with Amazon Echo to remote start the car from the home.

Ford is now working with Amazon’s Echo Bluetooth IoT speaker (left), a popular home network device that takes voice commands, so you can remote start car your car by voice command from your home. You can state, “Ask my Ford to start,” or “Ask my Ford to check the battery status in my car.”

It works in reverse too, so when you are in your car, you can ask Echo to remotely turn on the lights in your home or to open the garage door. Ford expects to announce more news on the project this year.

For the aftermarket, dealers should know that some of the leading companies in car audio are very bullish on the category, although few are willing to talk about it yet publicly.

One prominent aftermarket executive said, “It’s an area that’s going to explode. It’s going to be very interesting for the aftermarket.” Two years from now the uses for IoT could go beyond anything you could imagine today, he said.

Another leading company is planning an IoT product for CES in January.

AAMP Global said it is looking forward to advances in technologies including LIDAR radar, 5G LTE and also dedicated WiFi (called DSRC) for Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) communication that will help allow future IoT products. AAMP’s Shaun Findley General Manager Safety, Connectivity, RF and Integration. foresees cars loaded with sensors that can communicate with wearable devices that also connect to your phone. When you enter your car, you’ll actually get a mini health check up with info that pops up on the car dashboard showing your blood sugar, heart rate and how tired you are. And it will also show you whether “the doors were left open at home (that can be closed) or temperatures that can be adjusted by a quick chat with Siri.”

“It will end up being a checkup for you in your car, your car and its health, traffic and local accidents reported that are on your route to work etc, etc.,” said Findley.

Clarion said it is also looking at IoT technology and evaluating it,” according to Director of Product Planning Patrick Serrato.

Recently Vinli, an OBD2 hotspot for the car announced it may be used with home products like Nest, Icontrol Networks, and Samsung’s SmartThings. You can then control home temperature, lighting, security, and more while in your car. And you can set the system so that lights go on whenever the car is a set proximity from the home.

When your car gets close to home, the house “wakes up” and the temperature adjusts, the lights turn on, and the shades open.

Also Honda teamed with Visa to demonstrate at Mobile World Congress in February that apps embedded in its infotainment system could soon be used to pay for items without leaving the comfort of the car.

“The notion of transforming a car into a platform for payments is not as far off as some may think, and we have made a great deal of progress since first introducing the idea one year ago,” Visa’s Jim McCarthy told Forbes.

Visa and Honda developed a concept system that lets drivers reserve and pay for parking or fuel with a tap of their finger while behind the wheel using the infotainment system.




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  1. “1984” is last Century gentlemen, it’s time to wake up in the new millennium and embrace the opportunity.
    Now let’s see who gets the reference……

  2. I’m not keen on that Amazon Echo listening to my conversations all of the time. Who knows where that information gets sold to and where it is stored? I’ll order my own groceries and lock my own dorrs, thank you very much.

    1. I agree Mike, how about a competitor hacking into your car’s computer and hearing every business conversation that you make? Take it further and personal conversations that you think are private could be revealed to the whole world.

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