Your car is going to run Android soon

So in case you guys have missed the latest news, the future of driverless cars is here. Driverless cars are a reality now with safety going to be the number one priority, safety of everyone on the road. Now what does that imply for the driver? Less time spent concentrating on driving, more time to do other stuff. This is where a whole new window of opportunity is going to come up.

 Customers are going to demand for more connectivity inside cars. ‘Staying connected’ is going to be a key point of entry or exit for future car makers.

 People would no longer want cars which are just economical and attractive. In fact they would love to have cars which keep them connected and entertained, a car which runs messenger apps, reads the latest headlines, place calls at your will etc just like a smartphone. This would require cars to run an operating system. Many of them run smaller versions of such a system even now. But the cars of the future would demand something complicated like Android or the iOS of our smartphones. And both the companies Google and Apple have already identified this future possibility. Google is working with Audi and Apple is in talks with Benz to develop such a system for cars.

Most of the features that an OS like iOS can provide can be predicted but the biggest opportunity lies ahead for app developers to create apps to serve an environment very different from the one of handheld devices. It would be very interesting to see how this app market is going to be shaped.

Parking made easy

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If you live in one of those big cities I am sure you would have gone through this at least once. It has become so stressful to find a safe and convenient parking space for your vehicle on a busy day. With more and more parking space gone missing in the name of development and new parking regulations, finding one for your car has become tedious. The laid back visits with your loved ones tend to become frustrating fighting your fellow drivers for this scarce resource and escaping the hawk-eyed policemen

Barcelona the city of the famed soccer club has woken up to this dreadful menace with a very promising solution. This has been accomplished with the help of Streetline, a California based company which pioneers in parking management systems. With their iphone app, PageMarker you can easily spot empty parking spaces near your favourite coffee place or you shopping area. You are relieved of all the tensions of finding one by yourself. Park the car at the most convenient one, pay through the app and that is it. You get extra time to spent with your loved ones or enjoy another cappuccino.

As time passes the parking systems collects data and starts to understand patterns of usage of parking space in the city. Now it starts helping you in scheduling your visits. It tells you during which hours of the day you are most likely to find a parking space beside your shopping area or when the lanes in front of your coffee place are empty. This helps you better schedule your free time, the most precious of all the times. You can play with your play Station the whole day till 15h30 the time the app suggested you to leave home, find a free place near your shopping area at 16h00, finish your shopping by 17h00, go to your coffee place at 17h20, park the car in front of the shop and go on to enjoy your café.

If you guys are thinking that this is just a small step towards fixing the bigger problem of traffic congestions in cities you should know that 30% of the traffic in cities come from people going round and round searching a parking space. Now parking spaces have started talking to us and each other. The beauty of connected objects or internet of things has waved its wand at the menace of traffic congestions in the cities. With the interconnected system of sensors working to get the most of the parking spaces by guiding the drivers to the optimum location we are on the path to eliminate a chunk of vehicles from the road and creating an enjoyable experience for the drivers and commuters.

The next stride

Since the invention of the wheel in the 4th millennium BC, technology has made our life convenient, safer and productive. But never before has technology crept deeply into our lives as seen in the past few decades. Internet and mobile platforms joined hands with pervasive computing to deliver products and services which have become our constant companions and mentors. It has revolutionized every part of our life from the way we watch our favorite movies to the way we do our courses.  We have seen a lot of mobile apps and web portals which give us all we need in any part of the world at our convenient time.  At the same time this revolutions has led to growth of new ventures that have leveraged these platforms and the demise of many other firms and businesses that either ignored or were blind to these so called big bang disruptions.

But this is not the end. In fact the next big wave of technology will change the way we interact with things around us. Or rather I should say the way things are going to interact with us and other things around.  This next big wave called ‘The Internet of Things’ has been in the making for quite a while now.  In a few decades or may be years down the line you will have millions of networks of not just computers but everything ranging from chairs to cars. Sitting in your office, you will be able to identify your guest seated in the living room of your apartment using this network of chairs.  It would be exciting to see this merger of the virtual and physical worlds to create the ‘Internet of Everything Economy’, a term coined by Cisco IBSG. Add Artificial Intelligence to this economy and what we get is beyond our comprehension.

In the upcoming series of articles I would like to discuss in this blog how this technology will affect incumbent businesses and also opportunities for new ventures to develop new products and services. Till then the video here will summarize what will happen in the next 10 to 20 years