Viable use cases likely to enhance the opportunities for today’s connected vehicle

Automobile manufacturers globally that have integrated telematics into their vehicles can utilize Wi-Fi today and generate significant revenue for a number of use cases, including predictive maintenance and repairs, as well as over-the-air (OTA) firmware updates. These new use cases and more are detailed in the newest white paper from the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA): The Connected Vehicle: Understanding the Wi-Fi Opportunities and Use Cases.

Much attention has been focused on use cases for ubiquitous, always-connected infotainment, navigation and comfort services in the connected vehicles of the future. By contrast, WBA’s research identifies Wi-Fi use cases that are applicable for connected vehicles on the market today, as well as those being developed for the future.

The lucrative use cases available today combine non-ubiquitous Wi-Fi coverage and the over-the-air (OTA) software and firmware capabilities already found in connected vehicles today. Additionally, the white paper suggests case studies that take advantage of Wi-Fi roaming concepts that leverage multiple radio access technologies (RATs). These scenarios, which already are used for smartphones, can easily translate into use cases for connected vehicles.

Specifically, the white paper identifies use cases that take advantage of telematics services, which the majority of automakers already have built into new vehicles. Combining vehicle-generated telematics information with Wi-Fi results in a number of potential use cases, including:

  • Applying predictive analytics to information already collected by telematics systems to preempt vehicle recalls, which cost the vehicle industry more than $9 billion annually
  • Predicting maintenance and repairs by uploading diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) over time, thus identifying specific parts needed for repairs, while also optimizing scheduling for those repairs
  • Reducing software bugs and security vulnerabilities through OTA firmware updates
  • Delivering advanced driver assistance services (ADAS) to improve driving safety
  • Enabling numerous applications that support and enhance the ability of first responders to provide public safety

“The connected vehicle market will experience explosive growth over the next few years, and Wi-Fi plays a significant role in creating key monetization opportunities, while also enhancing and improving vehicle maintenance and driver safety for connected cars,” said Tiago Rodrigues, General Manager, WBA. “While much of the focus today is given to how 5G will impact connected cars, we want to reinforce the message that Wi-Fi is here now, and it is capable of supporting connected vehicle use cases today.”

The white paper also discusses the importance of developing use cases for the connected cars of tomorrow, which will be capable of combining cellular and Wi-Fi to deliver seamless connectivity. Because WBA already has developed use cases for multi-RAT smartphones, the groundwork already has been laid for doing so with connected vehicle use cases.

The white paper was developed through WBA’s IoT Work Group, including representatives from Cisco, Intel, Semtech, Accuris Networks, Syniverse and Orange. Several recommendations and next steps also are recommended in the white paper, including the development of best practices to ensure seamless authentication and surveying members to identify opportunities and challenges of becoming Wi-Fi solution providers to the automotive sector.

“We are eager to engage with others in the connected vehicle ecosystem to develop future opportunities for Wi-Fi and connected cars,” Rodrigues said, “particularly as we prepare for Wi-Fi 6 and the new opportunities it will support.”

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