The Internet of Things: Connected Car

IBM's Impact conference kicked off today in Las Vegas and the first guest was Vijay Sankaran,
director of application development for Ford.  Also on stage was a 2013 Ford Focus with "16 millions lines of code" in its onboard computers.  While smartphones and tablets get most of the attention, there are over 9.6 billion devices to connected to the Internet, including connected cars like the Ford Focus.  Over 20 billion are expected by 2029.

Wikipedia defines the connected car as: "A connected car is a car that is equipped with internet access, and usually also with a wireless local network. This allows the car to share internet access to other devices both inside as outside the vehicle. Often, the car is also outfitted with special technologies that tap into the internet access or wireless LAN and provide additional benefits to the driver. Examples include: automatic notification of crashes, notification of speeding, ...

Increasingly, connected cars (and especially electric cars) are taking advantage of the rise of smartphones, and apps are available to interact with the car from any distance. Users can unlock their cars, check the status of batteries on electric cars, find the location of the car, or remotely activate the climate control system."

Increasingly, drivers want to do more in their cars and connected car features are fast becoming key selling points.  Earlier this year, I purchased a 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited through the Costco Auto Program with a full array of connected car features including:
  • Premium HDD Navigation with Entune and JBL - includes 7-in. high-resolution touch-screen with split-screen capability, SiriusXM Radio compatibility with NavTraffic, NavWeather, Fuel and Sports & Stocks, HD Radio with iTunes Tagging, auxiliary audio jack, USB port with iPod connectivity and control, vehicle information with customizable settings, and hands-free phone capability, phone book access, advanced voice recognition, and music streaming via Bluetooth wireless technology
  • Entune — includes Bing, iHeartRadio,, OpenTable and Pandora real-time info, including traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports & stocks.  Works by installing an smartphone application and connecting via Bluetooth
  • Safety Connect — includes Emergency Assistance, Stolen Vehicle Locator, Roadside Assistance and Automatic Collision Notification. 
It's a fantastic car with a great end-user experience due to the connected car features.  I also appreciated the  great gas mileage with the hybrid powertrain (39/highway, 40 city)