Our driving experience re-invented through connectivity

Leapfrog in Machine to Machine : the Automotive case

IMG_00000357Every year I have the pleasure of hosting a Mobistar/Orange Machine 2 Machine (M2M) event where we invite roughly 500 customers, Suppliers and Mobistar/Orange employees to do the state of the union of the M2M industry. Supporting the good functioning of the M2M ecosystem over the last 10 years has been key to foster an open innovation culture and secure our market leader position.

This year,  in the historical setting of Val Duchesse, I opened the plenary session with an analysis on the key dynamics seen over the  last 12 months in the M2M market and how well we are doing in getting ready to achieve the famous 50Bn connected devices all analyst have been talking about.

Summarising, I believe that the last 12 month has shown what an exponential growth looks like when we see what happened in the Auto industry. This is an industry that has turned a Government enforced connectivity (starting with E-call) into a real opportunity to change its market dynamics and redefine the driving experience. As such, each M2M initiative is re-enforcing the next one creating a real “multiplier” effect. The Automotive case is a good illustration on how M2M will affect other verticals (Utilities, health care, enterprise mobility)

I have posted below the longer version of my notes during my introductory presentation

McKenzy sees in it’s top 10 disruptive technologies, M2M as one of the most disruptive innovations for the next few year:  4 of the top 6 innovations are M2M related, the number 1 being mobile internet, with no. 3 the M2M/Internet of Things, 4 the Cloud and 6  autonomous vehicles.

No surprise then that analysts, reviewing the potential of M2M are saying : this is just the beginning…we are looking at a steep upward growth curve, which looks a bit like a hockey stick.

We believe that in the last 12months we have seen one industry who was being forced into a connected car strategy by government (e-call) but has turned this opportunity in a way of creating new market dynamics and reinventing their whole customer experience. Lets look at the case of the Automotive industry and roll out how one connectivity development has built on the other.

Government forcing automotive  industry to engage in connected cars

The government plays indeed a pivotal role for our industry. On one hand they are enabling this business through its regulatory capacity by defining what is and what is not possible. But more importantly, we also see the government acting as customer using M2M services to help meet their service needs. Needless to say that this increases public awareness and credibility of the in Internet of Things.

Connected cars for ecall and road charging


In the Automotive industry we have seen the government looking at M2M to significantly improve the response time in moments of car accidents behind a project called Ecall. ECall is an automatic phone call system triggered when a car  accident occurs, automatically calling the emergency services to the scene. Ecall is to play a major part in the European Commission’s goal of saving up to 2500 lives each year. Belgium for example  recently translated the European guidance on ITS into Belgian ITS Law, which included mention of eCall.

Leveraging the “connected car” the European Commission is now a short step away of going to another public project i.e. road use charging. In this case the government wants to influence our mobility by introducing a pay as you drive charging tax.  Belgium is about to see the implementation of a 1-year test of some 1000 cars, which will look at whether road user charging does influence the driving behaviour

Car industry turning connected cars in real value proposition

We are seeing how basic connectivity is enabling a true change in the car value proposition of a car. In other words, embedded connectivity in the car becomes a key driver of consumer competition in the car market. One trend is focussed to  younger people where we cars are turning the car in an hub of their infotainment bringing Youtube, Facebook  and real time gaming in the car. Whereas for business people, their car is an extension of their workspace, bringing to the car enterprise mobility and efficient navigation systems that are evolving to real Concierge Services (see  BMW ConnectedDrive).  M2M becomes part of the car DNA.

Tesla is turning cars into “tablets on wheals”

teslaAnother example is Tesla, a Silicon Valley  new independent car manufacturer focused on doing the impossible i.e. making electrical cars with a focus on luxury design AND super speed . But we often forget that the Tesla S-type has sometimes been described as an “iPad on wheels”.

While most cars have central consoles with 5 inch screens, Tesla have now set a new standard with their 17 inch touch screen, which is a standard laptop screen size. Said in another way it is enabling more importantly  an “appification” of the car.

Wearables (google glasses, smart watches) are reinventing driving experience

mercedesLets go one step further and lets look at the arrival of Google glass. Google glass is a connected computer projected on your eye glasses. It is the forerunner of the category of wearables, i.e connected items that we will wear as cloths or accessories

Mercedes announced earlier this year that it has been testing the integration of Google glass into its end-to-end navigation. By merging automotive M2M with consumer wearables, Mercedes is  expected to create disruptive customer experience.

A similar evolution, is how Nissan is jumping on arrival of smart watches with the launch of Nismo concept.

Automotive – the perfect connected ripple effect

Skipping-stone_19Feb-01In net, I believe that the Automotive industry has shown that a series of different connected eco-system players can each enhance each other and truly transform an industry leading the way to the hoped leapfrog growth in M2M

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