Smart cars at MWC 2016

Gemalto Connected Car

Mobile World Congress 2016 is here – and smart cars are a key talking point. There are a huge number of innovations on display, leading us to wonder whether the Formula One drivers of the future will be controlling their vehicles with gesture control, listening to Spotify and using virtual reality goggles to see round the bends!

As you’ll know from reading our blog, the connected car was a dominant theme at CES 2016, with features like gesture control, tablet-style dashboards and smart home controls exhibited by the leading manufacturers. Unsurprisingly, it’s proving to be an important part of MWC 2016. Of course, mobile will play a big part in the connected car revolution, from potentially bringing an end to the traditional car keys to storing travel information transmitted from your vehicle.

Gemalto Connected Car Dashboard

A key trend at MWC this year is car manufacturers rebranding themselves as mobility and connectivity providers. Ford unveiled its new Kuga SUV, which comes with all sorts of high-tech connected features. The new model marks an attempt to blend the smartphone with the automobile, introducing a touchscreen and virtual assistant feature, which enables drivers to have a “conversation” with their car, perhaps asking for directions, or where they might find the nearest restaurant or café. The Kuga SUV also introduces some autonomous driving features, such as the Pre-Collision Assist, which works using camera and radar technology to prevent pedestrians being hurt. Is the connected car about to make driving a whole lot safer?

Ford aren’t the only company experimenting with the connected car. Volvo is also present at MWC (the company’s debut appearance) – and it’s bringing an end to car keys. From 2017, drivers will need a special smartphone app, which will automatically lock when they walk away, and open when they return. We think traditional car theft could become a lot more difficult…but that doesn’t mean that smart cars won’t be vulnerable to cyber-attacks, which means innovative cybersecurity solutions will be crucial!

Another fascinating development at MWC is connected car accessories. Ever wished your car could ‘plug in’ to the Internet? You’re in luck! Samsung has launched what they call a Connected Auto dongle – and what’s particularly interesting is that it can be used on older vehicles! By plugging into the On Board Diagnostics (OBD) port, often found below the steering wheel, drivers will be able to track the vehicle’s performance and receive real-time updates on traffic ahead and fuel consumption. So, there you have it; one way even older cars can join the smart car revolution!

Of course, the connected car is a promising development – but it does need robust security solutions. That’s why at MWC, we’re showcasing our Secure ID car access solution, which allows eDriver licenses to be used to enter and drive rental cars via smartphones. Why not come and have a look at Gemalto’s stand, located at Hall 5 Stand 5A80, where we’ll be demonstrating some of our latest IoT, authentication and security solutions?

What do you think about the prominence of the connected car at MWC 2016? Let us know by tweeting at @Gemalto, or by posting a comment below.

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