As many of you know, the CCC held its Summit Event in Tokyo last week. I was particularly gratified by the great turnout for the event. We had a number of challenges in completing the event planning and the fact that all the pieces of the puzzle came together was a testament to the dedication of the individuals who worked so hard in the last six weeks!
There are so many things that events like the Summit strive to accomplish. Obviously, the main objective is to formally communicate with those interested in the subject the various aspects of the technology and how it fits into a larger market. We also had meetings scheduled for the various CCC Working Groups. Our exhibition area was completely booked with companies demonstrating their products and solutions for MirrorLink. Lastly and maybe most significantly, was the opportunity for all the participants to come together, meet and engage in informal conversations about MirrorLink, CCC and the general subject of automotive connectivity.
In the case of formal communication all of our presenters did a great job in hitting the mark. Jack Bergquist of IHS provided an outstanding keynote address regarding the keys to providing successful connected services in the automobile environment. It’s astonishing to realize that in North America and Western Europe connectivity will be a part of over 75% of vehicles within 7 years. The session presenters also provided outstanding insights into different facets of the evolving connected car ecosystem. We know that people want to use their smartphones in their cars and something must be done to limit distractions for people while driving. CCC looks poised and able to help with addressing this problem!
There were three sessions where some interesting insights were provided. In the first session we heard about the EU’s view on telematics and the need for global standardization, the automotive industry’s take on how MirrorLink can lead the effort to integrate smart-phone use in the vehicle and how the GENIVI Alliance and CCC can work together to bring connectivity solutions to the public. The second session focused on making MirrorLink a reality. Presenters gave the summit participants a inside look at how the requirements for application certification are being developed, an overview of the technical requirements for MirrorLink 1.1 and guidance on the processes that will be used to certify apps. The final session was about building the ecosystem. The message here is clear – we must make the ecosystem accessible for app developers while maintaining a robust certification system. If we make the business case unattractive, the market will never have a chance to develop. Supporting this notion were discussions of the common API.
Two other areas of interest were the Working Group meetings and our exhibition area. The Working Groups met for two days in a total of four sessions. These discussions for our Core and Charter members were focused on the definition of criteria, system specifications and certification processes. The exhibition area proved to be a great success with over 12 companies presenting various MirrorLink end products, components and software elements. The demo area was open for 8 hours during the summit. The foot traffic at the booths was remarkable and there were few lulls in the activity – even during lunch. The press was also well represented at the event and took the opportunity to ask questions from the CCC’s President.
Another accomplishment of our Summit was the opportunity for members to meet and discuss their common interest in MirrorLink in a less formal setting. There were two different social events during our week. The first hosted by Toyota and Honda was for the Working Groups. The second hosted by CCC was open to all those who registered for the Summit. In each case the small discussions were numerous and undoubtedly very valuable for their participants.
The Summit had one small surprise in the form of special recognition for one of our members. Much of the heavy lifting of coordinating the discussions of how Application Certification will work has gone through one individual – Yoshi Kakihara of Sony Corporation. I have been very pleased to work with Yoshi over the last year on this important topic. It was universally recommended by the Working Group chairpersons that we show our appreciation in a public manner. Congratulations to Yoshi for his contribution to CCC and I’m sure I speak for all members of CCC that we will continue to enjoy our work with him.
Unfortunately, there is no time to enjoy the completion of a successful event. We are already planning future events, especially our presence at the LA Auto Show, the Consumer Electronics Show and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. All of these events will give the CCC an opportunity to give the latest news on our progress in bringing a less distracted driving experience to the roads.