Viva Car Connectivity!

A couple weeks ago I traveled to Las Vegas on behalf of the CCC to join all the excitement surrounding the Consumer Telematics Show. Sponsored by Telematics Update, the event took place alongside the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show. And I have to say I am very encouraged to see just how vital car connectivity has become to the at-large consumer electronics discussion.

First off, I spent a day meeting with various automotive, technology and consumer electronics journalists to talk about MirrorLink news – namely that we’re about to open MirrorLink to the world’s app developers. It’s always amazing to see how quickly people understand the value of an interoperable car connectivity standard. We witnessed these reactions when we started formally introducing MirrorLink to the world two years ago and they continue to happen today. Not only did everyone I spoke to at CTS immediately recognize the importance of having smartphone apps with drive mode, they were genuinely excited about it and look forward to the day when they can use the technology themselves.

In a larger sense, all of the topics on the table at the event deeply resonated with the CCC’s core mission: app development, interoperability, mobile and automotive industry convergence, collaboration with regulatory bodies, cloud content delivery to the dashboard and beyond. I was also really excited to see that many of the event’s speakers hailed from CCC member companies, including Daimler, Ford, Honda and Toyota.

Over at CES, the connected car pavilion was one of the most popular destinations for attendees. Cadillac, Chevy, Ford, Hyundai, Kia and others put their latest connected infotainment platforms on display. It’s also worth pointing out that Verizon and Mercedes jointly demonstrated their mbrace™ dashboard technology, signaling greater collaboration between the mobile and automotive industries and really championing the kind of cooperation the CCC seeks to instill in the connected car ecosystem. In addition, CCC member companies JVC and Alpine used the event as a platform to announce three new MirrorLink-enabled head units: the Alpine ICS-X7HD and JVC’s KW-NSX600 and KW-NSX700.

Finally, on the last day of CES I was able to give a full technical presentation of MirrorLink for engineers at an IEEE tutorial. As chair of the CCC’s Technical Workgroup, I always welcome the chance to speak in depth about our technology. Again, it was wonderful to witness such widespread support for MirrorLink and its core competencies.

By the end of the week, I felt completely reenergized about the state of car connectivity on today’s roads. I’m excited to see so many of our member companies well on their way to full MirrorLink deployments and I’m thrilled to see such an engaged press core and members of the public who are so eager to find greater levels of seamlessness between their cars and smartphones.

As the CCC gears up for major activities at Mobile World Congress – including a formal booth (located at 8.1J21) and a full MirrorLink DevCon (February 26, Hall 8.0, Theatre C) – it is my genuine hope that 2013 goes down as the year MirrorLink becomes a household name. If you’re planning to be in Barcelona, please stop by and say hello!

Jörg Brakensiek

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