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At the Broadband Breakfast Club on Tuesday: Smart Cars as a Rapidly-Emerging Test Case for Machine-to-Machine Communication

Drew Clark



March 18, 2013 – At the Broadband Breakfast Club, we strive to introduce our readers and club members to the most timely developments in broadband services. Think of your participation in our events as a vital early warning system to what you need to know about new directions in high-speed connectivity.

The March 19, 2013, Broadband Breakfast Club is on “Smart Cars, the Consumer Experience and Broadband: In-Vehicle Telematics. There are still opportunities to register for the event, at

“Smart cars” are an important window into the emerging possibilities that are enabled by machine-to-machine communication. Coupled with always-on mobility, machine-to-machine communication adds a new twist to current developments in broadband usage. The emergence of the need for your car to talk to other cars (or for it to strike up a conversation with your home appliances) is one of many reasons why I believe consumer bandwidth demand will expand far more rapidly than naysayers predict.

While machine-to-machine communiation has been in the air for several years, this subject — “smart cars” — has gotten concrete in the last six to twelve months.

After coming back from the Consumer Electronics Show two months ago, I highlighted this as one the top 10 developments to watch in 2013.

Smart Cars, Data Sensors, and Machine-to-Machine Communications: What’s Coming Up this Year
The increasingly small sizes of silicon transistors, coupled with greater broadband ubiquity, is making it possible to envision a world of machine-to-machine communications. Typical families now have more than five or even 10 broadband-connected devices — expect that number to rapidly multiply in the coming year. One of the most exciting developments in machine-to-machine communications exists in the world of smart cars. One Verizon Communications device on display at the Consumer Electronics Show was a Delphi Automotive plug-in, for sale as an aftermarket plug-in designed to send location, diagnostic, speed and mileage information about your car to a web-enabled portal. But how will smarter cars begin to affect vehicle safety?

At tomorrow’s event, we’re grateful to have a fabulous line-up that will be moderated by Russell Holly, the mobile editor for Just last week, Russell had this great piece about the driving system called “Automatic.” Watch the two minute video the accompanies the story to begin to understand the possibilities enabled by the interaction between the smart phone and the automobile.

Or as Russell writes:

There’s a lot of individual services that work well connecting your smartphone to your car. Automatic hopes to create a unifying experience, by adding features that improve both the person driving the car and the services attached to the car.

The data port on most vehicles is capable of much more than what most people realize. Using a simple Bluetooth adapter for that data port, you can pair your smartphone to your car and access the information that is provided by the onboard computer. This information is useful in certain, specific situations. If you have an app that can turn that information into an app-driven instrument panel, you can access a ton of information. There aren’t many apps out there that do more with the information, which is important in order to be useful to anyone who isn’t just a data addict. Automatic is taking the information and adding context alongside location and mobile data to offer a new user experience.

Russell has also written about the Verizon Wireless/Delphi connected car service, and — this will also certainly be a part of Tuesday’s discussion — the potential pitfalls when a human driver wants to pay attention to his smartphone, and his car wants all the attention devoted to the road.

Tuesday’s breakfast features an impressive line-up of panelists with Steven Bayless, Senior Director of Telecommunications and Telematics at the Intelligent Transportation Society of America; Catherine McCullough, Vice President of DCI Group, who will speak about connected cars; Anupam Malhotra, Senior Manager Connected Vehicles, Audi of America, one of the leading car-makers in the field; and Jeff Stewart, Director of Public Policy, Wireless for AT&T. Don’t miss the opportunity to attend “Smart Cars, the Consumer Experience and Broadband: In-Vehicle Telematics” at the Broadband Breakfast Club!

Follow Broadband Breakfast’s coverage of the broadband economy at See others upcoming events in our upcoming series of Broadband Breakfast Club events. Or learn more about Publisher Drew Clark, who is on Google+ and Twitter.


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