LAS VEGAS - In a world where mobile phones are replaced every two years or so, it's frustrating that vehicles' longer ownership terms make in-car entertainment systems dead-end and dead old.
That's why many auto makers, often accused of loading their dashes with old technology, are now turning their systems in to future-proof mobile mini-computers, which receive frequent updates via the cellular cloud.
"There has been a bit of a space race," says media agency GroupM's chairman Irwin Gotlieb in this fascinating sit-down with Beet.TV.
"Apple convinced both BMW and Mercedes to go with them. Google has always been there with Audi.In the last few weeks, General Motors has signed on with Google. Hyundai and Honda and, I believe several other automotives will go with Google.
"We will have most major manufacturers around the world likely aligned with one of the two guys. Services will be delivered in a manner that is consistent, pretty much, across all these vehicles."
GM's Chevrolet has been amongst the earliest adopters of this "thin client" approach, its MyLink system being just a mobile-connected touchscreen that takes advantage of iOS in particular. Apple is still yet to unveil its previously-announced iOS In The Car system in reality. Google announced its Open Automotive Alliance in January. Both initiatives are set to come to fruition in 2014.
Gotlieb reckons the mobile connected car will change the meaning of cars themselves: Initially, it's about ensuing you don't do certain things while you're driving. Ten years from now, it's going to be about ensuring you can do whatever you want while the car's driving itself."
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