May 17, 2022

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Half the Automotive

Connected Car Initiatives Rev Up at High End

It might make sense that the high-end, luxury vehicles are where we’ll see some torque in the development of the connected car.

After all, someone somehow has to cover the scarcity cost of those hard-to-find computer chips that make the flows of information across solidifying ecosystems possible.

We’re being only a bit tongue in cheek.

Last week, Reuters reported that Porsche has been discussing joint projects with Apple to discuss some as-yet-to-be-determined projects.

Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said during a video call discussing his firm’s latest earnings results that “we already have Apple CarPlay — and we will expand on that.”

Now, much — or little — may come from those joint efforts. But using CarPlay as a jumping-off point brings to mind the possible explorations beyond making calls, getting directions or plugging into various streaming media interactions.

Read Also: With the iCar in Limbo, Apple Moves to Put CarPlay Into Driver’s Seat

Separately,  T-Mobile and BMW said Friday that they would work together to bring to market a series of 5G connected cars in the U.S. In a statement by T-Mobile the telecom giant said that BMW is introducing the  2022 BMW iX and i4, powered by T-Mobile’s new Magenta Drive for BMW “as part of a long-term agreement to bring unlimited voice calling and unlimited 5G data to BMW vehicles.”  The companies noted that the cars will enable connectivity for a range of in-car devices, through a plan that is available for $20 per month to postpaid customers.

The BMX iX, we note, has a MSRP of more than $83,000, so we’ll assume that the Magenta Drive plan will amount to no real sticker shock.

Rubber Meets the Road 

Drilling down a bit, the connected economy is seeing a few instances where the rubber is meeting the proverbial road.  As detailed in this space earlier in the year Mercedes-Benz released details about two voice technologies featured on its new prototype electric car and the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) projected that auto tech will grow 7% in 2022.

One voice technology was developed in tandem with voice synthesis experts Sonantic and with the help of machine learning. The other voice-related technology previewed by Mercedes-Benz features neuromorphic computing, a form of information processing that reduces energy consumption. CTA has estimated that factory-installed automotive tech will grow 7% this year — from $14.9 billion in shipment revenues in 2021 to $16 billion in 2022

Read Also: In-Car Voice Makes Itself Heard at CES

Recently, Mariano Gomide de Faria, founder and co-CEO of VTEX, told Karen Webster that “conversational commerce, live commerce, messaging commerce, business app chat commerce is a reality,” — and, as previous PYMNTS Connected Economy studies have shown, there is an increasing interplay between various pillars of interaction that blur the lines between how we shop and what we do. Subscriptions and streaming commerce, payments are done through the dashboard … the car as connected device is a given.  The only question is how fast we’ll get there.

Read Also: What’s Next in the Connected Economy? VTEX CEO Says Conversational Commerce

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