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Panel Discussion at CES 2019: Exploring What’s Next in Connected Mobility

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The industry is bustling with technological innovations around intelligent mobility solutions but that’s not the point, it’s not about raw technology, it’s about understanding the opportunities to harness the power of emerging technologies.

​Last week at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, the latest innovations in automotive dominated the floor with digital cockpits, self-driving demos, futuristic sensor-tech and in-car digital assistants that will become widely available in over the next few years. 


During the four-day event, I was invited, by the SAE, to be part of two panel discussions focusing on Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Wireless technologies. With emerging technologies continuing to gain traction across industries, especially in the smart vehicle space, it was great to see such interest in the field of future-forward technologies to develop intelligent mobility solutions.


The day-long Connect2Car program organized by SAE International and GENIVI Alliance witnessed industry leaders from various sectors partaking in open dialogue and sharing unique perspectives about how connected mobility extends far beyond the connected vehicle.  We spoke about everything from in-vehicle infotainment and aftermarket connectivity to the future of transportation and how the government is working with OEMs when it comes to the world of autonomous vehicles. 


The first panel discussion on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) tackled the subject of how data drives businesses and what pieces of data make a significant difference in today’s automotive environment, enabling smarter decisions


The discussion commenced by looking at the difference between AI and ML and how they will play different roles in the automotive industry. How AI will change decision-making for automotive companies with real-time data gathering, forecasting, and analysis and how ML can process massive amounts of information quickly, providing machines with human-like capabilities to categorize, learn, adapt and make contextually relevant decisions.



It's not about people adapting to technology. 

It's about technology adapting itself to people or scenarios.


Keeping in line with this perspective, I highlighted the following key areas:


With the data gained through AI, we are improving perception systems for object recognition, understanding of driver alertness, predicting human behavior and anticipating their needs. Leveraging the capabilities of AI, we are making it easier for automakers to introduce and launch a variety of consumer, enterprise- and vehicle-centric services. OEMs and automakers can offer their customers context-based and relevant services like providing information about traffic flow, parking availability, streaming audio, live news and more. And, our connected safety solution with Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) will bring dramatic changes in driver safety features. 

HARMAN’s Driver Monitoring System - It builds a model of both the outside and inside (within the car) world. The tracking system uses ML to understand and measure cognitive loads, emotional states, mental multitasking in the driver’s seat and signals the car’s other safety systems to adapt to the driver’s state. This is a key innovation for ensuring safety in an autonomous world where the vehicle needs to be able to understand when it is or is not safe to hand over unmanned autonomous to manual control. 

The path to autonomous driving and Smart Cities begins with AI-powered driver assist technologies that connect with each other on the road and the infrastructure around them, exchange data and alert drivers of potential dangers. With smart traffic management and smart connected navigation systems, the next generation of connected vehicles will become the ultimate Internet of Things, through vehicle-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-infrastructure (V2X) communications. 

To protect this complex connected car ecosystem, we offer an end-to-end automotive cybersecurity solution, leveraging ML to detect and understand the threat environment for a connected vehicle. To defend against cyber-attacks our comprehensive Intrusion Detection and Prevention Solution (IDPS) will provide OEMs and automakers the ability to detect, manage, mitigate and respond to cyber-attacks on connected and autonomous vehicles, keeping vehicles safe and protected.


We also discussed the need for collaboration as challenges like cyber security and autonomous vehicles cannot be solved by OEMs or Tier 1’s working in isolation. We are collaborating with various industry stakeholders including 5G Automotive Association (5GAA), Automotive Information Sharing and Analysis Center (AUTO-ISAC), GENIVI Alliance, Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) and SAE International to bring out together innovative automotive capabilities.


In closing, we discussed the dawn of platforms in automotive and how we can reduce the core R&D costs of the lower level parts of the system, enabling more spend on R&D and efficient approaches to test and drive code maturity.


The second panel, ‘Wireless: DSRC/5G, Bluetooth, WiFi,’ that I was part of was led by the excellent Roger C. Lanctot. This session included Qualcomm and AT&T and focused on the debate around new wireless technologies such as 5G, DSRC and C-V2X.


In the course of the debate on DSRC (Dedicated Short Range Communication) versus C-V2X (Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything), I highlighted that each technology has different use cases and we are most likely to see a level of co-existence. Knowing that the more important issue is to keep people safe and reduce crash injuries on roads and so if we do have some overlap in technology offering a safer driving environment that has to be positive.


I also emphasized the fact that developers will find ways to leverage each solutions’ benefits to provide new capabilities, applications, etc. that will be to the benefit of all. While discussing the cost of rolling out 5G and time frames involved, I stressed on this point that new cellular technologies have always created new markets and revenue streams that were not predicted at the time of launch and that these have invariably accelerated the rollout times as carriers see the ROI potential; and AT&T agreed on the same. Therefore, as we stand here  today the only certainty is that we will not be able to predict/identify all the apps/services that will drive the industry forwards as 5G rolls out, but we do know that innovation levels are increasing and if we provide new capabilities, products, services, and core network service frameworks, developers, entrepreneurs and  companies will invest and find creative new ways to use them.


I also touched upon how the role of network slicing in 5G will be a game changer. For the first time, OEMs can have a dedicated amount of bandwidth to provide content and services to vehicles on the road. This opens up massive potential for innovation, from multicasting real-time traffic information to provide dedicated bandwidth for AI interactions with the cloud.  5G Network slicing should provide an excellent platform for OEMs, and carriers, to be able to differentiate their connected car offerings.


Both panels offered significant insights into the topics under discussion, a success in its entirety due to its comprehensive subject coverage and were well received by the audience, who had a lot of very good questions.


Finally, thanks to SAE International and GENIVI Alliance for creating a stimulating environment to explore new technologies that will accelerate the deployment of smart, connected solutions and automated vehicles.


If you’d like to get in touch with me drop us a line here or on LinkedIn/Twitter.