Automobile manufacturers globally that have integrated telematics into their vehicles can utilise WiFi today and generate significant revenue for a number of use cases, including predictive maintenance and repairs, as well as Over-The-Air (OTA) firmware updates. These new use cases and more are detailed in the newest whitepaper from the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA): The Connected Vehicle: Understanding The WiFi Opportunities And Use Cases.
Much attention has been focused on use cases for ubiquitous, always-connected infotainment, navigation and comfort services in the connected vehicles of the future. By contrast, WBA’s research identifies WiFi use cases that are applicable for connected vehicles on the market today, as well as those being developed for the future.
The lucrative use cases available today combine non-ubiquitous WiFi coverage and the Over-The-Air (OTA) software and firmware capabilities already found in connected vehicles today. Additionally, the whitepaper suggests case studies that take advantage of WiFi roaming concepts that leverage multiple Radio Access Technologies (RATs). These scenarios, which already are used for smartphones, can easily translate into use cases for connected vehicles.
Specifically, the whitepaper identifies use cases that take advantage of telematics services, which the majority of auto makers already have built into new vehicles. Combining vehicle-generated telematics information with WiFi results in a number of potential use cases, including:
“The connected vehicle market will experience explosive growth over the next few years, and WiFi plays a significant role in creating key monetisation opportunities, while also enhancing and improving vehicle maintenance and driver safety for connected cars,” said Tiago Rodrigues, General Manager, WBA. “While much of the focus today is given to how 5G will impact connected cars, we want to reinforce the message that WiFi is here now, and it is capable of supporting connected vehicle use cases today.”
The whitepaper also discusses the importance of developing use cases for the connected cars of tomorrow, which will be capable of combining cellular and WiFi to deliver seamless connectivity. Because WBA already has developed use cases for multi-RAT smartphones, the groundwork already has been laid for doing so with connected vehicle use cases.
The whitepaper was developed through WBA’s IoT Work Group, including representatives from Cisco, Intel, Semtech, Accuris Networks, Syniverse and Orange. Several recommendations and next steps also are recommended in the whitepaper, including the development of best practices to ensure seamless authentication and surveying members to identify opportunities and challenges of becoming WiFi solution providers to the automotive sector.
“We are eager to engage with others in the connected vehicle ecosystem to develop future opportunities for WiFi and connected cars,” Rodrigues said, “particularly as we prepare for WiFi 6 and the new opportunities it will support.”
The whitepaper is available to download here.