Autonomous vehicles have been garnering a lot of attention in the tech community over the last year. Manufacturers, dealerships and technology companies alike all see the vast opportunities. From sophisticated ADAS systems to auto-pilots in automobiles, we’re seeing great leaps in the ability of vehicles to safely and autonomously navigate their environments brining us closer to a world of large scale autonomy.
Governing bodies have demonstrated their view of the future with the NHTSA clarifying that Google’s cars do not need a human driver. And there is ample reason to believe that the biggest advances in autonomous vehicles will not come out of their labs or design studios. The systems that propel the auto industry into the next phase could just as likely emerge from small companies that none of us know, or haven’t even been launched yet.
The increase of autonomous vehicles on the road will put pressure for shared spectrum to come into sharper relief. With efforts around unlicensed and license-assisted LTE (LTE-U & LAA), with Wi-Fi testing in the DSRC band for connected vehicles, carrier Wi-Fi and the opening of the 3.5 GHz band come new opportunities and challenges. More attention will be paid to making spectrum work more effectively to meet the unabated demand for mobile data.
More immediately, there is a rash of innovation in connected cars. This innovation will continue to evolve on two fronts with manufacturers building connectivity built into the vehicle and software startups developing unique IoT driven apps that leverage the ubiquitous smart phone to add features and services in the car through that connection. Sitting at the intersection of wireless communications, location technology, and in-vehicle sensors, these telematics applications are helping manage the emerging Internet of (moving) Things. With connected devices and smartphones residing alongside vehicles, telematics companies can enable new vehicle interactions with infrastructure, data, and people.
Verizon Ventures portfolio company Urgent.ly, is one such example. Urgent.ly has developed an app and service that provides a roadside assistance experience without a subscription or membership. The team at Urgent.ly have already seen some interesting technology-driven developments in car insurance and expect to see driver monitoring systems increase in the next year. They’ve also seen a growth of on-demand solutions compared to pre-pay insurance type solutions because consumers are getting more comfortable with getting what they want when they want it, without cumbersome all you can eat programs that skimp on service levels.
As we see rapid developments in connectivity and mobility, expect to do some double takes at the sophistication of autopilot.
Related Posts from Verizon Ventures:
When Cars Talk to Each Other: Will V2V and V2X Startups Take Off?
Race to Develop Autonomous Vehicle Technologies is Wide Open
Verizon Ventures’ Newest Portfolio Urgent.ly Reinvents Roadside Assistance for the On-Demand Economy