TU-Automotive’s VP of Research, Ruthana Foulkes, describes preparations for the flagship Detroit event in an exclusive interview with Telematics News. She highlights automotive cybersecurity, how to use and monetise data, mobility and vehicle use cases as key discussion points.

What are the key new topics for TU-Automotive Detroit this year? There seems to be growing interest in the concept of Connected Mobility. Also, automotive cybersecurity seems to be a hot topic following recent high profile “hacks” in Germany and the US.

Gosh where do I start?

Whilst TU-Automotive Detroit (June 3-4, Novi, MI) has grown and diversified this year, it’s important to say that this is not at the detriment to the conversations and discussions that this event has become famous for. We shall still be covering all the relevant and pertinent topics that are happening within the connected car space, plus adding many more areas of discussion to the table.

The two hot, hot topics this year for the telematics arena (although it’s hard to choose out of so many) are around cybersecurity and data. Cybersecurity is a hard one to tackle as developments are all behind closed doors, and there are various opinions on how to approach this. Some parties believe that there are enough measures already in place to actually stop attacks they are aware of, and that where developments are required lie within the ability for the industry to share when they have identified attacks, to stop them proliferating. Hackers will always find ways through and by enabling communications between players to alert about an identified attack, will allow for earlier identification and improved ability to stop them.

But then of course, this is not the opinion of everyone, and the ability to actually identify and stop attacks needs tighter processes and updated technology. It’s these exact debates, and differing opinions that will be brought to the table at TU-Automotive Detroit. Now data is a simpler discussion to describe.

The debates lie around how to use it, monetise it, develop services based on data sets etc. How to store it, what to store, who to work with to address these questions etc… I could go on for this entire page about the data conundrum, but hopefully you get my drift. And then yes, you are quite right, auto mobility and vehicle use cases are right up there this year as well. With Ford announcing their mobility initiatives and other major automakers launching autonomous vehicle pilots and projects, these topics can’t be ignored as they are not only interesting today, but are going to completely revolutionise the industry as we know it. If people don’t start considering the impacts of these trends now – I fear they will get left behind.

As deployment of Connected Cars gathers pace, is there increasing interest in issues surrounding licensing, legislation, and data privacy? Is this reflected in the Detroit event plans?

Legislation of something or other is always an important conversation. Whether it’s NHTSA’s driver distraction announcements or whether they are going to make a ruling over the DSRC network etc , they have and always will play a pivotal role.

How this has changed this year, is that legislators used to look to the automakers and only the automakers for updates in technology. Whereas now, innovations are flying at the car left right and center with all players devising new systems etc. that the government need to be aware of. There’s a lot more learning from all parties to be done than we have seen before, and a greater need for speed to learn these lessons. As tech. is developing at such a fast pace these days, keeping the government in the loop, allowing them to know what to regulate and how to regulate it, without stifling innovation is a difficult task to get around.

This is yet another topic I could write pages and pages about. There is so much going on. And of course TU-Automotive Detroit will be addressing all these issues across the connectivity, autonomy and mobility segments of debates.

A headline panel moderated by Jeff Hannah, Director North America, SBD: “The Role of the CXO: Creating Organisational Conditions for Success”

As connectivity transforms the future of the car our focus as an industry often falls on technologies and business models that lay behind it. But there is a growing realisation that success will ultimately rest on the ability of large organisations, including OEMs, to structure their teams in-line with the new landscape. In this first-of-a-kind panel, three top automotive execs will openly discuss the challenges and opportunities that they face in aligning their teams towards success.

You will also gain invaluable insight from a ‘Voice of the Industry’ survey which illustrates how groups at every level of the industry feel about their organisation’s ability to adapt to the new realities of a connected car.

A keynote joint presentation and panel on the telematics track, moderated and co-presented by Andrew Hart, Director, SBD and a panel of IVI end-users: Connected Services Usage: A Vital Metric

How many billions are spent on infotainment features that consumers do not use? Conversely, how much does a positive IVI experience drive loyalty? Learn the never-before-heard results from a study with 24,000 US and Chinese drivers. You will discover the link between consumer groups and their usage of different technologies and identify preventable and non-preventable reasons why consumers don’t get the best from in-car technology and maximise use of IVI features.

Gain further insight from an analysis of the cost of low usage rate (redundant features) and the value of high usage rates (brand loyalty/satisfaction of in-car technology). This article was first published in Telematics News Bulletin.  Telematics News helps you keep abreast of the latest developments in the connected car world - subscribe here. 

Telematics News is a free information service provided by SBD a world-leading knowledge partner to the global automotive industry, providing actionable insight and strategic support in the development of more connected, secure and safe vehicles.  Find out more here.