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Automotive Electronics
Smartphone Connectivity
Bill Fleming

Apple (Cupertino, California) and Google’s Android (Mountain View, California) together sell 95% of the smartphones in the United States, but, for years, they have been largely locked out of the automobile industry. Now, nearly every major automaker is preparing to share a ride with these smartphones. Apple’s CarPlay smartphone and its Google counterpart, Android Auto, are bringing their familiar smartphone screens and functionality, complete with all the intelligence and voice control technology, right to the car’s dashboard.

It is a revolution not only for drivers but also for automakers, which are threatened with the loss of their traditional control on expensive and often optional navigation and infotainment systems. The market has spoken: “Consumers expect their favorite smartphone environment and connected lives—smartphone contacts, music, social media, and apps—to follow them wherever they go. With Apple and Android being the dominant intuitive platforms people use every day, they’re not going to want to be closed off from them in the car,” said Steve Cannon, chief executive of Mercedes-Benz USA.

Cannon added, “That’s especially true for millennials, the age 18–34 demographic that will soon surpass the baby boomers as America’s largest living generation. If you’re not keeping pace with connected cars and autonomous functions, you’re not going to connect with these younger buyers.” Mercedes will begin rolling out Apple CarPlay connectivity on its 2016 models.

Read the full article: "Advances in Automotive Electronics", IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 4, December 2015.

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