What if your next car was more like a smartphone?
Connected Travel Chief Operating Officer John Moon wants to do just that, not by rethinking the ubiquitous vehicle from the ground up, a la Tesla, but by creating a cloud layer to empower all modern cars. And it’s happening fast.
“Until recently, creating software and technology in vehicles was like launching a probe to Mars: You have to get everything right before you get it out the door,” said Moon, who left Honda Technologies last year to launch Connected Travel. The company offers cloud-based platform services that use artificial intelligence and machine learning, data fusion, behavior science and gamification technology to capture, understand and drive consumers’ day-to-day mobile activities.
“Now, it’s more like the Hubble telescope: Maybe you can adjust and fix things afterward.”
The startup is partnering with insurance companies to increase safe driver discounts, as well as manufacturers to better integrate IoT into cars and payment systems to turn vehicles into a virtual shopping cart.
The innovations could have a profound impact on the consumer. It means getting your favorite coffee automatically ordered at the nearest Starbucks, with your account debited by the time you get to the drive-thru. It means your vehicle recognizing the fuel mileage, directing you to the nearest and cheapest gas station and transferring the appropriate funds to fill up your tank as necessary.
These are not new concepts, but they’ve always been handled by a mobile device or by an app – not the car itself.