ABC News Covers Meeting of the Minds 2012
Cisco zeroes in on automotive world
Jonathan Bloom, Oct 10, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Your home, your office, your mobile device. All of them are connected. But what about your car? Well, one of the world’s biggest automakers is now linked to the world’s biggest computer networking company.
On Wednesday Toyota Advanced Technology Manager Bill Reinert showed off an all-electric car that you’ll probably never drive, saying, “This car is not intended for sale, this car is intended for experimental purposes.” The Scion iQ EV is a concept car — a platform to try out technologies for the next generation of “connected” vehicles.
“Not just our smartphones and our tablets, but everything in our lives are gonna be internet enabled,” said Gordon Feller, Cisco’s Director of Urban Innovation. “And that’s in fact happening as we speak. And the connected vehicle is the next big innovation in mobility.”
That’s why networking giant Cisco is holding an invitation-only meeting in San Francisco with Toyota as the cosponsor. They want to work with every car manufacturer to make vehicles as smart as everything else.
“The car knows as a result of my cell phone who’s getting in the car,” Feller said. “My wife likes classical and I like jazz, doesn’t have to play jazz when she’s in the car, only does it for me.”
But the executives meeting Wednesday agree that this is only the beginning. Some of the same technologies used for safety and navigation features in this car could end up paving the way for whole cities full of cars that drive themselves.
Google has been showing off a prototype of a driverless car. But Reinert predicts bringing that technology to market will be a lot easier if the car companies and the networking companies start working together now to make city streets ready for the technology, “Having the hooks for things that don’t exist now but you know they’re coming so that you don’t have to tear up the city streets and you don’t have to reconfigure the cities to add new technologies.”
Automakers are already showing off cars that talk to each other to avoid crashes, though they say a fully driverless car is at least 10 years away from the dealership. But in the meantime, connected city streets will have other benefits, “The network has sensors in the roadway or sensors in the parking space that the internet can tell my vehicle it’s time to park because there’s not gonna be a parking space after this sensor has established there’s a free spot,” Feller said.
Leave your comment below, or reply to others.
Please note that this comment section is for thoughtful, on-topic discussions. Admin approval is required for all comments. Your comment may be edited if it contains grammatical errors. Low effort, self-promotional, or impolite comments will be deleted.
Read more from the Meeting of the Minds Blog
Spotlighting innovations in urban sustainability and connected technology
The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office reforms provide an excellent example of behavior change requiring attention and effort on many fronts. From systems and technology, to human resources and processes, multiple changes have been underway in parallel within this organization.
During the Mobilize Summit, urban transport and development practitioners come together alongside world-class researchers to celebrate best practices and accelerate implementation of sustainable transport projects grounded in equity. All the panelists agreed about the need to help decision-makers trust and believe that change is possible. “For instance, everyone thought rampant bike theft in Medellín would be the inevitable downfall of our bike share program, but it just didn’t happen that way,” explained Lina. “Our early adopters were the ‘rock stars’ who helped change hearts and minds simply through their passionate embrace and adoption of cycling.”
Oakland and other cities in California are working to end dependence on natural gas in new construction. Cities, product manufacturers, regulators, and utilities in California have been working together under the Building Decarbonization Coalition to end the use of natural gas in buildings. This coalition and its members have demonstrated the availability of electric technologies to replace gas systems in all building types, shown that all-electric new construction is cheaper to build and operate than buildings with gas, and helped educate builders and contractors to show how modern electric systems like heat pumps and induction cooking deliver better cooking and heating for homes and businesses than their gas-based alternatives.