Anything new always forward more questions and connectivity in cars is no different.
- How will Google bring self-driving cars to market? Google wants to bring shared self-driving cars to market by 2020. In 2015, it showed signs of inching toward the marketplace by bringing aboard John Krafcik to lead the program and commencing testing in Austin, Texas. With a manufacturing deal with Ford reportedly in the works, 2016 may bring more concrete signs of Google’s go-to-market plan. Meanwhile, Google’s archrival Apple Inc. continues to explore cars in secrecy.
- Will vehicle-to-vehicle communications really happen? For more than a decade, the U.S. government has pushed technology that would allow cars to “talk” to one another to avoid crashes, using a wireless communications frequency. It hasn’t hit the market — though General Motors says it’ll be offered on the 2017 Cadillac CTS — and the government hasn’t built any roadway infrastructure to enable it. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has vowed to propose rules by the time President Barack Obama leaves office in January 2017, but will that happen?
- Can the auto industry patch its security holes? The dark side of connected cars is that every additional connection creates another way for a wrongdoer to gain access to a car’s internal network. A big reminder of this risk arrived in 2015, when security researchers showed they could wirelessly tap into a Jeep Cherokee and slam the brakes or shut off the engine. In 2016, automakers will be racing to make their cars more secure in hopes of outrunning the bad guys — and hoping nothing happens that might chill customers’ acceptance of connected cars.