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IBM Think: The Future of Connected Cars

Kalman Gyimesi, IBM Automotive Marketing Leader, presented on the future of connected cars. He spoke about its future and how cars need to become indispensable as they understand and anticipate drivers dependencies.

Note: IBM will have some big automotive announcement in this area tomorrow.

Today’s Discussion

  • Automakers are overwhelming consumers with technology.
  • Data and software will transform how people use cars.
  • Traditional automotive industry boundaries are rapidly disappearing.

Story: a friend showed off his new car. It took 45 minutes to show it all off. As he thought about the non-geeks, he realized it would all of them alive. It was just too much.

IBM Study Automotive 2025: most important external forces impacting the industry. #1 was Technology progress. #2 Consumer expectations.

Consumers are rejecting technology because they provide limited value. Packages are expensive and there’s way too many levers and buttons.  We need to learn the lesson from consumer electronics.

Touchscreens are becoming more popular, but it forces you to take your eyes off the screen more. Drivers can’t feel the controls.

The right answer or approach:

  1. takes care of itself
  2. fit into larger infrastructure
  3. takes cares of its occupants

This drives towards:

  1. self-configuring: configure to my needs
  2. self-integration: integrate devices easily
  3. self learning: understand the driver and make adjustments accordingly. New driver vs experienced driver
  4. self-healing: recognize when it has problems and attend to itself of help driver get it in the shop
  5. self-driving: yes. Automated and autonomous.
  6. self-socializing: work with other vehicles. Find other Tesla drivers, vicinity of traffic slowdown, notify of similar issues

Stat: research shows strong consumer interest in self-enabling cares. 49%-59% of consumers want all of the above.

All of this is driven by the data. It’s about events, devices, personas, and personal information. Cloud is critical to developing these types of capabilities. IBM is working on capabilities like digital twins so engineers can detect issues with the vehicles.

Cloud and IoT will work with vehicles in the following ways:

  1. Digital twins
  2. Security
  3. Voice assistant (see the upcoming keynotes)
  4. Acoustic detection
  5. Preventive maintenance

Scenario 1

Vehicle recognizes it’s been in an accident.

  • Vehicle is dented in the parking lot
  • vehicle senses it and takes pictures
  • Alerts the owner and sends pictures
  • Communicates with the dealership
  • Files the initial claim for you to get pre-authorization
  • Confirms back to the owner for final approval to proceed
  • Then drives itself to the dealership

Scenario 2

In this scenario, the vehicle monitors driver behavior. How is it drifting, braking, swerving, etc.  What are the flags for you to get in an accident?

People in car give off an enormous amount of data:

  • slammed the door
  • music louder than normal
  • Alone in car
  • elevated heart rate
  • speaking louder than usual
  • smiling and laughter
  • tweeted that he was promoted
  • vehicle about to enter a zone with higher than normal accident rate
  • calendar entry about a party
  • made 4 phone calls

With this info, the car can push the driver to slow down, notify him about higher than normal accident areas, asks him to turn on adaptive cruise control. It can also ask him if he wants to reserve a rideshare after his party.

Data Challenges

Only 1% of this data is being used. We are about to get a lot more data. An explosion is coming. You can expect 44 zettabytes in the next ten years.

AI systems will sense, reason, and learn. They will interact with humans in a natural way. In the right context, they will offer the right options. Offer a cup of coffee at 4:00 PM but suggest a hotel for a drowsy driver at 11 PM.

This is enabled by a lot of technologies

  • augmented intelligence
  • robotics
  • prescriptive analytics
  • predictive anlytics
  • deep learning
  • natural language processing
  • machine learning

The automotive industry sits at an inflection point. It will be a differentiator. Today, the solutions and application means more than just the large automakers.  It’s now the ubers, suppliers, inputs/sensor companies, displays, fleet management and other companies.


  1. Simplify the complexity of technology.
  2. Vehicle enable the internet of things.
  3. Today’s cars will move the data center closer to you.

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Michael Porter

Mike Porter leads the Strategic Advisors team for Perficient. He has more than 21 years of experience helping organizations with technology and digital transformation, specifically around solving business problems related to CRM and data.

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