Telematics Wire had a conversation with Scott Frank, Vice President of Marketing, Airbiquity. The excerpts of the conversation are as follows:
TW: How will over-the-air (OTA) software updates and data management impact the automotive ecosystem?
Scott Frank: OTA software updates will allow automakers to significantly reduce software related recall expenses and associated consumer time burdens, improve cybersecurity response times, and deliver post-sale vehicle performance and feature enhancements. OTA can also be used for data collection and analytics to improve product quality, operational efficiencies, and power new “driving centric” consumer services that will be both timely and highly relevant because they benefit from access to real-time knowledge of vehicle condition and location, individual driving behavior and preferences, and increasingly off-board data from managed ecosystems and connected transportation infrastructures. As a result of both software and data OTA there will be many new opportunities for automakers and their ecosystem partners to monetize the delivery of features and services throughout the lifecycle of the vehicle and consumer relationship.
TW: There are concerns about data leaks and privacy, how does Airbiquity address it?
Scott Frank: As a larger percentage of production vehicles are enabled for connectivity they will require enhanced system designs and additional layers of protection to defend against cybersecurity threats 24/7. The automotive industry is addressing these heightened security issues head-on with a continuous process of deploying, learning, and re-deploying security features based on real-world experience. Airbiquity takes a “defense-in-depth” approach by designing and building security provisions into our OTA product offering and cloud-based service delivery platform in four critical areas: confidentiality, integrity, authenticity, and availability. We also leverage standards-based certification, authentication, encryption, and utilize the compromise-resilient Uptane software update security system for automotive that was initiated and funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security specifically for the automotive market. Airbiquity also follows a robust software security development “v-model” spanning threat and risk assessment through functional and penetration testing, and routinely conducts third-party security audits and participates in security-related industry communities and forums.
TW: How can data analytics help the automotive industry?
Scott Frank: Looking beyond basic usage-based insurance applications, OTA data collection and analytics will power innovative “driving centric” services that will help consumers get through the mobility-oriented parts of their daily lives. These driving centric services—many of which will be monetized—will be timely and highly relevant because they will benefit from knowledge of vehicle condition and location, individual driving behaviors and preferences, and off-board data from expanding ecosystems, transportation infrastructure, and internet-of-everything (IoT) devices in the home and elsewhere. This will all add up to increased consumer engagement with the vehicle, more productive, efficient, and safe transportation experiences overall, and increased brand satisfaction and loyalty for the next vehicle purchase. Mobility services will also benefit from OTA data collection and analytics as those programs continue to expand around the world and consumer awareness and adoption increases.
TW: How important will be the role of telecom companies in the automotive ecosystem?
Scott Frank: Telecom companies have always been a key component of the connected vehicle value chain because they provide the network connectivity piece of the overall solution. As the network bandwidth demand from connected vehicles exponentially grows to power advanced driving assistance system (ADAS), vehicle-to-everything (V2X), and fully autonomous driving (SAE Level 4 & 5) features the telecom companies will meet that demand with higher capacity networks (4G, 5G, etc.). Hopefully, the telecom companies will provide automotive with the necessary bandwidth at an acceptable cost to avoid becoming an impediment to the deployment and consumer adoption of these advanced technologies and solutions. Fortunately, automotive represents a significant amount of net new device and revenue opportunity for telecom companies, and so far we’re seeing both the interest and investment on their part to innovate with the balance of the connected vehicle ecosystem.