Connectivity is a natural phenomenon. Every organism and every ecosystem consists of individual parts linked with one another in a manner that enhances and strengthens the whole. Throughout history people have also formed networks in order to build up social contacts and trade relations.

Connectivity promotes new, strong relationships

The Industrial Revolution brought a previously unforeseen quality to the links within society. When the number of technical inventions increased and non-human energy could be harnessed and networked, this greatly accelerated the world in which we live and work. Assembly lines, electricity grids and rail links markedly increased the speed and range of both production and distribution of goods.

The digital revolution brought a new dimension to networking. A huge step came when computers replaced typewriters, doing away with painted-over typing errors, carbon paper and bulky archives. Large-scale processing and storage of data changed our individual lives and economic activity. Spreadsheet calculations revolutionized book-keeping, warehousing and production. But there followed an even greater and more significant step: connecting computers and their users with one another via the Internet. This enabled global connected communication between users in technology, academia and society. In today’s world the mesh of links between business, research and culture is becoming denser all the time. With mobile Internet devices, this worldwide change is about to make another quantum jump forward.

Cars are developing along with connectivity

After the car was invented, the initial focus was to optimize the mechanisms to achieve faster, safer and more comfortable journeys. But very soon electronic systems were also being installed in modern vehicles. Their task is to control the components so as to ensure their best possible operation. With the installation of sensors and cameras cars have now learned to feel and see. This intelligence is required for connecting the vehicles. In the future cars will not only receive data from various channels, but will also exchange their own information with the entire environment. TelematicsTelematics is a combination of telecommunication and information technology. It is the means of linking at least two information systems using a telecommunication system and a special form of data processing. (combined telecommunications and IT) is becoming more and more important. Automobiles are turning into mobile information nodes and have an all-encompassing view of the current traffic situation. That is the digital revolution in road traffic. Vehicles know how traffic lights change and about construction sites, are warned by vehicles in front in fractions of a second about current hazards such as accidents, obstacles and black ice, and react accordingly. Exact geopositioning allows potential collisions to be recognized and prevented automatically. If it still proves to be necessary, the rescue services are informed in real time about the circumstances and location of the accident. This and other information can be used to improve congestion avoidance in the future. Factors causing congestion are already recognized and acted on at an early stage.

Yet connectivity is more than merely networking cars and the infrastructure – it is also the connecting of modes of transport with one another and the connecting of human beings with their social networks. Traffic systems that intelligently link various modes of transport apply customized mobility solutions to bring people to their destination both reliably and as fast as possible. Drivers who have access to the Internet and to their own data and media, and can download useful apps, may additionally enjoy services in their cars that today they take for granted on their PC and SmartphoneA smartphone is a cell phone allowing more computer features and connectivity. Additional programs (called “apps”) are available for most of today’s smartphones enabling users to install individual new functions of their choice. .