In 2010 Technology Review already ran the headline: “The 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. on wheels.” This analogy carries a lot of meaning, because in 2007 the first iPhone not only “mobilized” e-mail, the web, etc., but also created a completely new app market, new business models and applications – while revolutionizing the market. Will the connected car be the next big thing?

Looking to the future

As we have seen, the connected car makes greater safety, more efficiency, less CO2 and new business models possible. It has the potential to fundamentally alter our mobility. That is an enormous challenge for research and development, for coordination and integration. The right overall conditions must be created, especially in respect of legislation and the infrastructure. Yet for this change to actually take place, it will require not only mature technology and the right framework. Most of all, revolutions on the market need the power to fire up people’s enthusiasm.

A smartphone instead of a car?

It is often postulated that the young generation thinks it’s great to have a Smartphone , but is not so interested in cars. But the statement that today’s young people take a purely utilitarian view of cars turns out to be as incorrect as it is frequent. This is because it is the same opinion researchers who speak of young people’s decreasing emotional attachment to cars – but without providing figures from previous years for comparison – who find that design is in fact the most important criterion for young people when it comes to cars. In the studies emotional criteria rank above all cost-benefit considerations and other rational factors.

For this reason the German automotive industry is also working more intensively and seriously on connectivity than any other automotive nation. First, with ten patent applications per day it is leading the field in technology in vehicle construction and, second, it represents some of the most valuable brands in the world. It is these brands that arouse people’s enthusiasm.

Just as in all revolutions, the outcome is not known at the beginning. It is possible that in ten or twenty years from now the market for mobility will be different than it is today, with other players, other business models, and other use behaviors – in fact it is harder to imagine that this will not be the case. But one thing is certain: the German automotive industry is right at the forefront of this revolution.