Against the background of urgent global challenges such as population growth and climate change, a key role will be played by connecting vehicles with one another and with the infrastructure. This is because intelligent connectivity has the potential to meet the people’s needs for mobility and transportation, and to avoid congestion despite growing volumes of traffic. Connectivity simultaneously fulfills people’s desire to be “always on,” even in their cars. Connectivity makes traffic and vehicles more intelligent and thus safer, more efficient and more convenient.

Mobile — even on the road

Very good quality, low energy consumption, and high levels of safety are important criteria affecting the decision to buy a car. However, integrated communication technologies have a growing role in such decisions. Mobile Internet access, as already practiced by users of smartphones and tablet computers on a daily basis, is something consumers are coming to expect increasingly in vehicles, too. Existing in-car systems are already networked with one another, and mobile Internet access is available more and more frequently. New applications and services are becoming established.

More than in-car Internet

Automotive manufacturers and suppliers are working intensively on further networking for vehicles. The next stage of digital connectivity will link the most varied means of transport, the infrastructure, freight transport and personal mobility requirements in one fully synchronized overall system. Integration and real-time coordination will make the use of traffic information, that previously was at best loosely linked, vastly more efficient. So right from the outset congestion, accidents and unnecessary emissions will be avoided. This will decrease the consequential costs of high traffic volumes to the economy as a whole.

Connecting the road traffic is not a future task solely for the automotive industry. This far-reaching change can only be brought about in cooperation with other industries and sectors and with support from politicians. For the industries involved this innovation offers opportunities to develop new business models. And nearly all industries will benefit from increased efficiency along the entire logistics chain. New partnerships will give rise to previously unknown synergies.