Why connect a car?
Asking such a basic question almost seems naive: Why does anyone need to connect a car to anything?
Follow up questions include: To what is the connected car connected? What information is it supposed to send and receive? What convenience, if any, will connectivity bring to drivers and passengers.
"Connected" generally means the car is connected to the Internet, a.k.a. the cloud.
For carmakers, the connectivity can be a goldmine. Juliussen told us connecting the car makes possible "remote diagnostics, ECU software updates, and ECU software corrections." Not only will remote diagnostics mean convenience to owners and carmakers alike, but it could also mean a lucrative business in selling software services to car owners.
The connected car can also offer location data in case of accidents or natural disasters. Connectivity helps with stolen vehicle tracking and automatic collision notification. This is good for carmakers, owners, and government agencies.
For those in the car, the connected car has several advantages. Connectivity allows reception of safety and security services, navigation data, voice communication, and SMS. Drivers could even -- God forbid -- update Facebook pages and tweet at 70 mph. More importantly, though, connectivity allows carmakers to respond to growing expectations among drivers to use smartphone apps in the car.
Passenger demands are also changing connectivity requirements. Passengers want rear-seat and front-seat entertainment, so that they can play games, audio, and video, by downloading content not just from their own devices, but also from the cloud.