Two Main Trends Were on Show at TU-Detroit

Looking back at TU Detroit 2017, there were two relatively surprising topics that seemed to be on the minds of all attendees.

We always love taking part in Telematics Update Detroit, and the show never dissapoints in bringing together the minds, innovations, and hot topics of the industry. Now that the dust has settled and there’s been some time for reflection about this year’s show, there are two interesting trends that really stood out to me in the Motor City.

User Experience In The Focus

In recent years, we’ve seen the automotive industry being flooded by applications. There has been a general urge to mimic the smartphone / tablet experience, but in reality, the focus was more on bringing those apps into the car – rather than defining the end-to-end user experience. To add to the complexity, most OEMs started to create their own ecosystem for applications making it more difficult for developers to comply with each, and missing out on the economy of scale. That again further opened the door for consumer electronics giants – who didn’t hesitate to step in and offer their platforms in the car.

At this year’s Telematics Detroit, we finally observed the start of an awakening as focus started to shift towards the user experience instead of building standalone apps that often function as silos. At NNG, we work on creating the best user experience by crafting end-to-end solutions that seamlessly integrate natural workflows that drivers try to execute on a daily basis. We felt that this approach was well received by our partners, and we are excited to continue our developments based on all the great discussions we had.

Nevertheless, the door is still open and if the Automotive Industry wants to control the user experience and keep the OEM branding in the car, we need to start collaborating and create seamless solutions that can bring the drivers back to the deeply integrated embedded infotainment experience. Let’s keep in mind that the time when people won’t need to drive is getting closer and the setting of the baseline for the next chapter is happening right now.

TU-Detroit talked a lot about user experience for drivers in complex environments.

Cyber Security is Loading

Even though TU Detroit is historically not a cyber-security focused show, we could see that this niche received its piece of the pie. Justifiably, since this topic has been getting major attention driven by car hacking stories.

Keynotes, panels, and demonstrations were all highly followed, as the industry tries to figure out how to secure the car that is becoming more and more connected. Life-safety-critical devices with internet, on four wheels. Soon to be connected with each other and everything else.

Despite unveiled system vulnerabilities and media hype, this is still a very early stage where everyone is trying to figure out the best approaches and run tests on those. While this process is ongoing, vehicle manufacturers will probably hesitate to be the first ones to announce their solution. It’s understandable, since they would immediately be center stage of media and potential hacker attention. Despite this moment of prudence, the backstage is busy as nobody wants to miss out, so there’s a general buzz around the topic.

Can we totally secure the car in real-time? Is there a 100% accurate solution? Do we need standards? These types of questions are popping up in nearly every conversation, and they’re at the center of our own discussions when talking about Arilou. In our view, investing in safety systems alone won’t make sense if the car can be hacked. The two shall come together in order to create a bulletproof solution.

TU-Detroit focused on automotive cyber security

An Ever-Changing Industry

Of course, these two topics were just a few of the many observations to come out of a show that mixes so many minds together. At NNG, we love embracing the opportunity to have these discussions about the future, so make sure you stop by at the next trade show to share your thoughts!