As Cisco’s Director of Smart Connected Vehicles, Andreas is responsible for developing end-to-end business and technology architectures that enable the “Internet of Cars.” Previously, Andreas was Director of Product Management and led the North American automotive practice of Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group, advising top executives of automotive and insurance companies, service providers and governments about connected vehicle trends. Prior to joining Cisco, Andreas was a consultant for PRTM Management Consultants (now PWC) and Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. Andreas holds a “Diplom-Kaufmann” in European Business from the universities of Osnabruck, Germany, ESTE Universidad de Deusto, Spain and Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom. He serves on the boards of the Connected Vehicle Trade Association and Cohda Wireless.
Andreas provides a unique insight into the role of a networked car. “This is more about networked mobility, and becomes part of the overall transportation infrastructure and broader mobility ecosystem, including car sharing and multi-modal usage. Connected cars will be just one of the many means of transportation in the connected mobility value chain. As a result, the auto industry will need to enlarge their value chain to include non-vehicle, outside services and functions. This will elevate their proposition from building cars to selling travel time well spent.”
As more automakers embrace connected car programs, it becomes critical to determine what emerging platforms and technologies they can control and use to compete versus which ones that generate more value via collaboration and standards. Here is where Andreas advises caution to automakers, tech companies and developers on the roles performed by multiple stakeholders.
“To make the vision of the connected car real, we need to connect multiple devices, sensors, clouds, social media, data pools, processes and applications. At Cisco we believe that end-to-end solutions are the most viable to securely connect and manage this Internet of Everything. While industry collaboration is indeed vital to the development of the connected car, it will take established leaders to drive the movement and create guidelines on what technologies become standards versus proprietary solutions, where we should collaborate versus compete and whether innovations can be better established in the development teams of incumbents or via investments in start-ups. Each stakeholder has to assess the implications of this hyper-connected value chain for his business, because the connected car has the potential to transform entire industries in ways that pose strategic risks if they don’t participate or if they do it incorrectly.”
With big data becoming the economic fuel of the connected car, concerns over privacy become abundant. Andreas addresses the issue by asking a question, “What do the tech and auto industries need to change to give consumers motivation and peace of mind to share data?” In answering this, Andreas explains the need to attach value to data in ways that are meaningful to consumers. “We need to overcome what I consider to be the monopolization of data by individual enterprises. Ownership is not the issue here; it is the transparent use and release of combined private and public data that will create added value. For instance, the autonomous vehicles will be made even better by knowing the fitness of the driver and vehicle, the risk profile of roads, the local traffic situation, the weather and any other external data that can help gauge the contextual risk of driving. We need to determine when this data investment moves from being optional to obligatory, particularly when individual well being or the overall good of society is at stake, as is the case with self-driving cars.”
Management of consumer awareness is top of mind with Andreas, especially as mass adoption of the connected car among end users becomes a priority across multiple industries. “I believe core benefits of the connected car are reduced cost of mobility and increased personal productivity, which are tangible outcomes that people can measure. This adds to one’s quality of life, in that they will ‘win time back’ that would have otherwise been lost. They can invest this time in making money and spending money. Consumers will then be able to justify the expenses associated with the connected car and embrace the value that is generated.”
Adding connected features and services to vehicles has also raised concerns over driver distraction. Once again addressing the issue of consumer awareness, Andreas believes that “We must be careful not to associate connected technology with driver distraction. By definition, connectivity solutions that are embedded in vehicles and their HMIs are safer to operate than those that are brought into vehicles. Connectivity of on-board sensors with external sensors and V2V systems protects drivers in as much as 80 percent of crash scenarios. It is important to stress that embedded technology improves the safety of driving rather than adding to distraction.”
Andreas views the connected car as part of the overall ecosystem of connected life activities. “We should not confine our thoughts behind the connected car to merely building a better mousetrap,” Andreas notes. “The goal is to connect vehicles in ways that transform the driving experience and integrate it seamlessly with your home, health and life. There will be massive cultural change happening as societies embrace a the convergence of personal and public transportation, and the redefinition of car ownership that is taking hold in future generations is accelerating with the emergence of autonomous vehicle technology. Our vision is to look beyond the networked car and toward running transportation on networked information.”