Mobile

Blog archive

My other car is a smart phone

Since its founding, the networking giant Cisco has been one of the major developers of ways to network both government and civilian computers together. But there is one type of computer that even Cisco has neglected, even though this type has been around for over 40 years and whose use continues to grow. I’m talking about the on-board computer in your vehicle.

What Cisco is proposing to do is make your car more like a smart phone -- something that switches seamlessly between wireless networks and 4G. This could allow for firmware updates from anywhere, not to mention uninterrupted data streaming for passengers.

The Cisco Connected Vehicle initiative would network the systems already in a car and connect them to the Internet. Aside from letting the kids browse the Web in the backseat while Dad gets GPS-enabled driving directions, Cisco also is quick to point out the benefits such networking could have for first responders and other emergency crews.

A vehicle arriving first at the scene of an accident, for example, could send video to a control center, giving dispatchers a better idea of what other crews are needed at the scene, the company says. Ambulances could connect with hospitals to arrange care for an incoming patient, and police could send images from a crime scene to more quickly identify suspects. And using wireless IP connections could help them all avoid the communication problems that often occur with radio systems that aren’t interoperable.

Also, since every system in the car would be connected more wirelessly, the folks at Cisco estimate they could eliminate 70 to 80 pounds of cables from the average car. And with gas prices what they are, every little thing to improve mileage is good.

In addition to emergency services, this kind of technology also could have other uses in government, such as for fleet management or for agencies that have a lot of employees in the field. And the military, which is always looking for ways to keep soldiers and commanders connected in the field, could make use of it, too.

Cisco says it has been in contact in every car manufacturer in the world about its connected cars, so there’s a good chance we’ll be seeing them on the roads pretty soon.

Posted by Greg Crowe on Sep 25, 2012 at 9:39 AM


Reader Comments

Wed, Sep 26, 2012

A hacker's dream come true! I'll pass...

Wed, Sep 26, 2012 Paranoid?

My concern with technologies of this type is the potential to decrease or eliminate as many remaining freedoms that citizens possess. Can 'Big Brother' track your location at all times, now? Maybe, but since I'm not a luddite, I don't advocate eliminating all technologies, but the potential for governmental spying is much too great with this. Stalin would have loved it.

Wed, Sep 26, 2012 Larry

"The folks at Cisco estimate they could eliminate 70 to 80 pounds of cables from the average car." I don't know about other people, but when I see what appears at face value to be a gross exaggeration, I tend to distrust everything else in the article. The 'average car' might contain 70lbs of copper cabling, but that doesn't mean that the car of the future will have wireless headlights. Also, how are they going to prevent hacking the car? Viruses that cause the car's computer to reboot when you're doing 70mph on the highway?

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

resources

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Transforming Constituent Services with Business Process Management
  • Improving Performance in Hybrid Clouds
  • Data Center Consolidation & Energy Efficiency in Federal Facilities