In-vehicle entertainment and experiences at the NAB Show 2019

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show is one of the annual highlights in Las Vegas where companies show off their latest technology related to broadcasting and media. I was among the 90,000 attendees at the show and if you were wondering why CloudCar was there, it was because NAB introduced the In-Vehicle Experience for the first time.

Accessing content in the car

This year’s theme at the NAB Show was “Every Story Starts Here.” While people today can access what they need from their smart phone or home, they also want to access content in their vehicle. Delivering “stories” to listeners in the vehicle is becoming the next new thing. Consumer behaviors have been changing where vehicles are becoming the new gadget where people want new features and access to more services.

The interactive sessions covered a wide range of topics from in-car digital radio experience to voice in the car. The way we listen to content has changed drastically over the last few years. Many major automakers have already ditched CD players in the car just like how they said goodbye to cassette tape players. More are moving towards a streaming-only model which CloudCar supports by working with media content providers like Deezer and TuneIn. Voice will continue to play a significant role in the vehicle, with more adoption and increased capabilities. Drivers and passengers will use touch screens and control knob sub-menus on the dashboard much less frequently and will finally avoid having to use their phone altogether. Imagine easily accessing your preferred content on the road without using your hands and keeping your eyes on the road by just using voice.

CloudCar’s platform is designed with a “voice-first” functionality. We’re continuing to make technology advancements with our platform by offering a global ecosystem of cloud-based services through a single, personalized voice-first interface.

Autonomous Cars and Amazing Experiences: Safety, Content & Connectivity

Carla Bailo, President and CEO of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), opened up one of the panel sessions on the main stage with some staggering facts. She stated that there are 37,000 fatal traffic accidents every year in the U.S. Globally, the numbers are 1.3 million and 90 percent of those accidents were caused by human error. Carla additionally pointed out that with future self-driving vehicles on the road, traffic fatalities should be reduced as long as they are being programmed correctly and tested properly to make it safe.

As for connectivity, Jim Buczkowski, Technical Fellow & Director, Electrical & Electronic Systems, Research & Advanced Engineering at Ford Motor Company emphasized that the push for connectivity in automobiles are increasing and plays a huge role for both buyers and automakers today. We are living in a connected world. Consumers are taking into consideration how they will stay connected inside the vehicle when purchasing a car, which means that automakers are looking for connectivity solutions to grow and expand their services.

The desire for connectivity goes hand-in-hand with access to content. The lively panel described the various types of drivers and passengers in the car and their listening preferences. For example, there are listeners who tune in to local radio news stations or sports. Then you have the new modern audience who plays their podcast series or streams music. To meet the needs of a wide range of listeners, a wide range of content sources must be offered.

Whatever the listening preference, both drivers and passengers want smarter vehicles that keep us informed, entertained, productive and safe. With the autonomous era on the horizon, our expectations could expand to being “replenished” by sleeping behind the wheel in your self-driving car or other more futuristic experiences. Nils Wollny, CEO and Co-Founder of Holoride Audi, introduced the concept of extended reality which is a different kind of experience for the vehicle. Consider it to be virtual reality gaming in the car.

According to Shailen Bhatt, President and CEO of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America), Americans spend an average of 97 hours a year on the road. He noted that driving is actually the “distraction” for us because we would rather use the time to do more in the vehicle. The concept of mobility has changed and unfortunately I’m one of those Americans with a long work commute that can relate to Shailen’s statement. I often think of traffic time as wasted time and wonder, what could I be doing behind the wheel to maximize my experience in the car.

CloudCar is all about the in-car experience and it’s exciting to think about future possibilities to make best use of your time in the vehicle. We are working with automotive OEMs, Tier-1 suppliers, and software providers on ways to stay connected, make your commute better, and ultimately safer.