Your Car Is Not a Cell Phone

10:45 AM Car Connectivity Consortium forms to innovate on in-vehicle connectivity, but keep your eyes on the road, folks

Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms

March 17, 2011

2 Min Read
Your Car Is Not a Cell Phone

10:45 AM -- At wireless tradeshows like CTIA , it's not uncommon to go from one meeting with a hands-free, safe driving vendor to another with a vendor promising to turn the car into a smartphone for gaming, movies, texting and more. Talk about mixed messaging.

In-vehicle connectivity is getting more attention as apps developers and operators look for more screens and Long Term Evolution (LTE) to make the connection possible. It's attracting the interest of car makers too.

Today, 11 companies teamed up to launch the Car Connectivity Consortium to innovate on in-vehicle connectivity based on the Terminal Mode standard that reflects a phone's interface on a car system. The group is made up of six major car makers and a group of consumer electronics vendors that includes LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) , Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Samsung Corp. (See Car Connectivity Consortium Starts Up.)

LR Mobile has also seen several demos from wireless operators like SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM) touting the potential for apps, movies and games as well, so the interest is widespread.

In-vehicle entertainment is a tricky concept that should be handled carefully. Unfortunately for the personal navigation device (PND) industry, mobile phones -- and even more so, tablets -- make a pretty slick replacement device. But that's for functionality that serves a utility purpose.

In my opinion, new bells and whistles in the car should really only be for utility purposes, not entertainment. Replicating the smartphone in-vehicle is definitely an interesting proposition, but it can't compromise safety. I think the companies involved get this, but the entertainment demos keep popping up.

Granted, I once crashed my SUV into my house when I mixed up the gas and brake pedal, so my driving skills may be worse than average. Even so, adding more distractions to the car just seems like a bad idea for everyone.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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