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Car manufacturers and the tech industry need each other, and the details are still being worked out

Daniel Davenport

Who benefits from smarter connected cars?

But here’s the good news: data from connected cars is not used primarily to benefit car companies. Instead, this information improves and personalizes the in-car experience. A connected car can carry with it, for example, the preferences you have set on your phone about podcasts and radio broadcasts you like and your environmental preferences (some prefer cooler surroundings). This data, used with the driver’s permission, can make the transition from home to car an easier one.

The right partners are key

Auto manufacturers will need strong data and technology partners to make this vision really useful for consumers. Technology companies (such as Apple with CarPlay, Google with Android Auto, and LG Electronics with webOS Auto) are lining up to offer such services, but may only provide one piece of the puzzle.

Amazon, however, may be in a unique position to offer more. Its Alexa assistant technology is making its way into many new cars, and it is already a trusted source for shopping, music, video, and audio books on a huge number of devices.

Even more importantly, Amazon Web Services (AWS) represents a set of data auto industry OEMs can plug into to access a broad set of partners and customer data that is the envy of any car company.

This means an Alexa-equipped car could conceivably link to a driver’s home-control system, music library, calendar, food shopping list, and dozens of other key pieces of data.

A word of caution

When OEMs engage a giant such as Amazon, they may lose ownership of part of the marketing and operation process.

That will be an ongoing point of discussion as Amazon and other partners negotiate the contours of their new relationships with OEMs, especially as consumers increasingly demand that the services they use all talk to each other.

Ultimately, it is that consumer demand that will drive change.

To learn more about Capgemini’s automotive practice, contact Daniel Davenport at