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This Week in Automotive News: IoT and the Connected Car

The world’s automobile industry beached themselves this week in Frankfurt, Germany at the International Motor Show, the world’s largest auto show that happens every other year.

The exhibition is an opportunity for auto brands to showcase their new and concept models. Everything from ultra-luxury sports cars to economical, fuel efficient vehicles for the hoi polloi are on display. Car makers jockey vigorously to show off the latest in design, brag about the highest sales and roll-out futuristic concept cars just to grab headlines.

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Photo courtesy of Daimler

Goodbye Combustion, Hello Electric and Connected

All the major news focused on one of the key trends facing the car industry - the relentless march of technology. Here are highlights from both car makers and technology players:

  • Apple - The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple is is accelerating efforts to build an electric car, designating it internally as a “committed project” and setting a target ship date for 2019. Leaders of the project, code-named Titan , have been given permission to triple the 600-person team. It’s gearing up to go against Tesla first, I’m sure. But will it have the mass success of the iPhone?

  • IBM - Announced a new IBM Cloud-based service to help automakers turn driver and vehicle data into actionable insights for predictive vehicle maintenance, real-time diagnostics on engine trouble, and to guide drivers to the most efficient traffic routes.

  • Daimler - The makers of Mercedes introduced “Concept Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile”, known for short as “Concept IAA”. The Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA is a futuristic car that has all the features of a luxury car - superb aerodynamics, inviting interior, and fancy body work. But it has a digitized experience that extends beyond driver controls to a fully digital process chain from research and development, through production to sales, logistics and services.

  • Volkswagen - Despite the brutal news and turmoil of the Volkswagen emissions scandal, they are the first brand to offer all three major smartphone integration platforms; available on virtually every model and nearly every trim. The new App-Connect system creates seamless integration of compatible smartphones, via three interfaces—Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, and MirrorLink®. App-Connect allows drivers to stay connected to information from their smart devices, while remaining focused on the road ahead. App-Connect will be available on more than 75 percent of 2016 Volkswagen models sold in the U.S. Software for cheating emission standards will presumably have been removed.

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