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Car Tech: Time for Automakers to Get in the Fast Lane

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The phrase "latest innovation" is almost a misnomer in the automotive space. By the time a new feature is announced, it's already years behind what tech giants like Apple and Google are doing.

The best-case scenario is having new tech in cars a year after everyone else, but more often than not the lag is several years, not several months.

The thing is, it doesn't have to be this way. If automakers just separated tech integration from the rest of the production cycle, they could quickly incorporate the latest innovations (as well as consumer desire).

To help plot an accelerated course, we at Chaotic Moon Studios http://chaoticmoon.com/ partnered with writers from Wired, Fast Company, and ReadWrite to create a series of articles that show those in the auto industry how they can catch up and perhaps even pull head.

Here's a SlideShare of those articles:



In this issue:

Today's car tech is five years old—and that's a big problem. In many ways, we're living in a golden era of the automobile. So why does tech lag so far behind? Manufacturers might as well be offering an in-dash Commodore 64 or Sega Dreamcast.

After tackling infotainment in-house, automakers are turning to outside developers. It would be the car industry's dirty little secret, if it weren't so totally obvious: As anyone who drives a car already knows, today's infotainment systems pretty much stink.

Cars are getting more sophisticated, so why isn't the buying process? Even as the cars we drive have gotten dramatically faster, safer, and smarter, the places we buy them haven't changed much since the days of pushy, clueless salesmen in loud suits.

  • Man and machine: New advances let us interface with vehicles like never before.
  • Car tech's coming of age: Young drivers desire it, yet can't afford it.
  • A new kind of car person: Some owners work on their driving, not their cars.

In addition to sharing our perspectives on the intersection of automotive and technology, we also asked industry heavy hitters for their insights as well. Some highlights:

"Everything is within the capability of the car. Whether it's within the business plan is another matter."
—Gary Strumulo, Global Manager of Interiors, Ford Motor Company

"The sooner carmakers relinquish control of the dashboard, the better."
—Mark Platshon, Senior Advisor, BMW

"Car dealers need to be more 'Genius' and less salesman."
—Elizbeth Kerton, Managing Director, AutoTech Council

For a deeper dive into flawed development cycles, the value of outside developers, integrating biometrics, what millennials want, and how dealerships can evolve, you can download a PDF of this issue of Chaos Theory.


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John Fremont is EVP at Chaotic Moon Studios, a creative technology studio that works with Caesars Entertainment, Disney, Pizza Hut, Intel, and other Fortune 500 companies.

LinkedIn: John C. Frémont

Twitter: @johncfremont

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