Connected cars are slowly but surely becoming more commonplace, mirroring the smartphone takeover of the mobile communications market, albeit at a much slower pace. But as we get more and more connected vehicles on the road, the ability of companies to take advantage of the accumulated data becomes greater and greater.

Now, one Cisco executive, Andreas Mai, has put a number on just what one car's total data will mean in savings for a number of interested parties. According to a report from Automotive News, the average motorist will stand to save $550 per year thanks to smarter routing from navigation systems that allow them to both avoid traffic and improve fuel economy.

Society, as a whole, will benefit thanks to data that allows for an improved traffic flow and higher road capacity, with $420 in savings. Mai estimates that the service providers – those companies that provide the traffic guidance, navigation, parking services and such – should see $150 in value per car. Finally, the automakers should see an extra $300 in value thanks to app design and smarter diagnostics that lower warranty costs.

And while this is all very much still pie-in-the-sky stuff (connected cars are still in their infancy), the prospects are quite exciting. The sole sticking point we can really see has to do with privacy. The average citizen might not appreciate their commuting habits being monitored by faceless corporations, with some potentially electing to opt out.

The idea of incentivizing cooperation is one possibility, but even Mai recognizes that privacy and ownership of the data will be an issue, "There have to be rules about who owns the data. Most likely it's the consumer, since he bought the car. A balance needs to be struck."

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      I call bullsh!t on those dollar figures. Traffic re-routing can be great, but it only works well when the majority of others don\'t have it. You can\'t ALL get off the highway at the same spot and take the local roads, and you certainly can\'t all take the exact same computer-determined detour. Traffic rerouting is available in $100 stand-alone GPS units, and has been for years. And it does nothing to prevent regular commuter traffic that happens daily, it only helps with irregular incidents. I live off of I-95 in CT, and every clown thinks they can hop off my exit onto Rt 1 every time traffic backs up. Trouble is, my exit ramp is half a mile long, and it costs me an extra 15 minutes from people \"saving time\" by taking local roads. I can\'t wait for even more people to try it. I, for one, dislike the trend of built-in infotainment systems. They might be shiny and trendy now, but as was just released earlier today, the average car on the road is 11.5 yrs old. I can swap out a single DIN stereo in a variety of cheap 11-year-old cars for under $100 and get Bluetooth/iPod/MP3/USB connectivity, but try upgrading one of these touchscreen systems 11 yrs from now for that cheap. And good luck thinking the camaker will provide updates for it after 3 or 4 years. I just wish I wasn\'t forced to pay ~$1500 for these type of systems in the car, but if you want to drive anything that isn\'t low-end, you\'re stuck with it. And there\'s no way in hell I\'m paying for a dataplan for my car in addition to my smartphone.
      Anonymous Howard
      • 2 Years Ago
      "... service providers – those companies that provide the traffic guidance, navigation, parking services and such – should see $150 in value per car." Now to find a way for these service providers to pay me for providing them the info.
      • 2 Years Ago
      My GS4 does just fine. Google navigation has real time traffic, and even will show what lane of traffic is backed up and based on color how bad. I can literally look at my phone and see which lane will work out best for me. If you watch it you can see a small red section pop up when a traffic light changes, now that is some resolution! No OEM system even approaches that from what I have seen, and costs thousands of dollars.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Less about trying to prevent drivers stuck in traffic and more about reaping up all that marketing data. Where drivers go, where they stop, when they drive, how they drive... all to help tailor ads and products for each driver. Whatever car companies are willing to discount for drivers willing to provide the data will be pretty small compared to how much they can sell that data for.
      • 2 Years Ago
      And how much will you data will be sold for.....
      • 2 Years Ago
      In 2000 navigation was standard on all Mercedes ML V8's and was optional on the V6. Update maps ran about $400 for a full set (using CD's takes a bunch of discs). Evidently MB wasn't making much money on the updates and 2004 was the last year for updates for the CD based systems leaving hundreds of thousands of customers with nowhere to turn. Alpine was the OEM supplier and I expect would have been glad to provide updated disks if allowed to by MB but the answer was no. Get out the Mobil1. Many owners of German sedans and SUV's out of warranty are collectively finding out that faulty four year old audio / nav components can cost $2K+ and another $1K to install yielding out of date technology with only a 1 year warranty. On many of these cars the audio/navigation unit is purpose built with few decent looking non OEM replacement options. I believe the day will come when these companies (oddly enough, expensive Asian cars largely dodge these problems) out of warranty premium vehicles are going to have to make available these “car killer” components that can cost more than half the value of car being repaired. I have an interesting observation: regardless of the original prices note how soon a vehicle’s price equals that of a Ford F150 of the same year regardless of mileage. A lunchtime review of your local Auto Trader often lists ten year old F150’s for the same or more than same year 7 series BMW’s, Audi A8’s and Mercedes Benz S Class cars. There is anecdotal evidence that performance versions like M series, AMG and Audi’s S series cars become worth less than the standard versions when they grow old and were produced in such numbers that they don’t become collectible. The parts prices for performance car parts can often be 2X or 3X times the cost of already ridiculous parts prices. Let's hope that competition will force automakers to offer front ends for your smart phone so they are only providing an amp, speakers, display and Bluetooth. That way we'll keep the cost down (yea, right) and the technology from a software perspective will be updated as often as needed. If they want their own brand they could write their own app to deliver the Germanic touch and feel. OBDCII is moving to what is essentially USB which will provide new ground for the manufacturers, insurance companies and everybody else that is trying to get into your wallet but what else is news?
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