Steering the next wave of connected vehicles

Asher Faredi and Marwan Joudeh
Thuraya

New developments in connected vehicles have transformed the automotive industry as we know it today. By enabling connectivity for drivers on the move, connected vehicles can help enhance traffic safety, reduce travel time, as well as improve fuel efficiency.

According to a report by GSMA, the global connected vehicle market is expected to grow threefold to reach an estimated value of 39 billion euros ($53 billion) in 2018. Consumer expectations for connectivity in the car have evolved beyond GPS route-mapping — and are shifting towards high-speed internet availability and the deployment of smartphone integration systems.

At the same time, new developments in the connected car market are on the rise to meet the increased demand among car owners for safety and security features. For instance, it has been reported that the United States is exploring a regulatory framework to make machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity mandatory to achieve auto safety improvements.

Driving change with satellite communications

Satellite technology has the potential to significantly broaden the possibilities of connected vehicles, satellite operators are now working with car manufacturers to take on the challenge of extending M2M connectivity. Currently, M2M depends mainly on GSM networks, which can be limited in terms of network coverage, especially for vehicles that are required to cross international borders or be deployed in remote locations.

For users who work beyond GSM networks, satellite connectivity makes the most sense as it addresses mission-critical — such as border patrol units that need coverage and connectivity to transmit video images back to their headquarters, or an emergency response vehicle requiring communications anywhere. Satellite operators are stepping up its efforts to address customer requirements for connectivity in the commercial vehicle arena.

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