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My Car, My Way: Why Not? I Paid for It!

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3 Author(s)
Joe Ziomek ; JFZ and Associates, Miami, Florida USA ; Len Tedesco ; Tom Coughlin

Apple and Android portable personal communications devices come with the ability to customize their features and performance, mostly using downloadable applications. Downloading and installing applications lets users customize their device and have it their way at a very nominal or even no additional cost. Typical automobiles cost US$15,000-50,000 and come preprogrammed from the factory based on the manufacturer's perceptions about what consumers want. The time taken to design and manufacture automobiles results in an 18-24-month delay from design to delivery, and the actual sale may take additional months. In the mobile consumer electronics market, 18-24 months can be the useful life of the product. In that amount of time, consumers will likely upgrade to a new product, or their needs and desires may have led them to customize these devices with many downloadable applications. Cars with fixed features designed long before their delivery to consumers are an anachronism. The car of the future will be different. Automobiles are designed around computers, storage, and software and are now as much an electronic system as a mechanical one. In a real sense, personal vehicles are also mobile consumer electronic devices. As a consequence, automobiles are becoming true applications platforms where users will download applications that can customize the features, performance, and capabilities of the vehicle to suit the needs and desires of the consumer-today's car is “my car, my way.”

Published in:

IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine  (Volume:2 ,  Issue: 3 )