We’ve written quite a bit about disruptive technology in new cars, whether it’s production models, prototypes, or drawing board concepts. As each new feature is introduced we usually hear some “WOWS” and also some skepticism until the feature is tested and accepted. Once accepted, the new feature can quickly move to the “must do” category. A current feature that is not very well known is the “inward-facing” camera, an innovation that Cadillac, Tesla, Audi and Volvo are considering. At this point, no car has this feature enabled. Clearly, there are two sides to what this innovation will look like, and those two sides are becoming very familiar:
- this innovation is great because it gets to know me, help me and make my life easier and more convenient
- this innovation is bad as it intrudes into my private space to discover, and potentially share or reveal, information that I consider private
By now, we should all be aware of the advantages and disadvantages that technology can often introduce into our lives. Given the success of products like GOOGLE Home and AMAZON Alexa, it is very clear that the masses are buying into the “convenience” aspects of technology, although there are many who warn us about the loss of personal privacy and the dangers of having your personal information used against you, such as identity theft. There are ongoing developments in the field of “information privacy”, and those technologies could also provide investment opportunities that we will carefully evaluate. To get an idea of where we are going, click here.
So what is it that an inward-facing camera can do, as it watches you and transmits information to all of the vehicle’s systems? For starters, you can positively identify who is in the vehicle, especially in the driver’s seat, and activate all of this driver’s preferred settings. It could monitor the driver’s mood and monitor health indicators, such as glucose levels indicated in the pupils of the eyes. For mood altering, the system could activate the appropriate settings for driving to work, such as music or podcasts to motivate and energize, and on the way home from work, activate relaxing music or meditative mantras. If your health indicators go off the charts, vehicle systems could notify your family, your doctor, the hospital, or 911 emergency services. There are also some simple convenience issues that a camera could help with, such as notify you that items such as your wallet, computer, or phone are being left behind when exiting the vehicle.
As always, the driving force behind many of these innovations is discovering and collecting information about you, and of course there are all those Privacy Policies that every privacy invader wants you to agree to. As mentioned above, the trade-off is that they will provide you with a certain level of “convenience” and you will provide them with a lot of personal insights about yourself and everyone else traveling in your vehicle. Those personal insights will help them advertise effectively, and very soon they will try to sell you even more of the things they have designed and will design to make your life even more convenient.
If you want to see what vehicle technology will look like very soon, take a look at the BYTON electric vehicle on display at the world technology conference in Las Vegas: a dash display that is the size of seven I-Pads, a column of floating address. display for the driver and a consul-mounted display for the passenger. The interiors of electric vehicles have never looked as dazzling as this one.
Let Trend Disruptors be your guide for the future, as we continue to identify technology investment opportunities that can lead to financial success.