In car Telematics, or navigation and infotainment systems available in cars, are becoming ubiquitous in new mid-range car designs and above. The network is usually referred to as the Internet of Cars as the vehicles are now network connected, receiving live information such as traffic updates, video streams and mobile communications through high speed data networks.
As a fast developing country, China’s industries and infrastructures are being built from the ground up, rather than being updated as they are in the West. This allows new technologies to be embedded in the designs of infrastructures and the machines using them.
China’s auto industry has grown from partnerships with American and European auto makers, entering a period of high growth in the past decade thanks to the fast growing middle class buying cars. That growth has allowed Chinese manufacturers to become innovators and design new cars without the help of western counterparts.
As for telematics, China is still playing catch up in terms of innovation, and relies mostly on the expertise of foreign companies to design systems for the China market, but as China becomes the largest automobile market in the world, Chinese manufacturers will invest in their own technology. According to auto12365.com (Chinese), Bosch is cooperating with JAC (Jianghuai Automobile Co Ltd) to develop a new in-vehicle infotainment system; Chrysler is teaming with Hughes Telematics to design its own telematics model; and the newly launched SUV Kuga by Chang’an Ford is fitted with a multimedia infotainment system designed for China.
Finally, with the implementation of new traffic rules in China, banning the use of mobile phones while driving (finally) since January 1st, manufacturers will increasingly offer in car voice systems, so drivers can make full use of their time in the country’s notorious traffic jams.
The Chinese telematics industry is set to develop very fast, a trend that will undoubtedly pull the global industry to new heights with demand for technologies patented outside China.
Check out this Engadget article to see what a car built by Chinese brand BYD can do when it’s full of cool electronics (Spoiler: you can drive it from outside the car).