Tag Archives: Internet of Things

Does the Future Belong to Connected Cars?

[Connected car is] the presence of devices in an automobile that connect the devices to other devices within the car/vehicles and or devices, networks and services outside the car.

Taking into account this definition*, a big question remains: does the future of Automotive really belong to Connected Cars?

New technologies for a new paradigm

Before moving forward, it is important to know the main kinds of systems that can be connected through modular and/or embedded solutions. According to autoconnectedcar.com* these are:

  • music/audio, podcasts, Internet radio via various devices such as smartphone or Internet-enabled tablet;
  • navigation (either through a smartphone/iPhone application or through a built-in GPS navigation system);
  • automotive system diagnosis (oil pressure, OB-II computer system information for service, engine diagnostics, …);
  • bluetooth;
  • road side assistance;.
  • voice commands and hands-free controls;
  • contextual help/offers;
  • parking apps;
  • automobile diagnostics;
  • other services like steering for parking, engine-style-controls and other ADAS features;
  • 4G Wi-Fi hotspots.

SEE ALSO: Biometrics, Wearable Technologies and Motorsport

Which are the main pros of connected cars?

Besides cyber security issues, connectivity applied to the Automotive sector – both with the external world and inside the car – offers a wide range of benefits, for each of the stakeholders involved**.

  • Safer drivingvia ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) and V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) communication;
  • Green driving: through big data solutions and V2I (vehicle-to-infrastructure) interactions;
  • Entertainment/infotainment: by supporting different devices like smartphones, tablets, sensors, cameras, on-board diagnostics and automated driver assistance systems.


Undoubtedly, there are many benefits of connectivity**. We are not (just) talking about the possibility to buy food through in-car ordering dynamics***, but we are studying this solution from a higher and looking-forward perspective:

Any sensory data collected by a connected vehicle will be fused, analyzed and presented to a driver on the fly, alerting him to take a necessary action.

Will worldwide consumers be ready to use this innovation on a daily basis in the near future? If so, which other connected solutions may be put in place through new technologies, like Internet of Things? Participate now in the following LapTime Club community’s challenges:

* autoconnectedcar.com, Definition of Connected Car – What is the connected car? Defined
** eetimes.com, Topic Teardown: Connected Cars' Pros & Cons
*** pcmag.com, Pizza Hut, Visa Experimenting With In-Car Ordering

Innovation Chat with Alessandro, one of the 2014 LapTime Club Winners

As one of the winners of the first phase of the LapTime Club project, Alessandro proposed a breakthrough idea about integrating data collection with the Google Glass technology.

SEE ALSO: Alessandro Sarcina: my Laptime Club idea? Integrating Google Glass and Data Collection

Like any innovator, he has the ability to truly think outside of imposed boundaries and deliver creative solutions to different kinds of problems. Recently he has participated in the Intel hackathon dedicated to Internet of Things (IoT) and together with his team won the first prize, proposing an innovative solution to a common everyday issue.

Innovation often comes from having a wide-ranging vision and unconventional approach. It seems to be linked less with the expertise and more with how one’s mind can think about details while still focusing on the bigger picture and with the ability to put together a wild idea and the reality.

Discover through the following interview more about Alessandro’s recent project, his approach to innovation and his method for creative problem solving:


I’ve been hearing of IoT for many years, mainly in the academic environment. Nowadays the technology is offering attractive solutions to many issues related to this topic, however there are still many relevant questions that remain open, such as security, energy consumption and communication standards. The ambition to connect multiple objects to the Internet must surely lead us to rethink the way we live and interact with the outside world, managing increasing number of available information.

What personally fascinate me about this area are the infinite potential implementation possibilities and the ubiquity of the issue. As a matter of fact, it could really revolutionize everyday life but especially bring significant contributions into business areas that could benefit in terms of efficiency and cost reduction of some business processes.


In this last experience, the innovative process started from the creation of the group and from the passion for the topic. Immediately after we decided to begin with daily needs and look for solutions to everyday problems. One of these was our project Trashly – a solution to the garbage and recycling collection of household waste.

Trashly 3

Trashly is a system that is activated as soon as the user approaches the recycling bins, a photo of the object to be recycled is taken and a third-party cloud service identifies the content of the image. At this point the system, on the basis of the information received, determines the type of object to recycle and opens the correct bin.

Once the problem is identified, you can design the solution starting from the expertise of each team member, the tools available and especially considering the time constraints. The final approach is to be evaluated in front of the real problem and its criticalities. The most important thing should be changing the perspective from “I stop here because I don’t know how to proceed” to “Let’s see how we can move forward”.


I don’t think it’s a personal approach, I believe however, that it is necessary to have your mind open in order to solve problems by using less conventional tools and methods.


In this kind of projects it is preferable to work with people who have great technical skills, but also knowledge of different fields and industries. It is always important to have a motivated team.


There are three things that are absolutely intangible. The first and most important one is passion. There should be also curiosity and desire to learn, and finally the excitement and adrenaline of doing something new.


We will see…:)


Rethinking infotainment in Motorsport and Automotive: big deal or (still) big challenge?

Infotainment - a neologistic portmanteau of information and entertainment – is generally described as information-based media content or programming that also includes entertainment content, in an effort to enhance popularity with audiences. When focusing on the Motorsport and Automotive industry, the term refers to the hardware/software products and systems built into, or added to vehicles in order to enhance driver and/or passenger experience*. 

Pros and cons of infotainment

Despite its great awareness among people and users, nowadays infotainment is still “read” and approached through a double lens.

On the one side, the usage of infotainment systems in Motorsport and Automotive becomes useful to enrich the driver’s experience while offering innovative services like apps, multimedia readers, real-time content/information digital providers. A related topic concerns connected cars, which have established a new ecosystem powered by the Internet of Things*.

On the other side -above all in the Automotive sector - the main issue is related to the amount of problems faced by drivers while using infotainment systems. To cope with this criticality, some Automotive brands are staffing dealerships with dedicated tech support specialists***:

While investigating whether the current explosion of automotive technology will cause owners of a late-model cars to visit a shop more often, everyone we spoke with agreed that he biggest failure with in-car technology has little to do with vehicle systems and more to do with owners. [...] And with automakers adding infotainment systems that increasingly rely on software rather than hardware – such as music streaming to a smartphone and then to the car via Bluetooth – issues with car owners rather than the car’s components have become more common.

SEE ALSO: Taking data-driven decisions with the Analytics of Things

Infotainment in Motorsport: your opinion matters

As shown in the paragraphs above, the introduction of infotainment dynamics to the Motorsport and Automotive industry is still balancing among challenges to meet, future developments to exploit and criticalities to solve.

By the way, any breakthrough ideas linked to the topic? If so, come on board and join now the LapTime Club community: read other members’ suggestions and post your own ones!

Infotainment LTC

Last but not least, do not forget to take the LapTime Club survey: either you are or not a Member, your opinions are very precious to optimize Magneti Marelli’s social innovation community and drive its future evolution.

* Wikipedia.org, Infotainment
** Jahangir Mohammed, How Connected Cars Have Established A New Ecosystem Powered By IoT, techcrunch.com
*** Doug Newcomb, Car Tech Isn’t Failing. Owners and Infotainment Interfaces Are, wired.com

Taking data-driven decisions with the Analytics of Things

The Internet of Things generates massive amounts of structured and unstructured data, requiring a new class of big data analytics to uncover and capture value.

These few words - included inside the Analytics Trends 2015 report recently produced by Deloitte - perfectly introduce the topic of Analytics of Things (AoT).

SEE ALSO: How does Vehicle-to-Infrastructure work, and which are its main benefits?

Every device connected to a network automatically transfers data. Sensors generate a huge amount of data, that becomes useful just if processed and turned into predictions (or other valuable information manageable and actually “consumed” by users).

Analytics can be described as turning data into information.

Analytics can be Descriptive (What happened and why?), Predictive (What is (probably) going to happen?) or Prescriptive (What should I do about it?). These distinctions are still valuable for the Analytics of Thingsthe guide to IoT Analytics written by Tellient underlines a completely new business arena where companies start competing on (big) data.

Wal-Mart is now both a retailer and a data company, creating a “social genome” to integrate big data analysis of their customers’ social data and purchasing habits. They call it that because it is essentially a “living organism” that drives their business.

Data is where opportunities are for disruption: who is going to own and smartly manage them? New opportunities disclosed by IoT are (still) to be discovered, and Analytics of Things may open interesting scenarios also for the Motorsport world. Now, it’s up to you: any other disruptive ideas about how Internet of Things could be re-imagined and exploited in the automotive industry and racing?

If so, register/login to Magneti Marelli Lap Time Club and start changing the future by posting your smartest suggestions! #LapTimeClub

How Internet of Things will save the (Motorsport) World

As suggested by many professionals and researchers from all over the world over the last year and a half, the Internet of Things (IoT) will shortly become a powerful way to make the world (and people lives) smarter through the power of connections.

As a matter of fact, the IoT has changed the traditional behavior of many objects: if Internet connects people, internet of things links different objects within an Internet-like structure and makes them more effective through net technologies and a smarter use of data. According to an article published by Gartner in December 2013, the Internet of Things installed base will grow to 26 billion units by 2020*. Forbes** stresses how its main benefits include faster time to market, improved reliability, predictive maintenance and better life cycle management.

SEE ALSO: Taking data-driven decisions with the Internet of Things


Applied to the automotive & motorsport field, IoT becomes the Internet of Cars:

“ ‘Connected vehicles’ are cars that access, consume, create, enrich, direct, and share digital information between businesses, people, organizations, infrastructures, and things. Those “things” include other vehicles, which is where the Internet of Things becomes the Internet of Cars.

As these vehicles become increasingly connected, they become self-aware, contextual, and eventually, autonomous. Those of you reading this will probably experience self-driving cars in your lifetime — though maybe not all three of its evolutionary phases: from automated to autonomous to unmanned.” ***

By the way, on the Laptime ClubMagneti Marelli Motorsport’s social innovation community – lots of members are talking and sharing ideas about the potential link between IoT and automotive & racing industry:

  • Is it possible to imagine IoT usage also in the automotive industry and racing?
  • Which could be the set of benefits potentially brought by this integration?

So, how Internet of Things could be re-imagined and exploited in the automotive industry and racing? Join now the challenge and the LapTime Club, fuel the collective intelligence through crowd mechanisms: let’s innovate together!

* Gartner, Gartner Says the Internet of Things Installed Base Will Grow to 26 Billion Units By 2020, gartner.com
** R. O. Bagley, What’s the Real Potential of the Internet of Things?, forbes.com
*** T. Koslowski, Forget the Internet of Things: Here Comes the ‘Internet of Cars’ ”, wired.com