The point at which intelligent vehicle systems can take control of the wheel, step in with advice on route planning and keep tabs on the habits and behaviours of drivers is no longer a distant prospect.
The handful of companies involved in outfitting the intelligent cockpit of Project Arrow, the Canadian electric prototype vehicle, aim to get in on the ground floor of this connected-vehicle era. The goal is to make driving more convenient while generating a stream of consumer data that can be monetized.
“There’s going to be an inflection point where the data’s more valuable than the metal and plastic,” said Flavio Volpe, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA).
While Project Arrow stays rooted in the present — it is designed to 2025-model-year standards — the trade association behind the project focused on connectivity and data monetization from the outset.
The auto industry has had a cockpit for a long time, said Ron DiCarlantonio, CEO of the Toronto-based technology company iNAGO Inc., but it’s “not very good.”
“It started as a radio,” DiCarlantonio said. “It’s now a computer, but it doesn’t do very much. It does a fraction of what your phone does.”