I must confess that I as much as I adore my classic, I also love futuristic, automotive innovations. Needless to say, I can’t read enough about autonomous and connected vehicles – indeed, this was the talk of CES last week, and the Detroit Auto Show this week. And if you’re like me, you’ve probably wondered how our classics and hot rods fit into this future.
In honor of these shows, I thought it only fitting to focus this month’s blog on that topic. One of the goals of my blog is to not only entertain, but to also keep you informed of relevant topics. And I, for one, think that understanding how we will ‘play nicely and share the road’ with the autonomous vehicles (many say beginning as early as 2020) is a very relevant topic!
First some background to get us all on the same page. I think that most of us understand the concept of the autonomous vehicle – a vehicle that can guide itself without a human driver. In many cases, vehicle manufacturers have already been building many of those functions into new cars (think Parking Assist, Self-Braking, etc.) But what many don’t realize is that the ‘Connected’ concept is equally important to understand. You might have heard terms like V2V or V2I to describe what is going on here. This connected concept – whether your car is autonomous or driver-driven – will affect all of us. In fact, in the not-to-distant future all automobile manufacturers will be required to integrate Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) technology into every vehicle built. What are these exactly?
Wikipedia provides a nice summary of V2V and V2I, and I’ve transcribed some of the info here: First, it’s important to understand the ‘why’ of these systems. The main motivation for vehicular communication systems is safety and eliminating the excessive cost of traffic collisions (especially saving lives.) V2V is an automobile technology designed to allow automobiles to "talk" to each other. V2I is about directly linking road vehicles to their physical surroundings, again first and foremost in order to improve road safety. For example, through V2I, roadway markings and road signs could become obsolete. In summary, these vehicular communication systems are networks in which vehicles and roadside units are the communicating nodes, providing each other with information, such as safety warnings and traffic information.
Why does this matter to you and your classic? Shortly after the auto manufacturers integrate this functionality into the new cars, the effort to retrofit other existing vehicles will ramp up, creating an industry around the ‘connected car’. Essentially, those of us who still want to drive our classics will have to ‘play nice’ with the other connected vehicles on the road, and add sensors and devices to our cars as part of the connected environment.
However, we in the classic car community know that retrofitting a 1929 Packard, a 1963 MGB, or a 1975 Camaro for example, is completely different from retrofitting a 2004 Audi.
The differences are:
Lack of any computer systems to pull information from
Lack of clean, regulated power from the vehicle to the device(s)
A completely different mindset of the vehicle owner having concern over where the device(s) is located in the car
How the external components are hidden/visible
How the human interface is presented
What information is broadcast
Diminished/Increased value from adding these systems
Our company, Classic Automotive Innovations, would like to assure you that we will be looking out for our classic car community’s best interest. It is our intent to:
Represent the classic car market / owner in the regulation process (trust us, there’s a lot going on in Washington, D.C. about how all of this will be regulated. We will be involved, representing our enthusiast community.)
Provide design direction to aftermarket device manufacturers (no big ugly antennas for us!)
Provide the classic car owner with V2V hardware options (we understand what works – and what doesn’t work - in our cars.)
Provide the classic car owner with the mobile device applications to communicate with the V2V device(s) in their car, as a means to interface with them (with no computers or touch-screens in our cars, we still need to communicate with the other vehicles.)
Provide best practices to the classic car market on how to restore with V2V in mind (we understand the nuances.)
Over the coming months, we will be publishing a series of blog posts and whitepapers on this subject. Please check back often for additional information and/or subscribe to our newsletter for ongoing updates. And in the meantime, we would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Feel free to drop us an email at Blog@ClassicAutoInnovations.com with your thoughts. What do you think? Will you do everything in your power to retrofit your classic car so that you can go forward to the future, and continue to keep our classics on the road?
Coming soon in the series -- Wire Wheels Wife: Confessions from outside the garage:
‘Classic Millennials’ – Oxymoron? I think not! An interview with insight from the future.
“I thought you were going to paint the car white? Is it sick? It looks a little….mint greenish?”
“How revving the engine of the Sprite led our son to the Revs program at Stanford.”
“Seriously? You have the auction channel on again?”
Pam Induni and her husband Brian are the co-founders of Classic Automotive Innovations. After spending years in high-tech marketing, Pam finally saw the light, helping to turn her husband’s hobby and passion into a business to help preserve these amazing pieces of history. She still calls the little British cars ‘cute’, still has a soft spot for her very first car (an olive green Dodge Dart Swinger!), and is still waiting for an Austin Healey 3000 to show up in her garage…