There are four automotive manufacturers at the Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona this year: Daimler, BMW, Ford, and Peugeot. And if CES is any indicator, expect more to follow in the next few years.
Peugeot is going the furthest in bringing a world-premiere concept car to MWC, the Peugeot Instinct. The car demonstrates the company’s partnership with the Samsung Artik Cloud IoT connectivity platform, which aggregates data from smartwatches, smartphones, social networks, and more. The Peugeot and another partner, the data science company Sentiance, use the data to make profiles of the vehicle’s user. (Since the goal here is autonomous mobility, “driver” isn’t really the right word.)
Mercedes-Benz is showcasing its CASE strategy — Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Service, and Electric Drive — with several products under the Daimler umbrella, including Moovel and Car2go. Visitors to the booth can explore the Concept EQ with VR or check out the COMAND Online connectivity and navigation tools in the Mercedes-Benz E Class Coupe. The company is also debuting its “smart ready to share” service, which lets owners share a car with friends or coworkers, and the “smart ready to drop” service, which allows package deliveries right to your trunk.
BMW is expected to expand on its connected car plans later this week. Ford is also at MWC, but it seems to be keeping a lower profile so far. Speakers from Roborace and Formula E will give keynote addresses, and the agenda includes sessions on autonomous vehicles and cars as a service.
Attending MWC 2017 is smart on the part of car companies, given that in Q1 2016, more cars were newly connected to cell service than any other kind of device. Much of the new growth for mobility companies is likely to come from connected vehicles in the next decade.