SEAT and Orange partner on development and use of connected vehicles

SEAT and Orange Spain have entered into a strategic partnership to promote the development and use of connect vehicles by focussing on several work areas.

As part of the deal, the companies will focus on three primary areas: formulation of innovations for connected vehicles to enhance user experience; turn the car into the user’s second digital home by bringing digital home or office experience to the vehicle and launch a cross-company loyalty and frequent use programme to promote use of the new connectivity and mobility solutions (related to connected cars) rolled out by them in the market.

The partnership is not just confined to the formulation of digital applications for cars but both SEAT and Orange will work together to generate initiatives that encourage using the fresh functions. The loyalty programme is a result of these initiatives.

Under their efforts to enhance entertainment and leisure services for drivers and passengers, initially music, audiovisual and learning content will be included – without any compromise to the safety of the vehicle occupants.

Luis Santos, Orange Director of Innovation and New Digital Services for Spain, expressed confidence that “this strategic agreement with SEAT is a great step for Orange in its strategy of connected objects and Big Data and opens the door to innovations and new developments surrounding cars of the future, which will contribute to helping us achieve our goal of connecting our customers with what truly matters most to them.”

While inking the deal, Arantxa Alonso, Head of Business Development at SEAT, comments: “This partnership opens up a large collaborative space for both companies that are pursuing a common goal – promote the use of the connected car and make the car user’s experience easier and more efficient.” Latest from the homepage

Cloudera: Data is putting insurers in the driving seat

Cloudera: Data is putting insurers in the driving seat

Dr. Richard Harmon, Director, EMEA Financial Services, Cloudera, sheds light on the opportunity and risk that IoT data poses for the insurance industry.

A perfect storm of rapid technological advances and changing customer behaviors has accelerated the rate of disruption in many industries. Now these forces have started to hit the insurance sector, but how many providers are ready to face up to them?

Insurers have always been data savvy, but they will have to move faster than ever to keep pace with competitors and other industries in the modern environment. To make it in this new landscape, where opportunities and risks can evaporate just as quickly as they appeared, insurers need to be agile and adaptable to whatever comes their way.

Until recently, the Internet of Things (IoT) was a strategic focus for only the most progressive insurers. It was viewed as a future-gazing technology for which most insurers adopted a “wait and see” attitude. Such a stance is no longer viable. Those who took a gamble have demonstrated its advantages, highlighting how data from automotive sensors, wearables, and telematic devices can improve risk assessment, reduce fraud and ultimately grow a business.

UK-based general insurer Markerstudy is among those early adopters reaping the rewards. With its big data analytics platform, the company says it has reduced claim costs by £5 million through real-time fraud detection and increased policy count by 120 percent in 18 months. Key to Markerstudy’s success was its use of a big data analytics platform which allowed the company to provide better service at the point of quote, and inform pricing and product development decisions with greater ease and speed.

In the context of car insurance, as the IoT and the sensors connected to vehicles mature, data will play an increasingly important role in helping insurers unearth clear, actionable insights that benefit customers and help the insurance business flourish. Connected car technology has quickly raced to front of the IoT hype cycle, with Gartner predicting that there will be 250 million internet connected vehicles on the road worldwide by 2020. As these vehicles become laden with a growing number of sensors and tracking tools, businesses face a dilemma over how to manage, secure and understand the barrage of data they amass. The provider of today needs the ability to turn these data into valuable insights while balancing the perennial challenges of maximizing profitability and combating cyber crime.

More data, more threats

As we’ve seen in recent years, with a number of high profile attacks and data leaks, no industry is safe from the threat of cyber attacks or hacking. The risk for insurers is real. More data means more complexity, and this can open the door to cybersecurity threats.

Cyberattacks were recently reported as an imminent concern for insurers interviewed as part of the 2017 Insurance Banana Skins Report. While this is hardly surprising, the message is clear: security is paramount when it comes to the IoT. The future fight against IoT cybercrime will be fought on many fronts, but one tool insurers have in their arsenal is data.

Big data can play a critical role in protecting the insurance industry from IoT-related cyber threats. Having a cybersecurity platform that can scale to trillions of events is key to ensuring comprehensive monitoring of all the IoT devices connecting to and accessing a network. Applying machine learning for anomaly detection will allow insurers to continue to detect suspicious endpoint behaviors without sifting through countless false positives. Cybersecurity should be a topic on all insurers’ agenda, especially with the looming implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will see organizations fined up to €20 million or 4 percent of annual global turnover – whichever is higher – for lax data practices.

Quid pro quo

As well as an evolving threatscape, however, insurers must also bear in mind that consumer attitudes towards data have changed dramatically. It’s now accepted that consumers allow access to their data in return for better deals and more content from brands. It’s a quid pro quo; consumers are happy to give up their personal data in exchange for benefits, but the nature and amount of data shared depends on the perceived value of the benefit. Understanding this mindset will be crucial going forwards as insurers realize the true value of data and increasingly look to mine more of it.

Case in point: selected insurance providers have long been fitting a clever device into drivers’ cars to measure driving behavior. A black box fitted to a customer’s car constantly records information, such as GPS location, driving speed, distance and time of drive, rapid/smooth acceleration or braking and cornering habits. The benefit now is that insurers can analyze this data to create a personalized record of each customer’s driving habits. By focusing on their individual characteristics and tendencies, insurers can more accurately predict the odds and cost of the customer filing a claim, and adjust rates and deductibles accordingly. Using this insight, someone who drives less responsibly can be charged a higher premium than a driver who drives smoothly, and with less calculated risk of claim propensity.

Read more: Automotive insurers admit to being ill-prepared for digital risks

Driving the future

One thing is certain, the insurance sector of the future will look very different to how it does today. This major change isn’t in the distance or on the horizon, it’s already happening. The IoT and the data it generates is driving much of this change. This presents an opportunity for insurers, but it also creates challenges. Insurers are already embracing data in innovative ways to help save lives, reduce accidents and protect against cyber threats. But, as IoT strategies mature, this data will be invaluable in helping insurers unearth insights about their customers, which adds business value and is cost-effective.

Read more: Q&A: Blue Cross Blue Shield MA – how IoT is changing health insurance

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Seat adjustments still manual, as Tesla shuffles Autopilot execs


Tesla has hired Andrej Karpathy to be the new Director of AI and Autopilot Vision, following the departure of Autopilot software leader Chris Lattner.

Karpathy will split his duties on Autopilot with Jim Keller, the head of Autopilot hardware.

See Also: Who is responsible for autonomous car regulation?

Lattner has only been around for six months and hinted that the departure was not amicable on Twitter. He previously worked at Apple, where he created the Swift programming language.

Karpathy previously worked at OpenAI, the artificial intelligence firm created by Elon Musk, as a research scientist. He is considered an expert in deep learning, having interned at Google’s DeepMind Technologies and taught deep learning at Stanford.

Karpathy will report directly to Musk and work alongside Keller. In a statement, Tesla said: “Andrej has worked to give computers vision through his work on ImageNet, as well as imagination through the development of generative models, and the ability to navigate the internet with reinforcement learning. Andrej completed his computer vision PhD at Stanford University, where he demonstrated the ability to derive complex descriptions of images using a deep neural net.”

No changes detailed….yet

Tesla has not detailed any changes to the Autopilot roadmap with this shuffle, but rumors say that the company is ramping up its hiring practices for AI and self-driving experts. Musk may see the growing investment in self-driving cars from major automakers as a potential threat, although he remains adamant that Tesla is ahead of most car manufacturers.

Musk is aiming to have driverless Autopilot on the roads by the end of the decade and may launch a ride-sharing service to make that possible, as noted in his Master Plan: Part Deux blog post.

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Fasten Your Seat Belt: Connected Car Data Worth $1.5 Trillion

Data is literally everywhere, and in many cases, we’re not even sure where it’s going. This conundrum raises plenty of questions, especially when it comes to connected cars: Who owns the data? Who gets to analyze it? What can be done with it? And perhaps most important of all, is it worth anything?

McKinsey projects the value of this data could reach – fasten your seat belts — $ 1.5 trillion by the year 2030, and it might even become a key focus area for the automotive industry. Naturally, high-tech giants will want to take a shortcut onto this revenue-generating roadway – not to mention the myriad startups and service providers that also desire to rev up data mining capabilities for connected cars.

While the opportunity to monetize data from connected cars exists, understanding privacy issues and the business impact of data ownership might prove to be the ultimate roadblock. Thankfully, a panel of experts recently discussed the risk and reward of making money from connected cars during a recent SAP Radio broadcast, “Future of Cars: Show Me the Value – Connected-Autonomous Vehicle Data.”

Gleaning proper insight

Heather Ashton, research manager at IDC Manufacturing Insights, believes over the past several years, the car industry has been focused on collecting data, which is shortsighted.

“If you don’t have analytics or an ability to actually mine that data, then it’s not worth anything to you,” said Ashton. “Sure, put sensors everywhere, collect data; that gives you sight but it doesn’t give you vision. It doesn’t give you the ability to take action on the data, which is what needs to happen from an autonomous vehicle and a connected car perspective.”

Otto Schell, Global SAP business architect and SAP Center of Excellence Lead at GM, also believes a holistic vision is needed when it comes to monetizing data from connected cars. To underscore his point, Schell cites a quote from German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer: “The alchemists in their search for gold discovered many other things of greater value.”

“The reality is that we’ve been getting sensor data from vehicles for many, many years and we’ve always been trying to figure out how to make money from it or how to deliver value,” said Schell. “So, buried in all this data we receive and analyze and is probably value far beyond what we expect to be looking for.”

Larry Stolle, senior global director of Automotive Marketing at SAP, agrees. He believes it takes some hard looking to find value you can monetize across the broad universe of customers and drivers. “It’s just not always obvious,” said Stolle. “The same gold is never always obvious inside of a mountain.”

Sharing the wealth

One obvious way to monetize data from connected cars is through ride-sharing programs like Lyft, as original equipment manufacturers will undoubtedly want to get into the game. And with Washington, D.C. looking to supplement emergency vehicles with Uber, and the German Postal Service investing heavily in electric vehicles, it’s not hard to see the opportunities that exist. And of course, major car manufacturers like Toyota, GM, and Ford are acquiring the innovation and adding it to the innovation that they have in-house.

“Disruptors and the small startups need to exist because they can move more quickly and aren’t held back by the shareholders,” said IDC’s Heather Ashton. “But the platform companies like Ford, GM, and Toyota are going to then acquire them or acquire the technology to be able to move more quickly and maintain competitiveness in the market.”

Listen to the entirety of this Future of Cars with Game Changers Radio broadcast, hosted by Bonnie D. Graham, here.

This story also appeared on the SAP Business Trends community.

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Exploring automotive innovation: Is technology in the driver’s seat?

As traditional IT hardware business continues to commoditise, technology companies are looking for new industries to disrupt. The global automotive industry, with almost 90 million annual sales, provides a huge opportunity with global reach. In this blog, CPA Global shares patent trends following an analysis of the automotive industry. The automotive industry is a significant […]

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