A connected vehicle (also called a connected car) is a vehicle that is equipped with Internet access, and usually also with a wireless local area network. This allows the car to share internet access with other devices both inside as well as outside the vehicle.
Connected vehicles offer services and features to consumers through wireless communication systems. Technologies, such as in-vehicle sensors and global positioning systems, generate data that are transmitted through two-way communication between a vehicle and a central computer system or a call center. As shown in figure 1, automakers use third parties to provide connectivity (e.g., enable a vehicle to transmit and receive voice and data communications) and typically contract with third parties to provide support for the services offered in connected vehicles ("connected vehicle services").
For example, automakers may contract with:
- • telecommunication companies to connect a vehicle to the internet or a wireless network,
- • telematics service providers to provide connected vehicle services by staffing calling centers and processing data, and
- • content providers to provide optional applications, similar to those available on a smartphone, that consumers can access through their vehicle's console.
Connected vehicles can offer consumers a range of safety, security, and convenience services. For example, roadside assistance and automatic crash notification services allow for voice and data communication between a vehicle and a person at a call center. In providing these services, connected vehicles generate, transmit, and receive various types of data, such as a car's location.
- ↑ Connectivity may be provided through a subscriber identity module—SIM—card and modem embedded in the vehicle. Connectivity may also be provided through a consumer's smartphone. In this case, the consumer's smartphone must be in the vehicle, and data are transferred or received using the consumer's cellular data plan.
- "Overview" section: Vehicle Data Privacy: Industry and Federal Efforts Under Way but NHTSA Needs to Define Its Role, at 6-7.
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