IoT and the Edge


The craziness that is the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is
and always will be the blur to jump start my recovery from the holidays. It
remains one of the busiest weeks on the calendar for any attendee, much less an
automotive industry analyst. At the event, I formally met with more than 30
automotive suppliers and manufacturers (not including all the informal
introductions, run-ins, and booth/coffee chats), all eager to provide updates
on their latest announcements, partnerships, and investments. If time and
travel wouldn’t have been a constraint, that number would have been much

Following a variety of small scale 5G
rollouts in 2019
, the rubber is hitting the road in terms of making the
next-gen cellular technology available to the masses with the recent low-band
spectrum 5G launches from AT&T and T-Mobile. For the past month, I have
been putting those recent deployments through their paces and came away with a
few impressions on low-band 5G’s impact on today’s user experience.

Think about all the connected “things” you carry with you or have in your home: Smart phones, iPads, PCs, fitness watches and many other devices. Some we’ve used for years, others are part of the growing Internet of Things (IoT). We use them frequently for communicating, connecting socially, monitoring our health and fitness or conducting business. All of this data is contributing to what IDC calls the Global DataSphere. You may not realize this, but as soon as you connect anything to the internet, you establish a data exchange relationship that adds to the world’s DataSphere until the device is disconnected.

Earlier this month, GM announced that it will be adopting Google’s Android Automotive operating system, which included Google’s voice assistance (Google Assistant), embedded navigation (Google Maps), and in-vehicle applications (via the Google Play Store), for all of its vehicle brands beginning in 2021. This landmark deal reinforces the importance of developing and delivering a differentiated in-vehicle experience, as well as demonstrates how large horizontal technology platforms and brands are targeting IoT and key verticals (like automotive) for growth.