Jaguar Land Rover’s connected car boss believes that monitoring drivers’ subconscious actions will make future-generation vehicles even more intuitive.
“The greatest benefit the connected car gives us is data to better understand the real-world usage of the car, which in turn may lead to us engineering our cars differently,” Jaguar Land Rover Connected Car Director Mike Bell told Automotive News Europe.
He said that this approach represented an improvement on existing automaker-run customer clinics, which are restricted to obtaining feedback after an event rather than during the moment. "When someone is driving they’re doing a lot of tasks subconsciously and being able to access this real data would enable us to improve the driving experience of our vehicles,” Bell said.
He added that the data would only be used "in an anonymized way” to ensure that its customers’ privacy rights are not put at risk. “This is part of our core of doing business. With data you have to be very clear and transparent. Therefore we need to design systems with privacy in mind."
This concern extends to the threat posed by hackers. Bell said JLR consults with security professionals as part of the design process to prevent its vehicles from being vulnerable. "The Internet-enabled vehicle is not as fully open as people perceive it to be, but we do try to narrow the risk by operating in a slightly different way. We’re using machine-to-machine communication but it works in a slightly different way to how a cellphone works."
In the future vehicles will become far more personalized, Bell predicted, requiring personal ID, for example, to activate such items as preferred radio stations or seat positions. He said: "The idea of identifying a driver in a unique way is something we see a need for."