I have been writing about connected cars for some time, but not as long as they have been around. The history of connected cars is fascinating and started in 1996 with Motorola and OnStar. The whole idea was to get help to people who are in car accidents. Last year, I was commissioned by a company in Germany to write a brief history of connected cars. It has taken a while to get the design and software to work but the result is lovely and fascinating.
It all started in 1996 when analog cellular OnStar system was announced. When air bags deploy, their systems connected to a OnStar Advisor who relays the information to emergency responders. The first keyless system was deployed by Mercedes-Benz in 1997.
The world of car connections and has grown to remotely controlling cars and early signs of autonomous driving. Also on the timeline are hacking of cars remotely. It becomes very clear that connected cars have to security built into them which is where the timeline ends. The company supplies security to BMW.
Recent history, especially history before 2000 is very hard to find as publications transformed from print to online. Online resources go out of existence and search engines don’t go very far back. As things move faster and faster, fewer and fewer writers are cataloging what is happening. Don’t assume that Google will write history for you. To research the timeline, I had to find news releases that the car companies no longer had. Fortunately, I had reviewed some of the people involved with the early versions of OnStar who had worked at Motorola.
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