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June 17, 2014

Are you a Connected Driver? Demand is Growing For Ethernet in Cars

Mobile-device-Thinkstock-177123816Automakers today are continuing to examine ways to improve vehicles for consumers and adapt to their everyday needs. Manufactures must adapt to the growing needs of consumers to integrate electronic functions into our vehicles. Experts suggest Ethernet usage in cars will be expanding in coming years, with more than 100 Ethernet nodes expected by 2020 for luxury vehicles while mass-market cars will have between 50-60 Ethernet nodes. Imagine the possibilities, especially for remote sales teams who work from their vehicles or work fleets that need Ethernet for business.

Ethernet was commercially introduced in the 1980s and has often been the chosen technology for computer networking and local area networks. Businesses continue to rely on business Ethernet services as they are incredibly reliable, so it’s no wonder car technologies integrate the same usage and that demand is expanding for the future.  


Connected cars aren’t all that new. The concept has been around for a few years, with internet-ready cars and highly advanced electronic systems becoming integrated into everyday vehicles. Luxury automakers have taken the stage with their amazing technology but everyday models are also high tech. Manufacturers like General Motors and Audi have already introduced 4g wifi connectivity into many of their vehicles for the 2014 model year. BMW and Hyundai are also  making plans to adopt more connectivity in their cars using Ethernet technologies.


Mobile-device-Thinkstock-160631373-sWhat is the Connected Car of the Future?

The technology of choice for connected cars is Ethernet. It’s a ubiquitous, inexpensive, and robust connectivity standard that we use today and is most cross applicable to vehicles as well. A special industry group called the Open-Pair EtherNet (OPEN) Alliance is collaborating to encourage wide adoption of Ethernet networks as the standard in automotive networking applications. Their key goals are to establish 100Mbps as a de facto standard, encourage development of high-speed physical layer solutions, and address gaps related to standardization.

The connected car of the future is expected to have access to high-speed internet and be able to talk to other vehicles on the road. Experts suggest in the near future this technology will be instrumental to driverless cars -- which means accidents prevented and lives saved through the use of technology in our connected cars.


Mobile-device-Thinkstock-178485406Who is Advancing Technology?

Large brand such as Nokia, AT&T, and even Comcast are getting in on the Ethernet band wagon. Some brands are doing so in an effort to improve home security and their wireless units, as the technology is very similar. Soon having a connected car and connected house will be a thing of the present not the future.

The ability to develop advanced Ethernet services comes alongside the desire to advance technologies which reduce emissions for vehicles as well. The latest electronic devices are highly complex and often require internet technologies for optimum operation. So, not only is Ethernet the wave of the future it has applications in luxury vehicles, introduced at the Los Angeles Auto Show recently, to help reduce emissions in vehicles.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to these technologies. The advancements we are only starting to see in this industry barely scratch the surface to connect our cars today. What advancements are you most looking forward to with a connected car? 





Gina Coleman is a freelance writer who enjoys the challenge of contributing unique content across the web. She writes on a variety of subjects from marketing to technology. When not in front of the computer doing research, you can find her curled up with a good book.








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