The Next Great Car Song

Feb 11, 2014 9:30 AM ET
Campaign: AT&T: Planet

The Next Great Car Song

By: John Schulz, AVP of Sustainabile Operations, AT&T

It’s no secret that we humans love our cars.  We sing songs about them. We name them.  And, obviously, we race them. And based on what came out of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last week, it’s clear that we’re bracing for the next big love affair with the automobile: the “connected car.”

With the connected car, our vehicles connect wirelessly to the driver, outside information sources and services, the street, and the traffic around it.  Maybe it’s the sci-fi buff in me, but I think we love the idea of the connected car because it seems so futuristic. It is visible and tangible evidence of doing things that we previously thought impossible. And while many of the headlines focus on entertainment and internet connectivity of a connected car, for me – as one of the many people who focus on integrating sustainability into our business here at AT&T– it’s all about how it promotes safety and efficiency. 

Several articles discussed how cars will soon provide remote diagnostics and receive software updates to help keep the car out of the shop, reducing fuel and maintenance waste and saving money.  This is good news on many fronts, because when we increase efficiency, reduce fuel use and maintenance waste, we help minimize our environmental impact.

It’s clear that AT&T is right in the mix of all these advancements.  We recently opened our Drive Studio, a 5,200-square-foot garage and workshop in Atlanta, focused on integrating these innovative services into the driving experience.  And to help speed the process, we’ve created a global automotive development platform called AT&T Drive that facilitates connectivity between cars and other digital services in the cloud.  And we’re working closely with many leading car manufacturers to propel this progress forward into the market. 

So while much of the connected car buzz focuses on the sci-fi angle and coolness of the next generation of vehicles (believe me, I’m right there with you…), let’s not forget the other real benefits that this connectivity can generate – increased safety combined with more efficient use of time, money and resources.  Now that’s something to sing about.