Bluetooth’s domination of the car – Is it still coming?

Back when I started looking at Bluetooth in-car applications, Bluetooth seemed the best thing since sliced bread.

06/28/2012


I’ve been the author of market research reports on “Bluetooth in Automotive Applications” and “The Wireless Car” for many years now. Back when I started looking at Bluetooth in-car applications, Bluetooth seemed the best thing since sliced bread. Anyone that was anyone wore a Bluetooth headset; “toothing” was all the rage; and I, like many others, thought that Bluetooth would eventually rule the world.  

Fast forward 5 years and, yes, the uptake of Bluetooth in the car has been pretty impressive. Hands-free calling has clearly been the most successful application. Uptake has reached 100% in some models and is offered as an optional extra in the vast majority of cars.  And I must admit when I brought my new car and it included Bluetooth, it was like Christmas had come early.   

One could also argue that A2DP has also been fairly successful.  But unfortunately, to my knowledge, not many drivers use it or even know its purpose. I can genuinely see the benefits of A2DP for cordless audio streaming and have longed to see its success inside the car and out. But if I hear “Once Apple pushes this feature the market will explode” once more, I’ll scream! Don’t get me wrong; I did believe it but after 5 years it’s wearing a bit thin.

And what about all the other promises we were made? I can remember getting quite excited about the concept of Bluetooth high speed for in-car video distribution and wireless camera modules. But with all the setbacks in the technology and the industry seemingly keeping hush about its demise, I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.   

To be fair the automotive industry is a lot harder to crack than the market for consumer devices. So even though Bluetooth Smart (formerly known as Bluetooth low energy, Bluetooth Ultra-low Power and WiBree) can be used in wireless sensors, tyre pressure monitors, keyless entry and so much more, I’m not getting my hopes up just yet.

The automotive industry is notoriously cautious and no new technology will enter the market until it has been rigorously tested. There are two main issues. First, reliability requirements in vehicles are extremely high; there is no room for error; and the industry sets very high standards. Fundamentally, wires have been doing a good job up to now; so unless a wireless technology can prove like robustness, wires will continue to reign. Second, wireless sensors will still require at least one wire for the purpose of powering the sensor. It could be argued that if one wire is already in place, there may as well be two?

In spite of this, I do live in hope that Bluetooth will rise phoenix-like to its former glory. My plea to the Bluetooth industry is to stop re-branding and innovate. So maybe when I buy my next car (goodness knows when that’ll be) I can relive that euphoria; and who knows I may be able to use Bluetooth for viewing vehicle diagnostics, remote keyless entry, driver wellness and not just hands-free calling!



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
IIoT grows up; Six ways to lower IIoT costs; Six mobile safety strategies; 2017 Salary Survey
2016 Top Plant; 2016 Best Practices on manufacturing progress, efficiency, safety
2016 Product of the Year; Diagnose bearing failures; Asset performance management; Testing dust collector performance measures
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
What controller fits your application; Permanent magnet motors; Chemical manufacturer tames alarm management; Taking steps in a new direction
Tying a microgrid to the smart grid; Paralleling generator systems; Previewing NEC 2017 changes
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role of plant safety and offers advice on best practices.
This article collection contains several articles on preventing compressed air leaks and centrifugal air compressor basics and best practices for the "fifth utility" in manufacturing plants.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
click me