The Cloud just got its driving license!
“The car in the cloud is more than just cool technology; it’s the harbinger of a fundamental shift in the way automakers will do business in the future. ” – William Clay “Bill” Ford Jr.
Need further proof “the cloud” is gaining momentum in the marketplace? Look no further than this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.
This week, for the fourth year in a row, Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally takes the stage at CES in Las Vegas, NV. His keynote speech, however, will introduce a new buzzword to the automotive industry: the cloud!
Ford’s ingenuity has always helped set the pace of auto innovations, whether it’s saving gas or producing greener emissions, and now they’re the latest enterprise to embrace a future in the cloud.
The Ford Evos Concept car’s design is straight out of a sci-fi mag (if Ray Bradbury could have been this forward thinking!) The Evos Concept’s target audience is the busy, working professional. Someone who runs on as many cylinders as their car and can benefit from having all of their data and info (be it work or home related) cloud connected. Ford is presenting the ideal of not just relying on your phone to be connected to your work station, but for your car to play the in-between and manage the lot.
“The car that thinks for you.”
The vehicle’s preview last September at the Frankfurt Motor Show revealed its ability to pull and process information from the cloud to provide a seamless, connected lifestyle. At the center of the cloud-based technology is a series of applications that could revolutionize your morning commute: schedule management, music intelligence, weather alerts, vehicle dynamics, driver health and wellbeing, vehicle-to-vehicle communications, etc. The car is being described by Ford as “a personal assistant to handle some of the usual routines of a daily commute.”
“Our cloud-connected vision shows the enormous potential of tailoring the driving experience to suit the personal tastes and moods of the driver – such as highlighting a great driving road recommended by friends on a social networking site.” – Paul Mascarenas, Chief Technical Officer
An eight minute YouTube video on the Ford Evos Concept shows a make-believe car that one can hope to see in their lifetime. Bells and whistles don’t begin to describe its functions.
While you were sleeping:
The Ford Evos Concept car’s cloud-based technology is pulling traffic and weather information to let you know if a scarf is needed to take the back road around a recent accident. Meanwhile it’s scrutinizing your work schedule so that if your partner is running late for the morning meeting you have scheduled, it will communicate with your alarm clock to give you an extra hour of sleep.
While you were eating breakfast:
The Ford Evos Concept car’s cloud-based technology is taking the music you have streaming through the wireless speakers in your house and sending them to your car speakers without missing a beat. And now, by taking the weather and your personal preferences into account, the interior temperature of your car is just the way you like it.
While you were on the way to work:
The Ford Evos Concept car is up in the cloud again to continue harnessing weather, traffic and road map data, but your new ‘personal assistant’ is also collecting historic driver skill level and vehicle performance data so that it can modify braking, suspension and steering settings depending on what road you’re on. Anticipating a future world where more respect is given to Green automotives, the Evos Concept features a hybrid powertrain that controls the ideal mix of gas and electric power and keeps alerting you as it makes each change.
“Driver wellness technologies ensure that the vehicle remains constantly aware of the physical state and workload of the driver and adjusts the driving experience accordingly.” – Paul Mascarenas, Chief Technical Officer
The car tells you when it’s switching to “Intelligent Shuffle Mode” to play the kind of rock music you love when cruising this particular stretch of road. It senses your excitement and elevated heart rate as you’re driving alongside treacherous cliffs (the ones you always see in car commercials but no one actually drives along) and switches off all your non-vital gauges leaving just speed and rpm while simultaneously putting your smart phone on Do Not Disturb mode so your focus stays on the road ahead. Ford claims this concept car will even be capable of managing stop and go traffic while reading your emails to you.
“Open the car door, HAL.” “I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
While it all seems very exciting and no doubt blisteringly expensive, most consumers don’t expect to see this in the near future. Wednesday, Jan 11th’s keynote address may say differently, but this futuristic car may remain just that.
What we can get excited about is the wide-spread popularity of the cloud in the enterprise. More and more businesses trust the cloud with their data and their products. A Cisco report showed that in 2010, 21% of workloads were processed in cloud-based data centers and 79% were housed in traditional data centers. Cisco predicts that, due to the growing cloud presence, by 2014, at least 51% will be housed in a cloud environment. With even our cars becoming cloud-connected, it seems in all likelihood that this generous prediction will be surpassed. The cloud is rapidly catching on for consumers and companies alike as it demonstrates its ability to make lives and businesses easier to manage.
Move your Business Apps to the Cloud
Ford has made a commitment to cloud computing. Is your business ready to do the same?
Cloud computing isn’t merely a hot gimmick or IT trend. Fpweb.net is the leading provider of cloud hosting for Microsoft SharePoint. Moving your SharePoint installation to the cloud can offer your organization tremendous cost savings compared to On Premise servers. Rather than investing upfront in hardware and software upfront, cloud hosting helps minimize licensing costs and results in a lower total cost of ownership. And with no in-house servers to manage or maintain, hosted SharePoint “in the cloud” eliminates significant headaches for your IT staff. Your business NEEDS SharePoint in the cloud NOW.
Ford’s objective with the Ford Evos Concept car is simple: Do as much of the work for the driver as you can to make their lives easier. Fpweb.net’s hosted private cloud solutions shares the same vision: IT isn’t your core business, it’s ours. We handle the servers and set-ups and maintenance so you can focus on your business.
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