Well, the automotive industry has done it again. They shot themselves in the foot more than a decade ago and now they are doing it again. I am talking about the navigation systems on cars today. This is when you press a button and talk to a person and have them download directions to your screen. Or if you are broken down, they can get you help. Or if you were in an accident and need help, they can send it to you. All that is going to disappear in the coming months.
This did not have to happen. This happened to the auto industry a decade ago. You would think they would learn their lesson. They didn’t. And now their valued customers are going to be without wireless service once again.
So, why does the automobile industry keep shooting itself in the foot time after time?
GM OnStar, Lexus Enform, Ford Sync, Mercedes-Benz and others
What I am talking about are the wireless automobile services like GM OnStar, Lexus Enform, Ford Sync, Mercedes-Benz and other navigation services offered on a growing number of cars. There are in fact, quite a few different companies which provide this service in the auto industry.
These services simply connect your car through the wireless network to service or help. This has been with us for the last twenty years. It is both easy to use and a big safety and security feature on a growing number of cars.
That being said, it will disappear within months. And this did not have to happen.
So, the auto makers should be ashamed of themselves.
Auto makers should be ashamed of themselves letting Nav go dark, again
Twenty years ago, these services used 2G wireless. When the wireless world turned off the 2G networks these services went dark. So, if you owned a car with these features, they no longer worked.
This was bad enough, but this was the first time, so users cut auto makers some slack. Now that this same thing is happening again, customers are not going to forget or forgive.
Automobile makers started offering this service once again after several years of darkness by finally using the 3G wireless network.
While this new service did not reactivate the service on older cars, at least it worked on newer models.
Automakers should use upgradable NAV from 3G to 4G wireless
The real lesson to be learned back then would be to install a replaceable wireless unit so when 3G went dark, it could be replaced with a 4G module quickly and easily.
If that solution is so obvious to you and I, how could carmakers miss it?
Now, because of the inability for automakers to think forward, users are going to be left without service, again.
This is embarrassing to the entire automotive industry. The message auto customers get is the car makers don’t care about them.
Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint should have warned automakers
To tell you the truth, the wireless carriers are in on the act as well. Someone at Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile and Sprint should have also recognized this problem would happen again.
They should have warned the automotive players while there was still time to act. But they did not.
A solution could have been easily created. An exchangeable part that would adjust the car from 3G to 4G.
Instead, the automotive industry continues to miss these important items and continue to tick off their customers.
This will cause terrible damage to the automotive brands and this problem was self-created because no one looks ahead.
Bottom line, the customers get screwed and there is no one to take the blame and worse… no way to fix this massive problem.
Automobile industry continues to harm their customers
I hope at least a few carmakers will have learned their lesson from the past and will have thought ahead of this problem. We’ll see.
If they did, you would hope the industry would share this information with their competitors at trade shows and other meetings.
Apparently, that did not happen.
Auto industry wants users to trust their automated driving, self-driving
Going forward, the automotive industry now wants users to trust them as they move into the next era of self-driving cars and automated driving.
They are making their job so much harder by their own short-sightedness.
What happens when you buy one of these new cars with new technology, but the auto maker forgets to install an upgradable wireless connectivity system?
All I am saying is the automotive industry is doing a terrible job of building user confidence as they move forward.
I sure hope auto executives get better going forward. They sure have let their customers down time and time again during the last twenty years with this Nav issue.