Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Keeping up with the Joneses: the cars of Mobile World Congress

Connected vehicles are a big theme again this year at Mobile World Congress, with many operators and OEMs rolling out their automotive partners on their stands. Since all of them are secretly just trying to keep up with the Joneses, I thought it might be entertaining to engage in a game of AutoTelco Top Trumps...

Typically in this game a Ford Focus would score pretty low down the pecking order. In this case, however, Ford score big points for actually making theirs. Plus, they brought an electric one and that has enormous torque. And a mediocre app. So there.


Next up AT&T, who, being wealthy Americans brought not one, not two, but three VeeHicles to the Congress. Their all American Cadillac CTS and electric ETS were rendered anonymous by a mighty Audi S7. 'It's not electric' said the demonstrator, 'it's plugged in to save the battery'. Bonus points to AT&T for surrounding the ETS with Virtual Reality headsets: another must have stand item in 2015.

China Mobile only managed a solitary Cadillac ATS on their booth. The lonely Caddy was the poverty-spec 3.6 too, scoring nearly no points. Envious glances must have been cast across to AT&T...

...and to Vodafone, who rolled in a white Porsche Panamera e-Hybrid. Flair... But I think Guards Red would have been more appropriate so no victory for Vodafone. Soz. Close but no cigar for Qualcomm, who scored massive points for the Maserati... But it runs QNX so I'm not going for that, nor LG's Audi RS5 convertible, complete with obscene red detailing. The only telco bit is the key though. Fail.


In the end, I was totally disappointed by AutoTelco Top Trumps. I only saw one thing that was remotely compelling: T-Mobile's partnership with BMW and a publisher, which uses tablets in car to create an experience similar to the entertainment system on an aeroplane. It's a simple, fun navigation experience with lots of child-friendly features like a virtual dashboard that lets the kids see how fast the car is going, where it is and whether they're nearly there yet. So the unlikely winner of AutoTelco Top Trumps is T-Mobile.

Well done to them. 

And of course, this is a competition and we need a loser. And that loser is definitely Samsung. Bad enough that their connected Seat appeared to have no obvious Samsung tech in it, but it also committed the cardinal sin of being accompanied by a showroom specifications board listing one of the key features of their connected vehicle as: "chromed roof rails". Those Joneses have definitely been kept up with.

More cars of MWC:




2 comments:

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