PARIS -- The auto industry needs a standard for car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure data communication in order to keep a leading role in providing services to motorists.
"The European auto industry has set the pace in the past when it comes to performance, design, safety -- and more recently sustainability. Are we the ones to set the pace in this new game?" said Luca de Meo, Audi board member for sales and marketing.
Speaking at the Automotive News Europe Congress here, de Meo said if automakers fail to establish global guidelines, startups, telecoms or Internet companies would be the ones to make money by providing drivers easier ways to access and pay for services with their cars at parking garages, fuel stations, toll roads and, in some cases, for in-car entertainment.
"We have the technology," he said. "We can connect the cars, but at the moment there is no global standard for the interaction of our products with the outside."
To address the problem, Audi is working with other automakers on a Car2Car W-LAN, or wireless local area network, standard within Europe's Car2Car-Communication Consortium.
The German automaker hopes that the standard for Europe will be finalized by the middle of the year while de Meo said the regulators in the United States are nearing their own standard.
"It would make sense to have a global standard for automobiles, with Europe leading the field as it did with airlines back in 1919," he said.
He was referring to the year that the forerunner to today's International Air Transport Association was founded in The Hague. De Meo said planes had to communicate with other planes and with different airports and that was made possible with a global standard.