The past four years have brought innovation beyond anything we could have ever imagined, and nowhere have we seen this change more than in our cars. The development of intelligent vehicle technologies is bringing wireless connectivity and the Internet on the go into the mainstream and merging the tech and auto industries. As these two forces converge, our vehicles aren’t just taking us where we want to go, but they tell us how to get there, what we will see when we get there and where to stop along the way. Heck, some cars even drive us.
This isn’t happening through magic. This is the product of innovative technological advancements in wireless, applications, hardware, and software created by brilliant developers and entrepreneurs. America’s two best inventions – the car and the internet, free and open, are exponentially making our lives better in so many ways – and it is hard to even imagine what the connected car of 2020 will enable.
So let’s not mess with that, right? There are those out there who have been advocating that we should regulate the internet with rules written in the 1930s that would treat the Internet like the old copper phone system. The Internet covers much more than just an email address – it brings us telematics, and maps, and videos, and education applications, and so much more in our lives, and our cars. And it is all changing so fast.
Lots of smart people have written lots of smart things about what these regulations would mean for the internet. After all, the internet is what it is because it has been allowed to grow, disrupt, fail, and succeed all without onerous regulations “helping”. That’s good. We like that. We’ve all benefited – big time – because of it.
So why should we suddenly throw government in the middle of that? What would it mean for the Connected Car to rely on networks that our regulated by laws written in the 1930s? How does this framework impact telematics or our infotainment services? Will we need regulatory clearance from the FCC before rolling out a new product or service? How long would that even take?
Goodness knows we don’t have the answers to these questions. We urge Congress and the FCC to use caution and not rush into something that – despite all good intentions – unintentionally detours us from our route.