Open Standards for the New Networked Vehicle Will Take Time

Industrywide rules for how plug-in electric cars are powered should evolve, but a strong open-standards movement doesn't yet exist

Over the next two years, virtually every major car company is promising to deliver their version of an electric vehicle. That means carmakers are increasing their efforts to push forward standards that will specify how vehicles are charged by the power grid, what the plug interface will look like, and what hardware should be used to make the connection. The IT and computing industries have spent decades hashing out standards, leading to a significant movement supporting the use of open standards that can drive innovation. As the car becomes a networked device and adds more IT and computing intelligence (aka Car 2.0), it will likewise start to rely on more IT-style industrywide standards. But so far, an open-standards movement is still a ways away for the car industry.

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