携帯電話とクルマの融合? / Mobile communications merged with automobile? — Geneva Motor Show 2011


I went to the Geneva Motor Show today, a press day, benefitting from a Press Badge I’ve got.

Geneva Motor Show


What is the current positioning of the Mobile Communications approached from the automobile community? — This was my theme of the visit this year.

ずっと以前、NTT市場開発室で「見習い」という身分だった頃、わたしは当時開発されたばかりの「自動車電話」の市場調査を担当しました。年月が経ち、2月のMobile World Congress (MWC)では、携帯電話の王国を垣間見たけれど、自動車産業という別の王国では、携帯電話は今どこに位置づけられているんだろう?

A long time ago, when I was a trainee at the Head Office of NTT Market Strategy Department, I was assigned to do a market research of “Car Telephone”, which was the ancestor of today’s  mobile phones. Years after, I looked at the Kingdom of mobile phones at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in February. Switching my eyes to the automobile industry, where are mobile phones located in relation to the evolution of cars?

Audi, BMWでは、Bluetoothを介して、運転者の手持ちのiPhoneと繋がる車内情報システムの搭載されたクルマを提案していました。

I found two constructors, Audi and BMW. They exhibited beautiful cars equipped with the information systems connected with an iPhone of the driver via Bluetooth!

たとえばAudi 8。運転席のスクリーンは、もう普段見慣れたスマートフォンと大差ないほど。そうか、車内でも利用者にとっては違和感なしにスマホを使い続けられるわけですね。その操作はタッチパネルから、手書き文字を入力。先日、MWCで見て来たスマホの便利さが、既に備わっているかのよう。着信した電話の応答は、電話機から自動的に切り替わる、車内据え付けのマイクとスピーカから行います。運転者は、iPhoneを手にする必要はありません。これなら、携帯電話によって運転中の注意が逸れることもだいぶ減るでしょう。

For example, Audi 8. The screen attached to the console is almost the same as a smart phone. This means that a smart phone user continue enjoy the same phone environment in and outside the vehicle. A small touch panel is installed to input command in the phone or navigator. It’s done by hand-writing. No need to select alphabet any more. The whole system is as smart at the smartest phones I saw at MWC. Receiving calls on your iPhone is automatically switched so that you can respond without interrupting driving from a microphone and speakers installed in the car. Looks like disruption is largely reduced.

Console of Audi 8

Audi 8


But, the number ONE as an innovation is this one!


四輪の携帯電話?!ジュネーブ モーターショウで発見。携帯電話でコントロールする都市用無人車, MODULGO

Four (4) wheels mobile phone, MODULGO!? An urban electric vehicle that moves by itself.

ここには、発想の転換があります。AudiやBMWは素晴らしかったけれど、既存の携帯電話をクルマに付加するというアイデアですから、電話自体の機能に変化はありません。この小さなブースにあったフランス生まれのMODULGOは、クルマが携帯電話をとM2M (Machine-to-machine) 通信を行って、制御されるのです。

I see an innovation in this small car. While Audi and BMW are well thought through, the essential idea is to attach an existing phone to a car. In contrast, this French-born small MODULGO is an integral part of mobile communications in a sense that the car is controlled by a mobile phone as M2M (Machine-to-machine) communications.


Today’s mobile phones were originally “Car phones”, phones attached to cars. Having walked through different evolution paths, automobiles and mobiles phones would need some time before being merged again. In such an slow progress, MODULGO shows us a possible avenue for the merge via M2M communications.

携帯電話とクルマの融合? / Mobile communications merged with automobile? — Geneva Motor Show 2011”へ2件のコメント

  1. matsumoto shinji より:

    Thanks for interesting report.
    I would have read much more about MODULGO.
    Maybe next report?

    1. Yoshiko より:

      Dear Shinji,
      It’s a good suggestion. I’ll work on it.


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