A Reset Button for your Car? - 09 February 2006
The next time you buy a used car, you just might get more than you bargained for – and that has some in the automotive electronics industry concerned.
As demand for digital storage in the car continues to grow, ever more options for managing music files, video, and map data are making their way into autos, including USB ports, flash cards, digital music player hookups, and hard disk drives (HDD). But those HDDs could present a problem.
The concerns spin around issues of copyright and digital rights management (DRM). The buyer of a used car likely has no entitlement to the previous owner's library of music and videos. Nor is it just MP3 tunes and bootleg movies that may be a concern: the increasing popularity of map-based navigation units places additional intellectual property on that in-dash hard disk (think for example of the number of names and addresses stored in a typical satellite navigation system).
The desire to avoid any resulting legal liability may clash with the widespread adoption of automotive hard disk drives.
Enter the handy RESET button. A desire to meet market demand for storage while prudently managing legal risk has lead some to suggest this clean-slate approach. The proposed solution is to install a “reset” button that would be used to wipe the hard disk of its data upon resale. Perhaps such an approach could be mandated by law.
Meanwhile, the use of HDDs in the car continues to grow. It remains to be seen just what road test lies ahead as a result of the need for music, video, and data in the car.
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IMS Research is a specialist supplier of market research and consultancy services on global electronics markets. Information from IMS Research is used by major companies worldwide to assess market trends, solve marketing problems, and improve the efficiency of their businesses. IMS Research is a truly international company, selling to more than 35 countries around the world and supported by offices in Austin (Texas), Shanghai (China) and Wellingborough (UK). IMS Research has published a wealth of detailed research on various automotive electronics related markets since 1998.