It has been estimated that there will be 250 million connected cars on the road in five years’ time as the Internet of Things expands to include 25 billion devices. According to Gartner cars will be a “major element” of the expanding Internet of Things, with one in five vehicles having some sort of wireless network connection by 2020.
The trend of connected cars as data gatherers was a huge focus at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Car makers are now creating a defined role for their connected vehicles as an easy way to gather data on drivers; from their favourite nearby restaurants, to their local grocery store, to how often they break the speed limit. numero believe that as the technology advances it will offer marketers a pathway to create more personalised brand communications and a better consumer experience.
Could connected cars be the next step into the mobile channel after smart devices such as phones and tablets?
A recent report from McKinsey, where 2,000 new car buyers were surveyed, found that 13 percent of people would immediately rule out buying a new car without internet access, while more than a quarter already prioritise connectivity over features such as engine power and fuel efficiency. In the EU, for example, all cars will be fitted with an eCall-equipped chip by 2018 that will automatically contact the nearest emergency centre in case of a collision.
Mercedes Benz has summarised its move into connected cars as ‘mobile living rooms’, while Ford chief executive said they were platforms to “understand how people move, and see patterns that most customers don’t.” During 2014, Microsoft, Google and Apple announced their forthcoming “connected car” platforms. Apple revealed CarPlay, Microsoft introduced “Windows for the car” and Samsung have disclosed that they will be supported by BMW’s infotainment system, handing drivers the ability to control their cars from mobile devices such as tablets or smartwatches.
After Samsung’s BK Yoon promised that they would invest $100 million to make every single Samsung product connected to the IoT, it is no surprise that they have collaborated with BMW to create an app to let car owners issue commands to their vehicles. The ‘Touch Command’ platform features a Samsung tablet and a dock in the rear seats of cars, letting passengers adjust their seats, switch radio stations and make autonomous commands such as parking from their smartwatches.
“The increased consumption and creation of digital content within the vehicle will drive the need for more sophisticated infotainment systems, creating opportunities for application processors, graphics accelerators, displays, and human-machine interface technologies,” said Gartner research director James F Hines.
Platforms now allow consumers to effectively mirror their smartphone to the vehicle’s display and use the in-built touchscreen, steering wheel mounted controls or other existing controls to perform tasks from their phone. Forget the horsepower – will in-vehicle technology be the number one selling point in the future when shopping for new cars?