How the Connected Car is Transforming the Auto Industry
In an age when connectivity is king, our car may soon be our most coveted hotspot. Technology is constantly improving, and tech giants including Apple, Microsoft and Google have already set their sights on the car as the new frontier for innovation. In fact, by 2020 it’s estimated that, between enhanced navigation systems, apps, and new “infotainment” platforms, connected car technology will be a $270 billion industry.
Consider this: According to Business Insider, the connected car industry is growing at a rate of 45% each year – that’s 10 percent more than the overall car market. By 2020, 75% of cars shipped globally will be hardwired with internet capabilities.
The connected car is more than Bluetooth. Tech companies across the globe are building apps and systems that will make driving safer, quicker, and even more economical.
Smarter Phone Integration
The most popular way to make your car connective is in the palm of your hand. Smartphones are already used to enhance driving via apps for better navigation, and enhanced abilities to stream music and videos. As the connected car era revs up, companies – from startups to the largest tech conglomerates – will look to the smartphone as an economical wireless solution.
The newest smartphone integrations allow you to use your phone hands-free, making your commute safer. For example, the justDrive integration is available in Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles. It uses technology to connect with apps, send texts, and even update social media. HondaLink connects, well, Hondas. While Google offers AndroidAuto, and Apple offers CarPlay.
AT&T predicts that in the future, connected cars will have the capability to generate thousands of data points per second so that customers and dealers will have valuable diagnostic information that catches issues before they happen. This might be used to prevent car breakdowns that cause financial drain, loss of time from work, and even pose a safety risk if the car was to stop running in a dangerous area or on the highway.
Connected cars also offer advanced safety features. So, in addition to being able to prevent car breakdowns, connected cars can prevent collisions with features including automatic acceleration and better cruise control adaptation. By using a car manufacturer’s connection app (NissanConnect, for example), drivers can multi-task on their smartphones without having to use their hands. Other safety solutions include AT&T’s young driver feature that alerts family members when a young driver has gone out of established boundaries or is driving too fast!
More connected cars on the road could actually mean less traffic. Many tech companies, including Inrix, who provides connection services for BMW, Audi, Ford and Toyota, have created enhanced navigation systems that predict traffic issues with extreme accuracy. Eventually, services will take information gathered from the car’s connection or a smartphone, then link to the cloud; which would then send the driver route suggestions based on unique circumstances including speed and weather.
Embedded Car Connectivity
Smartphones are the gateway to car connectivity, but eventually most cars will come with embedded, built in, connections. According to GM vice chairman Stephen Girksy, embedded technology reaps rewards.
“For example the antenna on top of your car is a lot bigger than on your smartphone. You’ll have more power so the signal will be better and the service will be a lot better in the embedded system,” he told Mobile World Live.
Embedded connectivity isn’t just beneficial for the driver, but for the car manufacturer as well. These companies can access the driver’s data to glean information that could ultimately enhance car capabilities overall.
Connected Cars: Surprisingly Economical
Connected cars can even be good for the economy. Not only do they promise to cut down on gas consumption by avoiding traffic, and help drivers avoid accidents (leading to insurance discounts), but they can also provide jobs.
In a recent study by the UK’s KPMG, results showed that connected cars will bring £51 billion to the UK economy, while also reducing serious road traffic accidents by more than 25,000 a year by 2030.
Don’t think you can afford a connected car? While most connected cars carry a hefty price tag, others are reasonably priced. Check out this list to see some of the most affordable options.
Photo credit: Terry Madeley / CC BY 2.0