With the advent of the Internet of Things and improvement of technology overall, devices all around us are getting a makeover like never before. So much so, that vehicles are now joining the bandwagon on becoming truly intelligent; from driverless cars, to constant updates in information, to enhancements in safety systems, connected cars are the new up-and-coming in the IoT sector.
While we’ve already discussed upon a few aspects in our interview with Tim Neil. But in this one, I’ll expound upon the nitty-gritty of all the various trends and statistics of the connected car world.
Probably the most paramount reason for the popularisation of connected cars would be the need for enhanced safety features. Let’s face it, drivers are constantly in the need of information. While they could rely on their phones to access maps, answer phone calls and gather information about a new place, it hasn’t always been the safest method. Taking one’s eyes off the road can prove to be very disastrous, and it’s indeed promising to see tech giants hoping to address this problem via intelligent cars.
While Google has already successfully implemented the early prototypes of its driverless car, other companies are also looking to bring in improved tech to cars worldwide. Automotive companies like BMW, Tesla, Audi and Ford (among a few others) are constantly improving upon the in-car infotainment systems in order to bring better technology to a car.
It is also interesting to note the presence of the biggest tech giants – Apple and Google – in this sector in terms of their software. Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay aim at bringing smartphone like intelligence and access to information to the dashboard of your car.
Let’s move away from the companies for a bit and focus on what exactly these ‘technological improvements’ are. Primarily, there’s the whole telematics scene which is quite promising. Telematics – which essentially implies the merger of telecommunications and informatics – is now a growing field, with lots of OEMs coming up with embedded systems that would be installed in cars.
In fact, the stats for embedded telematics sales for automobiles has seen a growth surge, and is likely to reach pretty big numbers. The following graph shows the trend for 2012, 2015 and 2018 for North America and Asia Pacific.
In 2015, the projection shows telematics systems sales in the North America region growing to around 10.5 million units, which is projected to grow to about 14.8 million units by 2018. The statistic for the Asia Pacific region presents a similar picture, with 2015’s figures of 5.4 million growing to 10.3 million by 2018.
Now this is where things truly become interesting. Going along the lines of telematics is the in car infotainment arena, wherein everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, is becoming intelligent.
From HUDs, to Internet connectivity, to improved sensors, to driver assist systems, to voice activated apps – we’re truly stepping into an age where the car can be essentially considered as a big smartphone!
All these improvements indicate radical changes in the way HMI (Human Machine Interaction) works out. Connected cars will be able to capture and share not only internal system status and location data, but also changes in surroundings in real time. Moreover, this trend will also shift the focus of major corps as far as R&D is concerned – a more contextual, driver sensing system will come to the fore with more vehicle and consumer centric services.
Moreover, cloud services and cross-platform application presence would also imply that some functions of your car can be controlled by apps. Worthy to note in this regard are some headlight systems which change colours according to what you set in the relevant application.
• By 2020, the market for driver assistance systems is expected to grow to about 50 billion euros, while the market for automobile safety technology is expected to be sized at approximately around 33 billion euros in 2020. (Source : Statista)
• A Gartner report predicts that within five years, one in five vehicles around the world will have some sort of wireless internet connection. Below is a graph which indicates the share of cars connected to the internet to the total number of cars.
Going by the current figure of 1.14 Billion vehicles worldwide in 2012 (Source : Statista), this would imply that 250 million cars would be ‘smart’ by 2020.
• The companies most likely to benefit from the trend towards connected cars include Japan’s automotive infotainment firms Panasonic and Pioneer, premium car brands such as Germany’s BMW and VW, as well as the global key players in the field of fleet management systems, including the California-based companies Qualcomm Incorporated and Trimble Navigation. (Source : Statista)
• The connected-car market is growing at a five-year compound annual growth rate of 45% – 10 times as fast as the overall car market. (Source : Business Insider)
• When it comes to Machine to Machine (M2M) Module integration, the increasing numbers indicate a coming about of a technological revolution in automation.
• Here’s a Google Trend on Connected Cars.
• Finally, all this will be leading to more connected cars in the future. And an estimation can be realised in the form of the following statistic.
Connected cars will have multiple uses in the near future. In fact, this chart by SBD aptly portrays the many uses and roles connected cars could play in the future.
Without a doubt, connected cars will be the next big thing in the world of IoTs. It will be interesting to see what kind of applications would be developed to suit an entirely new platform altogether – in order to make driving intelligent, informative and safe by utilising technology to its fullest.