July 31, 2013

Will Cars Be Ahead Of The Next Mobile Revolution?

We’re experiencing the mobile revolution of wearable tech:  watches, glasses, wristbands, and even footwear became smart and mobile.  Also, there are two big trends are coming: the Internet of things, and the machine-to-machine market.

But the biggest revolution on mobile platforms experts predict will be made in cars.

There are several factors connected to cars potential. First of all, many things people do in cars could be done on mobile: look for directions, listen to radio/music etc. The second factor is Americans spend a lot of time in cars (about 219 hours annually). This all led to 60M connected cars forecast in 5 year’s perspective.

There are several ways of merging mobile technologies with cars: this could be a wide range of solutions from in-car independent apps to smartphone-controlled tools.

Mobile Platforms And Auto Producers.

This summer Apple introduced new iOS 7 with iOS in the car feature, which allows integrating iPhone to the car. The driver can use messages, voice calls, music and navigation without distraction from the road. Apple claimed it is currently working on integration with more than 12 auto producers, and first compatible vehicles are expected to go on sale in 2014.

Android is going to appear in cars in a less direct way: auto producers tend to integrate in their own way. And it’s important to keep in mind that Google is working on self-driving cars.

As for the cars producers, Ford and GM have opened API for independent developers. Also, MG announced that many of popular models will go on sale with 4G LTE by 2015.

Perspectives.

The most optimistic forecasts say that around 50% of all cars sold in 2015 will be connected. Thus, mobile in cars adoption pace will be rather slow – because of the long purchase cycle of cars. Also, applications and smartphones opportunities are rather limited in use-cases: voice calls, messages, directions, radio, music, news on text-to-voice.

Considering these limitations, mobile applications developers will continue the seamless integration process from their side. For example, currently the majority of navigation apps are controlled by voice.

You can read an extended version of this report on Business Intelligence