By 2016, the majority of average car buyers for a standard brand vehicle in mature markets will expect at least basic Web-based information availability in their new automobiles. According to Gartner analysts, this tipping point will be achieved in 2014 for premium brand vehicles. By year-end 2020, more than 80 percent of all new vehicles sold in mature automobile markets, such as the United States, are projected to offer connected-vehicle functionality.
“Many companies will continue to showcase the latest infotainment offerings at CES 2014, as well as new user interface innovations that take advantage of an automobile’s numerous sensors and other design advantages compared to mobile consumer electronic devices. Advancements in self-driving automobiles will also be discussed again as well as higher data speeds,” Gartner analysts explained in a recent Q&A.
“The automobile will eventually become more innovative and cooler than smartphones and excite drivers and passengers in immersive experiences that will put an end to the question ‘are we there yet?’ It’s not just the automakers that will make new connected vehicle-centric announcements. Expect small and large technology companies to step up their efforts and interests in one of the fastest growing connected device platforms.”
Gartner analysts also noted that today’s consumers are demanding very specific features that help enhance both the driving and ownership experience.
“It’s not about Internet browsing in the car and instead about Internet snacking. That means getting the right amount of information contextualized at the right time. Until the arrival of the self-driving automobile, consumers want practical information and apps that entertain them and find the next available parking spot without wasting time and gas,” the analysts clarified. “They like to know the location of their friends and family, but don’t want to do social networking on Facebook or Twitter. Consumers also like the automakers to provide them with the latest software and application upgrades delivered wirelessly over-the-air and offered in a personalized fashion.”
Last, but certainly not least, the analysts confirmed that IT is fast becoming a “core element” of automotive product innovations and will eventually be as critical as sheet metal and design.
“The ability to be connected and talk to a consumer while driving represents a unique and truly captive audience that other industries would love to have. This will allow the automotive industry to move into an intermodal-transportation-solution-provider business model that offers all kinds of transportation solutions plus adjacent Infotainment value propositions over time,” the analysts added.