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Mobile World Live has conducted its most comprehensive market survey so far to bring you this detailed insight into the connected car industry.
Split into 6 sections – Market Overview, Connected Car Navigation, Connected Car Connectivity, Autonomous Driving, Connected Car Security and In-Car Services – the report reveals strong appetite for the benefits connected cars will bring, tempered by realistic caution regarding the security, standardisation and business model challenges that remain to be overcome on the journey to fully autonomous driving.
The global survey, conducted in November and December 2016 with nearly 1,000 respondents, uncovered significant understanding of the issues facing the wider deployment and monetisation of connected cars, along with significant enthusiasm for connected car technologies and services in general and autonomous driving.
Respondents, perhaps recognising the increased media interest and new offerings that are already coming to market, gave highly positive responses as to when they expect connected cars to arrive in their markets. A total of 60% expected connected car roll-outs to be well underway within two years and 36.4% stated that deployments were already happening in their countries.
That enthusiasm reflects the potential of connected cars to transform the experience of road travel for consumers and to redefine the business models of car makers, road operators and providers of supporting services such as insurers, location-based service providers and in car entertainment suppliers. Almost half (48.8%) of respondents expected monetisation of connected cars to be achieved by 2020, underscoring the wealth of opportunities for the connected car to become a hub for other monetised services. However, our respondents were not blinded by entirely positive visions of the connected future of cars and recognised that the challenges facing the market are numerous and substantial.
Network technology itself was not seen as a significant issue, with just 11.6% of respondents identifying insufficient bandwidth or throughput as an issue for connected cars. However, 36.6% identified patchy network coverage as the main connectivity deficiency that has potential to hold the market back. Challenges surrounding securing connected cars have garnered substantial media coverage and the majority of users (60%) either strongly agreed or somewhat agreed with the statement: “I don’t know how to secure my connected car application or where my weak links are”, demonstrating an understanding of the complexities and risks associated with enabling secure connected cars. This was underscored when just over 70% agreed that security capability could be a key differentiator in their purchase of a connected car. Of course, early connected cars are just a stepping stone on the path to greater automation and, ultimately, autonomous driving. At a time when the vast majority of vehicles are unconnected and huge questions remain to be answered about security, network coverage, business models and integration with other technologies, that seems distant but respondents agreed the direction of travel is towards autonomy. Even though caution exists, and 70.4% singled out trust in autonomous car providers being essential for the concept to gain mass market acceptance, the advantages are understood, with 54% of respondents agreeing that autonomous cars will be safer than traditional non-connected vehicles. We are today at the tipping point when the connected car moves from a sci-fi vision of the future to a market reality. This survey reveals strong appetite for the benefits connected cars will bring that is only tempered by realistic caution regarding the security, standardisation and business model challenges that remain to be overcome on the journey to fully autonomous driving.