In A Few Years, One Out Of Every Four Cars On Roads Globally Will Be Connected To The Internet

The car is becoming a critical battleground for tech companies, software developers, and startups, according to a report from BI Intelligence. In no time at all, Internet-connected cars will present a massive consumer tech market.

  • Five years from now, there will be over 250 million connected cars on the road globally, according to estimates from the GSMA and others.

  • That’s roughly 25% of the 1 billion cars the International Energy Agency expects will be on the road by then. According to the GSMA, 58% of the cars manufactured in that year will offer some sort of connection to the Internet.
  • Car-focused telecom, hardware and software services will drive some $US51 billion in annual revenue by 2018.

Here are a couple of examples of how car and tech companies are competing to drive in-car information and entertainment: At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month, Google unveiled a new plan that will allow car manufacturers to use a version of its open source Android smartphone operating system. Android will power car’s dashboard-based information and entertainment systems — no doubt with the help of apps like Waze, which Google purchased in mid-2013.

For Apple’s part, the iOS 7 platform specifically included a new feature, iOS in the Car, that basically ports iOS 7 into a car’s multimedia system.

In the report, BI Intelligence find that the mobile giants view the car dashboard as another important market where their platform wars will play out. The report examines how Silicon Valley and Detroit are moving fast to bring Internet technology and services to the car. It explores the technical underpinnings and foundational initiatives for the connected car dashboard, analyse the three main ways to bring mobile apps and services into cars, explores whether app usage in the car will be centered on the phone or in embedded computing systems and connectivity, and details what apps and services might stand to gain the most from in-car usage.

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Here’s a brief overview of the prospects for the mobile car:

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