Connected cars are considered to be the future of automobile industry. In addition to wireless LAN devices, connected cars have active safety solutions and automated driver assistance systems. Enabling car owners to connect with all the connectivity devices that are inside and in the vicinity of cars, connected cars also assure to maintain safe distance between cars on roads.
These cars also allow drivers to mechanically monitor cars’ performance and physical condition. The connected car technology can also be used to connect to cars through smartphones or other mobile devices.
Research indicates that the market for connected cars, after 2010, has been growing in a nascent stage each year. Providing a wide range of opportunities to automotive and telecom industries, as well as consumers, the market is anticipated to gain mass penetration and witness substantial growth in the near future.
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Europe, which is currently the second largest market for connected cars, is estimated to outpace North America and create the largest market by 2020 end. Rising demand for vehicle safety and security will continue to be a key driver for market growth.
Europe Connected Cars Market: Key Drivers
Increasing demand for electric vehicles from European consumers is playing a crucial role in boosting the market for connected cars. Moreover, the market is predicted to gain traction due to widespread adoption of mobile and wireless technologies.
Some governments within EU are introducing various regulations and initiatives regarding vehicles safety, which could be a favourable move for connected car manufacturers and dealers. In addition, availability of advanced telecom and road infrastructure will also continue to fuel the European market for connected cars.
- While the connected car technology and smartphone technology are conjoint in this industry, the difference in their lifecycles is significant. Car development is a five-year cycle but the smartphone is developed within a much shorter time span. This is expected to act as a major restraint for connected cars in tandem with smartphone technology.
- Moreover, car manufacturers will need long-term, compatible mobile partners, which is currently a challenge.
- A recent survey concluded that many consumers from the U.K., Netherlands, Germany, France, Sweden, Spain, and Italy are concerned about the lack of standards across connected car manufacturers. This is anticipated to be a major barrier in the market.
- Research reflects significant reluctance among consumers about data privacy and digital safety. A sizeable consumer population still prefers to personalise their cars’ web connection via smartphones’ USB or Bluetooth, rather than buying a connected car with built-in options. This is another factor that could be a major roadblock to market.
- Furthermore, many people are not yet ready to pay separately for embedded car connection, which is foreseen to be a setback for the market in Europe.
Segmentation: Europe Connected Cars Market
FMI’s research on the European market for connected cars provides a six-year forecast, segmenting the market on the basis of technology, hardware, service, and application.
On the basis of technology, the market is segmented into long-term evolution (LTE), Wi-Fi, High Speed Packet Access (HSPA), and others.
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The hardware segment is further segmented as processor, sensor, CPU, memory device, and wireless and cellular module.
Based on the service, the market is segmented into original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) services, connected services, after-market services, and other services (e.g. safety services).
According to the application, the market is segmented as telematics, navigation, safety and security, infotainment, and communications. However, the safety and security segment is expected to outperform all the segments, followed by infotainment, which is said to record the fastest growth in the European connected cars market.
Europe Estimated to Surpass the Current Market Leader, North America
The EU has always been highly supportive in promoting the connected car technology. The European CEN and ETSI have set certain standards for cooperative intelligence transport systems (ITS), as per the demand from the European Commission for safer, more efficient, and more sustainable transport. The latest standards make it mandatory for manufacturers to equip each car model with a GPS system and 3G/4G connectivity. Moreover, the technology is expected to interconnect drivers with automakers, dealers, and auto repair shops. This has been a major breakthrough for the connected cars market in Europe.
Influential Trends in the Connected Cars Market
Complete smartphone integration, teen drivers’ monitoring, digital dashboards, GPS navigation systems with travel guidance, and self-driving (driverless cars) technology are the most notable trends in the connected cars industry, in Europe and globally.
In the recent past, Volvo has launched a corporate initiative, according to which self-driving cars and autonomous driving features will be in market in the near future. The company’s Drive Me Project in 2017 also featured 100 self-driving Volvos on public roads.
Key Players: European Connected Cars Market
Key players in the European connected cars market include Apple, Inc., Airbiquity, Inc., BayerischeMotorenWerke AG (BMW), Delphi Automotive LLP, Ford Motor Company, Microsoft Corporation, TATA Consultancy Services Ltd., Toyota Motors Corp., Verizon Communications, Inc., and AT&T, Inc.
Major car manufacturers have already started taking efforts toward smartphone integration to cater to connectivity demand from consumers. Since several companies from telecom and software verticals are rapidly entering the connected cars market, OEMs are expected to concentrate on strengthening their hold in the market.