Demand for In-Car Data Accelerates

The market for connected cars will grow 650 per cent between 2010 and 2017, according to new research. 

A study by electronics industry research company IMS Research says that sales of cars with two-way data connections will reach 40.5m units in 2017. Connected cars will provide service such as automatic emergency calling, live traffic and weather updates, internet browsing, and social media services.

The companys research points to strong consumer demand for these services in-car. IMS Researchs study in the United States and Western Europe found that Nearly 60 per cent of consumers want a connected system in their next car, and almost half of consumers would be willing to pay for a connected system in their next car. The maximum amount these consumers would be willing to pay was £10 per month, or around £120 per year for connected services.

“Strong market growth over the coming years will be driven both by consumers desire to be always connected all the time – even while driving – and through the potential introduction of a mandatory emergency calling system in Europe in 2015,” said Jack Bergquist, market analyst at IMS Research. “Such systems are already popular in the US and its likely that next time you come to buy a new car, it will have a connectivity package in the options list.”

According to the survey, the most established brands in the US in this sector are OnStar and Ford Sync. Ford Sync services are free for three years, then $60 per year thereafter, whereas OnStar packages start at $199 per year after only one year for free. Ford Sync uses the connection from the drivers mobile phone, while OnStar makes use of an in-built modem.

“Within the next five years, more vehicle manufacturers will be offering connected systems that allow users to update Facebook, Twitter and other social media using their voice,” Bergquist says. “Other functionalities will include the ability to dictate emails and text messages, and even control heating functions and the radio with your voice.”