Smarter Cars Have Arrived

by Parks Associates | Mar. 1, 2016

The connected car industry is experiencing a time of tremendous growth. Parks Associates research, cited in a recent TIME article, estimates that mobile networks such as Verizon and AT&T will make nearly $1 billion each year in connected-car revenue by 2018. The increase in revenue is due to huge advancements in the connected car space.

A quarter of cars on U.S. roads last year had some connectivity ability, the simplest form being a way to leverage the driver’s smartphone connection. At its I/O developer conference last year, Google introduced attendees to cars equipped to run Android Auto. The new technology functions like a giant smart phone and personal assistant, according to TIME. Cars are able to read texts to users, offer directions, restaurant recommendations, and more.

Consumer concerns about connectivity are challenging the industry to pay more attention to privacy guidelines. Parks Associates consumer research shows:

  • Over half of vehicle owners in U.S. broadband households are very concerned about the security of their personal driving data, and 55% are concerned about their location data.
  • Approximately 50% of broadband households have privacy or security concerns about smart home devices.
  • Consumers display greatest concern for connecting home devices that are related to smart security services and entry point devices.

The increase in connected vehicles creates a larger addressable market for hackers, so privacy and security breaches will also increase. Consumers and regulators will continue to focus on the issue until connected car features are ubiquitous and necessary to the driving experience. Only then will the consumer evaluation of the security/value trade-off relent, as it has with online banking, e-commerce, and other forms of connected living.

Even amid security concerns, consumers want connectivity—64% of U.S. car owners want connected activity built into their next car. Automakers are continually developing new technology to meet those desires. The self-driving car, perhaps the biggest advancement to hit the connected car space is on the horizon. Automakers anticipate its debut later rather than sooner. However, by the time of its arrival, it won’t be much of a surprise. Presently, cars can parallel park and auto adjust speed. According to David Cummins, who heads Xerox’s smart-parking and mobility initiatives, “And you are going to have more and more and more of that introduced over the next three to five years.”

Further Reading:

Next: Wi-Fi Based Mobile Service: the Hidden Potential of Hotspots and OTTs
Previous: Bumps in the Road: On the Way to Autonomous Driving


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