Within 10 years, 90pc of new cars may be connected to ‘internet of things’

10 Jun 2014

In what could be a massive opportunity for mobile operators, a report predicts that by 2024 close to 90pc of new cars will be sold with embedded wireless capabilities and will form part of the ‘internet of things’ infrastructure.

Bell Telephone Company used the first ‘car phone’ in the USA in 1946, and devices installed in cars mainly used the first generation of mobile telephone technology (1G) introduced in the 1980s.

Now, in-car connectivity and communication technology has come full circle, a new report from Analysys Mason claims.

Vehicle manufacturers are bringing many models to market during 2014 and 2015 with embedded cellular connectivity, giving consumers an early glimpse of what is possible when the automotive and telecoms worlds collaborate.

“Connected car technology is an aspect of the internet of things that has huge potential for mobile network operators in the next 10 years,” said Morgan Mullooly, analyst at Analysys Mason.

“Almost half of all cars in use worldwide will have embedded connectivity by 2024, despite the long lifespan of modern vehicles. Also, by that time, just under 90pc of new car sales vehicles will feature embedded connectivity.”

Driving the digital lifestyle

A key driver will be that consumers will expect their experiences inside the car to be aligned with their experiences outside of the car, meaning they will want access to all the apps and services they are used to in their modern digital lifestyles.

“They will also expect their streaming media and infotainment services in their cars to have the same degree of reliability and uptime as they do when they tune into FM radio.”

Mullooly said that as a consequence, mobile network operators will have to rethink how they build out their next-generation 4G networks.

“Operators have typically prioritised urban population centres when designing and upgrading networks, particularly in the case of LTE deployment, but MNOs (mobile network operators) that seek to capitalise on increased data usage will need to prevent radio link failures, interference, bad coverage and unsuccessful handovers along roads.”

Future car hologram image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years