Report: Smartphone integration will become standard for connected cars

Over 90 million vehicles will feature technology to integrate smartphones by 2016, according to a new study by research firm Juniper Research.

Ford’s AppLink allows mobile app developers to display their app’s information on Ford’s in-car touchscreen displays.

Ford's AppLink allows mobile app developers to display their app's information on Ford's in-car touchscreen displays.

The market intelligence firm said that the ability to integrate smartphones into cars will become the rule on new models, helped by new standards and protocols being proposed by the Connected Car Consortium. This effort will allow automotive manufacturers like Mercedes and Toyota to follow Ford in introducing technology which allows the smartphone to become an in-vehicle hub. This move should enable the manufacturers to provide customers with mobile data, smartphone apps and content access across the range of vehicles they sell, Juniper noted.

"Integrating the smartphone into consumer cars represents a new route for the mobile Internet and infotainment to enter the vehicle," Juniper analyst Anthony Cox said in a statement. However, he notes that the main barrier for this form of telematics will be limited growth in the automotive market over the next five years, particularly in developed regions.

Additional findings of the Juniper study include:

  • Commercial telematics is seeing sustained uptake, driven by its promise of increasing driver efficiency and managing costs.
  • Regulatory initiatives such as the eCall driver safety project and Brazil's regulation 245 governing stolen vehicles will boost telematics adoption in some countries.
  • Though several insurance companies are trialling the technology, insurance telematics remains in its infancy with most widespread commercial deployments not happening until at least 2014.

The study also highlights that the commercial telematics market is moving toward a more sophisticated level of management as fleet managers use the technology to increase fleet efficiency, comply with regulations and monitor driver behaviour.

For more:
- see this Juniper Research release

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