Gartner: Embedded wireless to become car maker priority

Car makers in mature markets will focus on putting embedded wireless data connectivity into more than half of their "next-generation" cars by 2012, according to new research by Gartner.

The research firm said that Web-based data services will become a way for car makers to differentiate themselves. And the advent of smartphones and netbooks, which foster consumer expectations of always-on, always-connected environments, will increase shoppers' desire for a similar experience in their cars.

By 2016, according to Gartner, consumers will value in-car wireless connectivity at the same level as safety and fuel efficiency. "Suppliers, content and service providers, as well as automotive-focused technology vendors will evolve and take on broader roles to address automakers' needs for offering such connectivity, integration and content solutions," said Thilo Koslowski, research vice president at Gartner, in a release.

Wireless carriers seem to grasp to the growing potential of in-car connectivity. Sprint Nextel recently struck a deal with Ford Motor Co. to put in-dashboard computers in Ford vehicles that connect to Sprint's network.

For more:
- see this release

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