Researchers predict 80% of new vehicles will be connected by 2020

Up to 80% of new vehicles in Europe will be connected to digital services by 2020, according to a recent survey from Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC) supported by BearingPoint.

Both volume and premium brands are now launching vehicles with embedded solutions, responding to demand for connectivity from consumers and business, as well as government safety legislation.

Researchers questioned 250 CxOs (chief experience officers) from automotive companies in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

According to BearingPoint, the key challenge for these firms in the next few years is to create new business models packaging multiple connected car services and creating a holistic customer experience. OEMs and suppliers must work together to deliver and bundle their services, and package, sell and provision them on to vehicles seamlessly, the company said.

The study found that over half of suppliers and manufacturers are still in the early stages of introducing connected car offerings, for example carrying out research and development activities, design and implementation or testing.

Asked about how their companies will provide connected car offerings, two-thirds said that they would be embedded in vehicles. Although only around a third of respondents were considering aftermarket connected car solutions, BearingPoint said that this is still a significant share and suggests that these solutions will become both added value to new vehicles and add-on products to older vehicles.

Looking at the type of the connected car offerings currently available, there is a strong focus on car-to-driver and in-car connectivity. But the focus is set to shift to car-to-x connectivity, for example remote service integration, security concepts or traffic management systems. Projects such as these are in R&D or design phases and are expected to enter the market within the coming years, the study revealed.

BearingPoint partner Matthias Loebich commented: “From a technology point of view, the market is currently shifting from in-car connectivity to car-to-x connectivity, and companies are going to put a stronger focus on the design and provision of third-party services.”

Technology for connected devices evolves much faster than the traditional product life cycle in the automotive sector, so updating and upgrading will remain essential. As consumers will want to customize their connected experience, profitable connectivity solutions will need to balance privacy and product safety aspects with the need to respect the sector-specific competition rules and the political calls for interoperable and open platforms.”

Thomas Funke, Partner

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