Connected Automotive Software Applications We'll See by 2020

August 31, 2015  |  By Michael O'Shea  |       

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By 2020, BI Intelligence estimates that 75 percent of all cars shipped globally will be built with the necessary hardware to connect to the Internet. And, consumer spending on mobile apps, including those tailored to the car, is set to grow from $24 billion in 2014 to more than $40 billion by 2020, according to IHS Automotive.

Because the United States is a pioneer in smartphones and app development, North America will continue to lead the automotive industry in automotive apps integration. According to BI Intelligence app stores are expected to be the key distribution channel for automotive apps.

Growing consumer demand means the number and variety of automotive apps will only continue to increase. Ultimately, consumers want applications that make driving a seamless element of their daily routines and lifestyles.

Here are the connected automotive software applications we can expect to see in new vehicles by 2020:

Intuitive Driver Assistance Apps

The connected car apps of the future will give drivers access to useful information on traffic, accidents, road conditions, work zones, special events, weather, and more. And, these apps will be intelligent enough to anticipate drivers’ needs and proactively deliver that information based on the driver’s habits and interests. Via a natural language interface, drivers will also be able to ask questions or make information requests using voice commands. By the same token, connectivity will eventually enable vehicles to communicate with vehicles near them, providing alerts and warnings of impending collisions and other hazards.

At the same time, driver assistance applications will simply make life more convenient for drivers. Examples include an app for aiding in the recovery of a stolen vehicle; remote ordering and payment at drive-through restaurants; or making electronic payments for tolls and parking.

Vehicle Service Apps

By 2020, software applications and telematics will enable OEMs to collect real-time remote diagnostics -- with consumer approval, of course -- to monitor any vehicle’s health and enhance its capabilities. Software and service patches will be automatically delivered to the vehicle with little to no driver involvement.

Plus, using the data they receive on vehicle and driver behaviors, OEMs and dealers can transmit service alerts, scheduling, and notifications directly to the consumer. Ultimately, vehicle service apps will enable OEMs to take a much more proactive approach to customer service and make drivers’ lives that much easier.

Entertainment Apps

According to the Automotive 2020 report by IBM Global Business Services, “The vehicle will become an extension of lifestyles, with entertainment solutions (streaming audio, video and communications) that allow seamless transition between mobility, office and home.” And, voice recognition capabilities built into embedded entertainment apps will result in fewer manual processes by the driver -- or maybe even none at all.

According to IHS Automotive, more than 36 million app-enabled vehicles will be in use with Apple CarPlay, an in-car solution for iPhone integration, in 2020 -- up from just over 0.1 million in 2014. Additionally, apps for Google’s Android Auto are expected to be included in more than 40 million vehicles in 2020.

Device-agnostic solutions like Abalta Technologies’ WEBLINK® are also expected to become more prevalent. Running on any iOS or Android smartphone, WEBLINK allows any HTML5 or native app to be streamed to the in-vehicle infotainment system over USB, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. User interactions are captured and sent back to the apps running on the smartphone.

And Many More Possibilities…

With all the funding and resources going to connected car research, the possibilities for automotive software applications really are endless. OEM interest in creating new apps is high, as evidenced by events like Apps World North America, where Honda Developer Studio is the Connected Car Sponsor for 2016. A highlight of the event is the annual Apps World Hackathon, which pits leading app developers, designers, and even non-programming business users against one another to create the next wave of innovative connected car apps. It’s an exciting time in the world of connected cars!

Topics: Connected Car - Apps

Michael O'Shea

Michael O’Shea is the Founder and CEO of Abalta Technologies. He is responsible for all aspects of executive management of Abalta and a direct participant in many client engagements, particularly in management advisory projects.

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