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Smart on Wheels: The Emergence of Connected Cars

  • Nikita Godse 

Smartphones have disrupted the definition of connectivity forever. People wish to stay connected with the world all the time. Connectivity has become significant to the world and hence, automobile producers are integrating connectivity solutions in their vehicles to improve their automobile sales. 

Customers are expecting their vehicles to perform tasks as smartly as computers and mobile phones. For many automobile manufacturers, adding connectivity solutions to the vehicle has hence become a priority as they wish to cater to the customer needs and stay relevant and future-proof. This increase in the trend of connectivity solutions propels the growth of the global connected cars market.

The market is driven by many trends. Big names in the automobile sector such as Mercedes are enjoying the benefits of introducing connected cars in the form of increased revenue. Apart from the profitability, the globally connected car market is getting disrupted by incidents such as new car launches, partnerships, and others.

As per the report published by a known market research company named Allied Market Research, the globally connected car market is projected to garner $225.16 billion by 2027, manifesting a CAGR of 17.1% from 2020-2027.  

Increasing sales of connected cars:

With the adoption of this new technology, the automobile sector across the world is experiencing a boost in sales and revenue. This can be seen from the recent market update where Mercedes-Benz India now enjoys the largest base of connected cars with over 37,000 sold cars. Its ‘Mercedes Me Connect’ technology is preferred by over 80% of its customers.

The ‘Mercedes Me Connect’ solution incorporates three aspects, such as the smartphone, the car itself, and home voice integration using Alexa and Google Home. Considering the popularity of connected cars in the market, Mercedes Me Connect not only comes in new cars but also older cars. The company offers the ‘Mercedes Me’ adapter solution to their older cars.

Partnerships for better user experience:

Known automobile names in the market are collaborating with IT giants around the world to offer a user-friendly and connected driving experience to users.

Al-Futtaim’s Trading Enterprises is an exclusive distributor of Volvo Cars in the UAE. The enterprise has recently announced that the next generation of Volvo Cars will be electric cars. Customers can expect a car that gets better and smarter each day and provides a simple and seamless Volvo user experience. Customers can enjoy a smart drive, right from getting a car to staying inside it and controlling it through their mobile device.

Volvo was the first car manufacturer to launch cars with an infotainment system that is supported by Android Automotive OS, Google Maps, Google Assistant, and Google Play built-in. Volvo now has a  strategic association with Google to upgrade connectivity and infotainment.

The next-gen Volvo Cars approach in terms of user experience is connected to VolvoCars.OS. It is an umbrella of multiple operating systems used in electric Volvos and the cloud. It starts with a new in-car display and with Android Automotive OS. Volvo Cars and Google are collaboratively building a user experience to optimize safety and simplicity. 

Use of IoT mobile connectivity:

As market players are discovering new ways of offering user-friendly connected cars with better features than competitors, they are using innovative technologies to make this possible. Lynk & Co has launched a connected car using IoT Mobile Connectivity. 

The vehicle uses the Internet of Things (IoT) and other infrastructure from Orange Business Services to offer connected car solutions to drivers.

Lynk & Co provides membership-based mobility for those who prefer to rent a car. The car has a share button, helping car owners to generate income via sharing functionalities. Lynk & Co also allows customers to control, monitor, and share their cars from a smartphone app.

Orange has worked with Lynk & Co and CEVT to develop a solution that helps the Lynk & Co business model. Every car will be benefited from an IoT Managed Global Connectivity solution. 

Mobile SIM cards that have a unified global footprint are incorporated during the production process. IoT connectivity helps users to boast the same experiences across geographies even if the user is roaming between different providers.

Talking about connected cars, brands operating in developing countries such as India are also not behind. Maruti, a known Indian automobile company has launched Suzuki Connect which is integrated into cars such as Alto, Swift, WagonR, Ertiga, Dzire, and Vitara Brezza. This technology is available with its Arena range of cars.  The Suzuki Connect system comes with features such as geofencing, security alerts, vehicle status, tracking, and driving behavior analysis. Not just India, but many developing countries in South America are also exploring this new technology.