It is no secret that consumers are increasingly focused on connected cars. In a survey of consumers by Accenture, over 50% of consumers surveyed were already using some connected car services, 57% of those surveyed would like to have the ability to surf the internet via a monitor in the car, and 81% of consumers wanted a system like eCall in their car. Currently, connected-safety features generate the most revenues for connected car services, but driver assistance is expected to surpass safety as the top connected car revenue stream in 2017.
This has led to a sector of rapid expansion in the wireless industry. During the second quarter of 2016, the wireless industry’s Internet of Things (IoT) growth exceeded phones and tablets combined. Looking further ahead, a wireless industry consultant predicts that infotainment, such as music streaming, and telematics, such as navigation, fleet management, will make up 98% of all machine to machine traffic by 2021.
Within the IoT boom, the growth in connected cars is leading the pack. During the second quarter of 2016, the connection of cars to cellular networks outpaced the number of new phones connected to cellular networks during that same time period. AT&T saw a connected car onboarding pace double that of the connected tablets pace. At the end of the first quarter of 2016, AT&T counted more than 8 million connected cars on its network and connected more than 50% of the new connected cars in the US. Verizon’s recent acquisitions of connected car technology companies Telogis and Fleetmatics also reflects this increased focus by wireless companies on connected cars. Now consumers just need to figure out how to use all of these exciting new connected-car features.