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Dash Connectivity to Grow Seven-fold Over Five Years

SBD predicts almost 36 million new cars will be shipped globally with embedded telematics by 2018

Expect a nearly seven-fold increase in the number of new cars equipped with factory-installed mobile connectivity designed with safety and security in mind over the next five years.

That’s according to the results of a study by research firm SBD for mobile operators group GSMA. The rapid development of the global connected car market will be driven in part by positive regional regulatory action in Europe, Russia and Brazil.

SBD forecasts that almost 36 million new cars will be shipped globally with embedded telematics by 2018.

That’s 31% of the total number of cars shipped in that year and it compares with 5.4 million in 2012.

The research firm defines an embedded solution as a system, like BMW ConnectedDrive and GM OnStar, in which both the connectivity and the intelligence are embedded into the car.

The growth in embedded connectivity is likely to be fuelled in part by regulations in the European Union and Russia making it mandatory for new vehicles to ship with systems that are able to automatically alert emergency services in the event of an accident. The embedded system would still work even if the driver’s handset battery isn’t charged.

SBD forecasts that almost 21 million of the cars sold in 2018 will feature smartphone integration systems (18% penetration). In 2012, 1.9 million cars shipped with smartphone integration solutions, such as Ford AppLink or Toyota Entune, which rely on all or some of the intelligence being hosted on the owner’s smartphone. These systems typically enable the driver or passengers to view apps running on the driver’s smartphone on a screen in the car and, in some cases, to interact with these apps via controls in the vehicle.

The research firm expects 10 million of the cars sold in 2018 to feature tethered solutions (9% penetration), up from 2.6 million cars in 2012. Tethered systems like Mercedes Command rely on intelligence embedded into the car, but use the owner’s mobile phone for connectivity. In this case, apps run using the in-car computer, rather than a smartphone.

However, SBD acknowledges some uncertainty around these forecasts, saying regulatory mandates related to connected cars have already experienced significant delays and may be delayed further due to political or technical difficulties.