By Chuck Martin
For the past few years, connected cars have been a big deal at the annual CES show in Las Vegas and it looks like it could be the tip of the iceberg.
Two years ago, General Motors made a big deal at the show with its in-car networking, apps in the dash and commerce on the go.
Last year, the theme continued, with even more car connectivity being shown by different automakers.
And now comes a bit of research indicating that connected car numbers are starting to scale.
More than 40 million U.S. vehicles will be connected to the Internet by the end of this year, according to Parks Associates.
And it looks like that’s just the start, with the number climbing steadily for the next two years. In their next car, the majority (64%) of car owners in broadband households would like built-in support for at least one connected activity in their next car.
The majority of car connections today are done via smartphones, which is being transformed over time.
This means that services such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be pre-installed in more new cars. Many of those types of services will be on full display at CES next week.
Here are the top specific in-car capabilities car owners with smartphones say they want, in order:
- Access maps, navigation
- Access emergency or roadside assistance features
- Make or receive voice calls
- View vehicle performance or maintenance information
- Access music apps
- Browse the Web
The research firm also identified the top five trends for connected cars next year:
- Automakers embrace Apple and Android.
- Connected cars lead the way in crossing boundaries between different Internet of Things ecosystems.
- Connected technologies enable a shift in vehicle ownership models to one defined more by experience.
- Autonomous driving features will come to market system by system, such as emergency braking services.
- Privacy concerns will remain in the headlines until connectivity becomes indispensable to driving.
While smartphones have been the short-term connecting device for cars, it looks like the car itself will become its own hub on The Internet of Things.