There is sufficient global demand for connected car services, with more than 70% of drivers surveyed saying that they are interested in using, or are already using, connected car services, new research has revealed.
According to the study by Telefónica, around half of consumers now consider connected features - e.g. in-built connectivity, the ability to plug in a smartphone - as a key part of their next vehicle purchase. Increased safety, early warning systems and smarter navigation were the most popular features with drivers, with almost three-quarters (73%) giving safety and diagnostics as being the most important.
The findings have been unveiled as part of Telefónica’s Connected Car Industry Report 2014 featuring independent primary research and contributions from six of the world’s largest car manufacturers.
An incredible 80% of consumers said they expected the connected car of the future to provide the same connected experience they are used to at home, at work and on the move via their mobile phone. The dashboard is the favoured way for accessing connected services with more than 60% of respondents preferring to access features in this way.
Meanwhile, 54% of UK drivers chose usage-based insurance models as one of the connected car features they would be most interested in. On average, 35% of drivers do not expect to own their own car by 2034 - predicting they will be using alternative options such as car sharing services.
Pavan Mathew, global head of connected car at Telefónica said that through looking at the connected car from a driver’s perspective, the demand for connected services in cars is unquestionable. 'Even though we’re just moving off of the starting line, people are ready for it and know what they want. But challenges to widespread roll-out remain,' he said.
While many consumers currently think of connected car services in terms infotainment and WiFi, this changes when they are made aware of the variety of options that the technology can offer. 'Safety and diagnostics appear to be the most attractive features to drivers, illustrating just how important factors such as road safety and vehicle maintenance are in consumer purchasing decisions'
He continued, 'We can expect to see a gradual creep of connectivity into vehicles over the next few years but there won’t be an explosion over the next 12 months.' He believes the reason for this lies in the 'complexity of the challenges' that connectivity is trying to address.
'While OEMs still have a way to go before they break out of their traditional role as a manufacturer and become a full, connected service provider, they certainly have a strong, trusted base to build from.'
Telefónica’s inaugural report on the subject in 2013 predicted that that the number of vehicles with built-in connectivity will increase from 10% of the overall market in 2013 to 90% by 2020. Telefónica recently announced a deal with electric vehicle manufacturer Telsa to provide connectivity for the Tesla Model S in Europe.