Latest research from Parks Associates demonstrates that connected car features are rapidly gaining consumer acceptance. Over 75% of U.S. vehicle owners with at least one connected car feature indicate these services will influence their next vehicle purchase, and over 50% rated connected services as “very important” in guiding their new vehicle purchase, according to the report “Connected Cars: Revenue Opportunities”.
“Over 80% of U.S. broadband households with a mobile phone service have a smartphone, which is a gateway device for connected cars,” said Jennifer Kent, Senior Analyst, Parks Associates. “Smartphones have raised expectations of what connected devices can do, and Google and Apple are among the companies trying to build on those expectations in the connected car space.”
The report shows the most common connected car feature is the ability to make phone calls using the car’s built-in Bluetooth connectivity. The most desired feature is the ability to view maps or receive directions.
“Apple and Google are vying to be the consumer touch point for connected applications and services, and that competition has naturally extended to the automotive space,” Kent said. “Both of their solutions bring their mobile operating systems to the car through a ‘mirroring’ approach that lets the user control certain smartphone functions and apps through the car’s display, physical buttons, or voice control.”
For all connected car features, smartphone users are much more likely than non-smartphone owners to find connected car services appealing. For example, 37% of current vehicle owners in U.S. broadband households are very interested in the ability to view maps or receive directions. Among smartphone owners, the percentage of those interested increases to 48%.
The report also sees rapid growth of usage-based insurance (UBI) programs over the next five years. These programs currently represent less than 5% of all private passenger auto policies in the United States, but analysts say the auto and insurance industries will move quickly to leverage the vehicle performance and driver behavior data generated by connected car solutions.