A fifth of cars in Europe, North America to be app-connected by 2017: Juniper Research

App-connected vehicles are set to account for 20% of all consumer cars in Western Europe and North America by 2017, according to a new connected-cars study from Juniper Research.

According to the analyst firm, advancements in entertainment head-units and higher smartphone penetration will be largely responsible for the increase in app-connected vehicles over the forecast period.

App-connected vehicles are set to account for 20% of all consumer cars in Western Europe and North America by 2017, according to a new connected-cars study from Juniper Research.

According to the analyst firm, advancements in entertainment head-units and higher smartphone penetration will be largely responsible for the increase in app-connected vehicles over the forecast period.

But the success of standards like MirrorLink – which is intended to provide seamless integration between smartphones and car infotainment systems – will be “instrumental in creating the foundations for the connected car ecosystem to flourish”, emphasized Anthony Cox, the report’s author.

While forecasting growth in more traditional embedded consumer telematics services, the company reckons the success of smartphone tethering and in-vehicle apps will help to lower the prices of vehicle makers’ own embedded telematics infotainment services.

Moreover, “big data” is likely to become an important revenue driver for telematics companies and automotive manufacturers, says Juniper Research.

“Sky-high smartphone ownership and a standardized approach to integrating apps into the vehicle head-unit mean that the barriers to making the connected car a reality have all but gone,” said Cox.

The only factor holding back even faster development of in-vehicle internet services is the slow growth in the new vehicle markets of developed economies, added Cox.

The report also predicts that consolidation in the commercial fleet telematics space will lead to the emergence of global fleet telematics players.

Another finding is that insurance telematics is reaching the point of wide-scale deployment, particularly in the US and parts of Europe.

A high-profile deal in this area was recently struck between Spanish operator Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) and Italian insurance company Generali (Trieste, Italy).

Meanwhile, Germany’s Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) has been very active in the connected-cars area, recently signing a deal to provide connectivity services in BMW (Munich, Germany) cars from rentals company Sixt (Pullach, Germany).