A new report by Juniper Research on the telematics sector has found that the number of in-vehicle apps in use is expected to reach 269 million by 2018, representing a more than fivefold increase on last year’s figure.
According to the report, Connected Cars: Consumer & Commercial Telematics and Infotainment 2014-2018, growth will be fuelled by solutions such as Apple’s CarPlay, which will promote in-vehicle apps to the mainstream. It also argues that app integration will be facilitated as standardised approaches like MirrorLink are adopted this year by OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers), content providers and automotive entertainment specialists.
“By 2018 most new vehicles will come with integrated apps as standard,” says the report’s author, Anthony Cox, “after-market app integration will also be commonplace, as head-unit manufacturers launch increasingly sophisticated devices”. However, he observed that as with smartphone apps, only a small proportion will create revenues for their creators, even though they will enhance the driving experience.
App Integration “Will Have Profound Effect” on Monetisation
The report found that although the integration of apps into the vehicle will have a profound effect on traditional monetisation models, potentially denting revenues, two factors will favour embedded telematics. Firstly, regulatory initiatives such as the eCall driver safety project and Brazil’s regulation Contran 245 governing stolen vehicles, will guarantee the take-up of embedded telematics in several key geographical regions.
Secondly, it argued that the ability to split the telematics “bill” pioneered by major operators, systems integrators and the GSMA, will allow for granular billing of infotainment and other services. This will particularly be the case as streaming and other advanced services become available in developed markets through LTE adoption.
Nevertheless, the report claimed that widespread smartphone tethering and in-vehicle apps would continue to drive down the price of vehicle manufacturers’ own embedded telematics infotainment services.
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