Is the Connected Car Going to Replace your Smartphone?

Next Generation Communications Blog

Is the Connected Car Going to Replace your Smartphone?

By: Anthony Trinh (@Trinh_Anthony), Integrated Marketing Assistant, Alcatel-Lucent 

What if you didn’t need to have your phone beside you at all times? What if instead, you can use your own car to connect with you, direct you and protect you wherever you go?

Well, by 2022, a Telefónica Industry Report (PDF) predicts that there will be 1.8 billion automotive Machine-to-Machine (M2M) connections that can do just that. This will comprise 700 million Connected Cars and 1.1 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices for services such as navigation, insurance, stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) and infotainment. In fact, Machina Research predicts that by 2020, 90% of new cars will feature built-in connectivity platforms, growing from less than 10% today.

Connected Cars will not replace smartphones - merely it’s a way to extend the IoT connectivity and bring the everyday lifestyle right to the car. Ellis Lindsay’s blog on Connected Cars as an everyday lifestyle does a great job of explaining this concept. He goes into detail about connected cars giving us the ability to link our life experiences – whether it’s our deadlines, travel plans, monthly payments or Facebook notifications – to wherever we are and wherever we go.

I really think this quote by Henry Ford “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘faster horses’” explains the evolution of Connected Cars perfectly. Connected Cars have changed the way we approach the future of communications and if I had the chance to ask Henry about the future of Connected Cars, he probably would have repeated the same quote. Another great Ford leader, Steven Odell, an EVP at Ford Motor Company, believes “Cars are the smartphones of the future” stating that 79% of industry experts believe the IoT connectivity will soon be the primary decision in car purchases and that 80% of cars will be connected by 2020.

Today’s primary decisions in making car purchases are pricing and gas mileage, without a doubt. However, when the M2M players and service providers join forces to bring connected cars to end users, they will have to realize the challenges of bringing M2M to the masses. These challenges include simplifying the use of technology and creating an experience where they consistently feel connected to their everyday lives. Oh, and let’s not forget the millennials’ preferences to self-service. There will be more to purchasing decisions than pricing and gas mileage – the means of having voice over LTE (VoLTE), push notifications, customer self-support, and mobile data will be major players in the decision.

All of the services of the Connected Car I mentioned have two important elements: It further connects us to our everyday lives and enhances the customer experience. This enables us to have our cars become our smartphones. Just imagine, making payments right from your car, having your car find the best available parking spots and not having to worry about the maintenance of your car as there are automatic vehicle system checks, firmware updates and data management services. What else could you ask for?

To learn more about Connected Cars, take a look at the ng Connect program. Is there an application or service you think every Connected Car should have? How big of a role will the IoT play in that service? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I’d like to hear from you.

When he’s not blogging or tweeting, Anthony Trinh (@Trinh_Anthony) is a third-year marketing and information systems student from Carleton University in Ottawa. He is currently completing a co-op term as the Integrated Marketing Assistant for the Motive marketing group at Alcatel-Lucent.

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