Over half of mass market cars will support apps through their car radio platforms by 2016. And more than half of premium vehicles will connect to apps in two years, said Gartner, according to the Wall Street Journal.
By 2017, more than 13 million vehicles globally will be sold with a “connected” platform, said IMS Research Tuesday.
General Motors is even planning to offer its own app store that will include apps from third parties, said the WSJ earlier this month, citing two sources familiar with the project.
You couldn’t miss the signs to connect the car to apps at CES. Audi said it would offer wireless radios in the future that don’t need to rely on a smartphone, in its keynote address by Rupert Stadler.
Toyota announced an Entune system that connects to Pandora, iheartradio and bing on a smartphone; Hyundai’s Blue Link system remote starts the car from a smartphone app; Ford introduced its Focus Electric all electric car, which relies heavily on a smartphone app to monitor charging (remember, there’s no back up battery; if you run out of a charge, you’re stuck, so the smartphone app becomes super important).
Then we had Visteon showing an Android radio, iPad dashboard and a ready-made app store for any car maker to adopt under its own brand.
Aftermarket suppliers displayed easily more than 35 radios supporting apps and Parrot showed its own Android head unit with a USB AirCard slot.
Interestingly, the U.S. is ahead of Europe when it comes to the connected car. “Obviously, there are a few high-end systems from the likes of BMW and Audi; but for the volume market, with the exception of Volvo’s emergency calling system, currently only TomTom offers an affordable connected package with their high-end PND systems,” said an IMS Research report.
The report also found that the top three tier 1 navigation suppliers in Europe are Harman, Continental, and Bosch Multimedia, which combined account for almost 70% of the Western European OE navigation market. All have the capability to provide app connected radios but have yet to do so.