In the future, wireless carriers may subsidize your car, just like they subsidize your phone, because cars will be so cool and so full of wireless gadgets, they will surpass smartphones as the tech gadgets people want.
So said Gartner analyst Thilo Koslowski at the Connect2Car panel at CES last week.
Actually, seeds of this trend were already evident at CES where suddenly there was little news about smartphones or tablets, which had grabbed headlines for the past 5 years. Instead, the bigger headlines at CES came from the car companies as Chevy and Audi announced that 4G will soon be embedded in their cars, while AT&T announced it will provide a special rate plan for Chevy customers starting around summer.
“There will be even more activity here at CES next year [in cars],” said Koslowski. Why? Because people spend 48 minutes a day in the car commuting.
He noted, “In the future you might even get a car for free if you sign up for data for a year.” It might be a small car or just access to a vehicle for a certain amount of time. But in a study that Gartner is soon to release, 38 percent like that idea.
Also regarding the Connected Car, Koslowski said people want cars with advanced features like automatic braking. But other features like car tracking are just not in high demand.
“Telematics are not exciting enough to get consumers to buy into the connected car,” he said.
But features like car sharing, self-parking, automatic braking and car to car communication are going to “really define the Connected Car.” In fact, by 2016, consumers won’t buy cars without these or similar features, he said.
As far as infotainment, almost half of drivers want apps in the car, but almost 90 percent are concerned about safety while driving.
Almost 30 percent of consumers want Internet Radio streaming in a vehicle.
The Connect2Car panel at CES discussed the future of the aftermarket and new car technology. It was led by John Waraniak of SEMA and co-coordinated by Chris Cook of MERA. It included panelists Keith Lehmann who recently left his post at Kenwood and Tom Malone at VOXX (Audiovox), Ford’s chief technologist John Ellis, Massimo Baldini of Livio Connect, Danny Shapiro of chip maker NVIDIA and Thilo Koslowski of analyst group Gartner.