Cars are becoming smarter, with apps now embedded in vehicles which recognise their owners’ voices.
A new report from Juniper Research has found that advancements in entertainment head-units and higher smartphone penetration will result in app capability reaching a fifth of all consumer vehicles in the developed markets of North America and Western Europe by 2017.
The success of new standards such as MirrorLink will be instrumental in creating the foundations for the connected car ecosystem to flourish, finds the report.
Though Juniper Research also forecasts robust growth in more traditional embedded consumer telematics services, the success of smartphone tethering and in-vehicle apps is expected to exert downward pressure on the price of vehicle manufacturers’ own embedded telematics infotainment services.
The report notes that big data derived from telematics service provision is also likely to emerge as an unexpected revenue driver for telematics companies and automotive manufacturers.
“Sky-high smartphone ownership and a standardised approach to integrating apps into the vehicle head-unit mean that the barriers to making the connected car a reality have all but gone,” says the report’s author Anthony Cox. The report notes that the only factor holding back even faster deployment of in-vehicle Internet will be slow growth in the new vehicle market itself in developed economies.
It also finds that consolidation within the commercial fleet telematics space has yet to run its course, though ultimately global fleet telematics players are likely to emerge from today’s front-runners.
* Trials of V2V (vehicle to vehicle) and vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) are on-going in some markets, although wide-spread deployment remains a long way off.
* Insurance telematics is reaching the point of wide-scale deployment particularly in certain markets such as the US, Italy and the UK. Commercial telematics, meanwhile, will spread to smaller commercial vehicle classes, driven by potential efficiency gains and proven cost-savings.
* Meanwhile, an IMS Research report from IHS finds that more than half of new automobiles in 2019 will integrate voice recognition, as car manufacturers increasingly seek safer ways for drivers to interact with navigation, music or phone calls.
A total of 55% of all new motor vehicle vehicles produced in 2019 will incorporate voice recognition, up from 37% in 2012. The increase in voice-recognition units in vehicles will drive revenue to $170-million in 2019, more than double from $81-million in 2011.
With voice recognition, drivers can operate infotainment and other vehicle controls without taking their eyes off the road or their hands off the wheel. Advances in voice-recognition technology will allow drivers to use spoken words to manipulate an increasing number of functions in the future, including controlling the HVAC system, sending text messages and even composing e-mail.
Voice recognition also is becoming a feature that consumers take for granted in their electronic products. And with recognition increasingly widespread in a number of consumer electronics applications, consumers now are expecting the same kind of technology in their vehicles. Users want a seamless interface across all of their devices, including the car.
Voice systems inside vehicles use technologies such as voice recognition, text-to-speech and speech-to-text to enable drivers to control entertainment and navigation systems simply by using their voices.
While all vehicles with voice-recognition capabilities have on-board processing, some also include off-board processing.
One is a call centre-type model that dials into an automated call centre to process commands or orders. This is the approach used by GM’s OnStar or Agero.
In the second model, the command is recorded in the vehicle and sent over Internet protocol to a server, which then processes the command and sends back a response. This system is used in Ford’s MyFord Touch.
Following the lead of smartphones that utilise touchscreen technology, the availability of touchscreens in vehicles also will grow at a rapid rate during the next seven years, reaching 35,7-million units by 2019, up from 5,8-million units in 2011. Touchscreen revenue is forecast to reach $1,3-billion by 2019, up from $2,6-million in 2011.
Resistive-type touchscreens now account for nearly all the market. However, by 2016 and 2017, capacitive touchscreens will become more common in North America, with resistive technology going into decline. This same trend will occur two or three years later for South America, Eastern Europe and the rest of the world.
Asia-Pacific will see largest growth when compared to other major regions, with approximately 17,9-million automotive touchscreens being sold in 2019, IHS believes.
The shift from resistive to capacitive touchscreens will happen more quickly in Asia-Pacific than in the other regions, with 1,2-million units of capacitive screens forecast to be sold in 2014, compared to 0,9-million resistive screens the same year in Asia-Pacific.
While users may be comfortable with touchscreens in smartphones, these systems in vehicles cannot be operated in the same manner as a smartphone. Instead, they will have a much more safety-centric user interface.
At the same time, vehicle manufacturers do not want to limit the dynamic features and functions on such touchscreens, so this is where voice recognition will come into play, allowing motorists to link the user experience of dynamic functionality and content with the touchscreen, but in a safe way.