Warning shot fired to vehicle manufacturers: Get up to speed on connected cars


A new piece of research from TNS and the BearingPoint Institute has sounded a warning to traditional vehicle manufacturers: if you don’t get your act together on connected car technology, then tech companies such as Google, Apple, and Uber will surge ahead.

The research, which polled 3,700 connected car owners in Europe, recommended that OEMs need to increase awareness and understanding of connected car features, which are ‘easy to use’ and ‘drive excitement’. 39% of respondents said they did not have any connected car features demonstrated to them when considering purchasing a new car; by coincidence, exactly the same number who believed their cars did not have any connectivity features.

This disparity means automotive firms are missing a trick, the researchers argue. 59% of those polled see features such as navigation, driver assistance and infotainment as influential to their next purchase. 11% of respondents said it was the most important purchase reason, while 27% said they did not consider it particularly but it contributed to the choice and 38% argued it had no effect on their purchasing decision.

The primary benefits of a connected car, according to the respondents, were safer journeys through automatic warnings about potential hazards (62%), Internet-enabled navigation (62%), and greater understanding of fuel consumption and driving habits (55%).

“Car manufacturers need to act fast if they are to avoid being overtaken by the big tech players,” said Remy Pothet, TNS global automotive sector head. “Smartphones are already integrating entertainment and navigation functionality with existing on-board systems, such as Apple’s Car Play and the Google powered Open Automotive Alliance.

“OEMs therefore need to find ways to either partner with tech companies or invest in them as Audi, BMW and Mercedes have recently done with their $3 billion purchase of the Nokia/Microsoft HERE map and navigation platform to make their features even better than the software specialists’ products,” he added.

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