There'll be no iCar, but more iPhone-equipped cars
There have been scattered rumors over the years that Apple would enter the automotive market (the iCar?). Take my word: that's not going to happen. However, you will see an ever-increasing Apple influence in automobiles.
Integration of the smartphone into consumer vehicles will become all but standard on new models, according to a new report from Juniper Research (http://www.juniperresearch.com/), which forecasts that 92 million vehicles will feature technology to integrate the smartphone into the head-unit by 2016. And you can bet the iPhone will be the most integrated smartphone.
New protocols such as MirrorLink from the Connected Car Consortium will help automotive manufacturers like Mercedes and Toyota follow Ford in introducing technology that allows the smartphone to become a "hub," enabling mobile Internet, smartphone app and content access across the range of vehicles they sell.
"Integrating the smartphone into consumer cars represents a new route for the mobile Internet and infotainment to enter the vehicle," says Juniper Research report author, Anthony Cox. The report notes that the main inhibitor for this form of telematics will be limited growth in the automotive market over the next five years, particularly in developed regions. Further findings from the report include:
° Commercial telematics is seeing sustained take-up, driven by its promise of increasing driver efficiency and managing costs.
° Regulatory initiatives such as the eCall driver safety project and Brazil’s regulation 245 governing stolen vehicles will boost telematics take-up in some geographical regions.
° Though several insurance companies are trialling the technology, insurance telematics remains in its infancy with most widespread commercial roll-outs not happening until at least 2014.
In the commercial telematics market, Juniper Research observes an increasing level of sophistication as fleet managers use telematics to increase fleet efficiency, comply with regulations and monitor driver behavior. Players are also leveraging the power of the cloud and internet portals to enhance the services they offer.
-- Dennis Sellers