Global connected automotive infotainment system shipments are expected to grow from 5.7 million in 2012 to 50.9 million in 2017, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com). While the US is currently the leading market, it will be overtaken by both Europe and Asia-Pacific by 2017, says the research group. This could be good news for Apple and its Siri technology.
“Infotainment remains a strong driver for the connected car market with both connected navigation and multimedia streaming about to become standard features, especially in the US market,” says ABI Vice President and Practice Director Dominique Bonte. “In Europe the TomTom-powered embedded Renault Carminat Live solution has seen stellar success.”
However, convergence is clearly the biggest dynamic in this nascent market with OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] such as Honda recently launching solutions based on smartphone integration (HondaLink powered by Aha Mobile – Harman). Screen replication technologies such as MirrorLink are also expected to become widely adopted by car and phone OEMs. At the same time embedded automotive infotainment solutions are firmly set to embrace open source platforms with BMW recently announcing integrating GENIVI software in 2013.
Developing a convenient and safe user interface remains the biggest challenge for connected automotive infotainment designers in the face of mounting concerns about driver distraction issues. With Apple lending support to OEMs for Siri integration, speech technology seems to be finding new momentum while next-generation technologies, such as gesture recognition, also continue being explored.
— Dennis Sellers