Connectivity is road to revenues says Harman

Connected car technology is now extensively deployed in new cars yet there remains a comparatively a low take up in using technology by consumers.

So how can telematics providers such as Harman help to break through this reluctance to tempt consumers to become reliant on connectivity?

To find out TU-Automotive caught up with Harman’s senior marketing manager automotive cyber security, Dvir Reznik, at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.

Reznik said that while many new cars boast full connectivity, there remains plenty of growth potential for telematics providers in the market. He explained: “Less than 15% of vehicles on the road that are connected through telematics, so there is definitely a large space for Tier 1 suppliers to operate in. At the same time we are also seeing the vast bulk of the request for quotations is for cyber security related requirements.  So you see that the OEMs are aware that connectivity is on the rise as they keep introducing new models with many connectivity solutions and at the same time are very aware of the cyber security aspect. This it is a real threat and something that needs to be addressed.

“It’s important for us to showcase the stabilisation all the solutions and technologies to give the OEM a full scope. It’s a way of us saying: ‘Listen, whatever you need, whatever you want to deploy for the consumers’ because the demand is coming from the market. The consumers want more connectivity bigger screens, more apps and this is something we can deliver to the OEMS off-the-shelf.”

Reznik said that consumers are becoming more aware of the facilities and functions connectivity can provide as carmakers market them as lifestyle enhancing solutions. He said: “I think it is a matter of the lifecycle of a vehicle and depends on how often consumers change their cars. Some reports suggest that up to 75% of consumers buying new vehicles want connected vehicles so demand is definitely there and frankly why not? We spend a lot of time in our vehicles so why not have the best system? Why not have connectivity that allows you to stay connected even while commuting in a safe manner?”

Reznik stressed that the current market offers plenty of business opportunities for suppliers to provide retro-fitted connectivity solutions to owners of used vehicles. He pointed to Harman’s partnership with Navdy to provide the world's first aftermarket heads-up driving (HUD) device that projects both mobile application information and car data information directly over the road allowing drivers to look forward while staying connected. Employing augmented reality (AR) technology, the system projects car, phone and music information directly in the driver's line of sight.

He said: “With systems like this you can have the capabilities of a modern state of the art vehicle connected car for $1,000 – maybe less. So it is definitely an area you can see more and more Tier 1 companies, but also other Tier 2 and 3 companies, are identifying this opportunity and saying: ‘OK, we can enhance the vehicle features in a retro fitting capability without the need to redesign it from scratch’.”


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