Wireless connectivity to be main focus for vehicle manufacturers by 2012

Wireless connectivity to be main focus for vehicle manufacturers by 2012

“The automotive industry must explore new ways to generate consumer interest, product differentiation and revenue opportunities,” said Thilo Koslowski, research vice president at Gartner. “Web-based applications and services specifically designed to enhance the driving and ownership experience, in particular, represent a significant chance to accomplish this.

"During the past two years, consumer awareness and interest for such technologies and applications has grown significantly in mature automotive markets, such as the US and Western Europe. The goal is to provide dynamic content that is contextual and relevant to the driver and the passengers. It’s not about replicating consumers’ home computer Internet experience”

The continued rise of connected consumer devices, such as smartphones and mobile Internet devices (MIDs), will increase consumer expectations for always-on data availability at work and home, and when mobile — including when driving.

The automotive industry's ability to differentiate mass-market vehicles based on performance and handling will be limited from this point on, due to environmental and economic concerns as well as the rise of electric vehicles and other alternative powertrain offerings.

Gartner anticipates that by 2016, consumers will consider in-vehicle connectivity as important as traditional automobile features such assafety and fuel efficiency. This means that automotive companies must offer such functionality in two vehicle generations (one generation is traditionally four years) from today, to meet future demand.

Automotive companies will increasingly build in-house expertise to offer connectivity solutions on a growing number of cars and will work with other external partners to offer holistic offerings that address consumers' broader transportation needs.

“Suppliers, content and service providers, as well as automotive-focused technology vendors will evolve and take on broader roles to address automakers' needs for offering such connectivity, integration and content solutions,” said Koslowski. “The growing need for connectivity solutions in the automobile will also have a significant impact on the automotive aftermarket and will provide opportunities for those companies that can offer cost-effective retrofit solutions for vehicle owners that want to upgrade their existing cars.”

Mr. Koslowski will provide the keynote address at Telematics Detroit 2009 in Novi, Michigan on June 2. Additional details about the event are available at

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