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January 26, 2016updated 30 Aug 2016 5:06pm

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to drive smart car apps mainstream

News: As 20 million fully autonomous or self-driving vehicles take to the road over the next decade, software giants tap into apps chase.

By Joao Lima

The on-screen battle between Google and Apple is set to intensify as the connected car infotainment system market booms.

A study shows that the adoption of connected in-vehicle infotainment systems will produce revenues exceeding $600 million in 2020, representing a 10-fold increase on this year.

According to Juniper Research’s "Consumer Connected Cars: Telematics, Insurance & In-Vehicle Applications 2015-2020" report, the consumer adoption of connected in-car entertainment applications will expand as Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto become more mainstream.

The company predicts that with this new wave of adoption, applications developers will design new in-car specific solutions such as advanced traffic solutions, route optimisation, and in-vehicle gaming.

As the company estimates 20 million fully autonomous or self-driving vehicles on the road by 2025, with consumer adoption set to take off in 2021, on-board systems with integrated wireless functionality will potentially push ahead of systems requiring the presence of a smartphone.

The research firm predicts that original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will gain more independence and better integrate their own solutions in vehicles by including directly integrated units such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and BlackBerry’s QNX.

In December 2015 Google, Volvo, Daimler, Tesla and Apple were named as the five most promising players in the driverless car sector based on their live trials, miles tested on road, technology development, project scale and scope, future potential and market opportunities.

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The use of infotainment systems and the creation of in-vehicle applications are a key differentiator for both car manufacturers and IT companies.

According to a 2014 study by the company, in addition, global revenues from consumer and commercial telematics are forecast to reach nearly $20 billion by 2018, with additional soft revenues being generated from areas such as car servicing, Big Data enabled by telematics, and enhanced customer service.

Smart in-car infotainment and telematics systems have the potential to transform, for example, the car into a drivable computer and an office on wheels. In a recent CBR analysis, industry experts said that in-car applications that help to free up a significant amount of "dead time" should be applauded.

However, in order for manufacturers to succeed, alongside with the companies like Google and Apple, they will need to work all together to develop bespoke products tailored to the users’ needs.

Speaking to CBR on the in-car opportunities, Prasad Satyavolu, head of innovation for manufacturing and logistics at Cognizant, said:"Manufacturers will need to differentiate by integrating capabilities around social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC), and through the development of innovative electronic control systems, sensors including cameras, telematics capabilities and infotainment systems, manufacturers have to stand out from the crowd by delivering a proposition that offers new choices and value to customers while keeping them safe."

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