Connected Car

Definition: A connected car is a car that is equipped with Internet access, and usually also with a wireless local area network. This allows the car to share internet access with other devices both inside as well as outside the vehicle. Often, the car is also outfitted with special technologies that tap into the internet or wireless LAN and provide additional benefits to the driver.

Synonyms: Smart Car; Intelligent Car; Internet Car

Why is this important? The connected car is able to optimize its own operation and maintenance as well as the convenience and comfort of passengers using onboard sensors and Internet connectivity.

Connected Car products and services can be grouped into five core functional clusters:

  • Interaction
  • Driving
  • Management
  • Infotainment
  • Safety & Security

When will it be relevant to me? Many of the traditional features of the car — monitors of performance data like speed, fuel efficiency, and gas tank levels; heating and air conditioning; and the audio system — have already been digitized to provide easier operation and better information. And the car — including smartphones and other devices carried onboard by drivers and passengers — now reaches out to the surrounding world for music streamed from the cloud, real-time traffic information, and personalized roadside assistance. Recent innovations allow automobiles to monitor and adjust their position on the highway, alerting drivers if they are drifting out of their lane, and slowing down if they get too close to the car in front of them.

Economics / impact: The value of the global market for connectivity components and services is estimated to increase to €170 billion by 2020 (McKinsey 2014)


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Ecosystem: Connected cars have created a new ecosystem within the automotive industry, one which is forging a host of innovative partnerships with technology companies, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and other companies that operate outside of the scope of traditional motoring. These collaborations are becoming increasingly focused on creating new products and services to meet the diverse lifestyle needs of contemporary consumers. This new ecosystem has transformed traditional mobility by hardwiring telecommunications, operating systems, real-time analytics and content platforms, among other elements, into the driving experience. The ecosystem is itself fast evolving to meet the changing and increasingly complex needs of the consumer.

Next steps:

  • New products and services based on exciting new use cases (e.g. trunk delivery, fuel service, advanced parking slot finder etc.) will become available in the near term
  • Mobility will be seamlessly connected beyond the car
  • The Internet of Things will bring together mobility, smarthomes and smartcities. Cars will talk to each other, to road sensors and even to our own bodies. The technology is called Vehicle-to-Everything, or V2X, and the push behind its adoption is primarily a safety one. Connected Car developments will be key to enable fully Autonomous Driving