Connected Cars: Trends for 2018

June 19, 2018

Considering the number of smart cars lining the halls back in CES 2018, it’s clear that connected car technology is nowhere near slowing down. IHS Markit is forecasting that by 2023, worldwide sales of connected cars will represent 69% of passenger vehicles sold; reaching over 72.5 million compared to the 24 million units sold in 2015. Following is the Allion USA team’s list of connected car trends to keep an eye on as we move through 2018.

  1. Smart Assistant Integration

Are you attached to your smart assistant? The connected car of the future may soon allow you to bring it along for the ride. Panasonic has partnered with Amazon to natively embed Alexa features within a car. This smart assistant integration would allow users hands-free control optimized for a car environment, enable connections to external sources, and even offer some offline capabilities. When heading home from the office, drivers can answer emails, turn up the heat in their home or even let the dog out before arriving. No word yet on adoption of this joint offering from Panasonic and Amazon, but based on the proliferation of smart assistants, this could offer increased integration for consumers.

  1. Car Turned Smartphone

Concept cars combine future technology and out of this world ideas, but they aren’t always on the mark when it comes to industry trends. However, the Byton concept car is shaping up to be more than just a cool idea. First announced at CES, a near production-ready version of Faraday Future’s Byton concept car was recently revealed at Milan Design Week. The car combines popular smartphone features into the vehicle: facial recognition in place of keys, a touchscreen dashboard, and a cabin reminiscent of a high-profile lounge. The increased focus on driver enjoyment and relaxation indicates a shift in the automotive industry to ensure that drivers never miss a connection.

  1. Vehicle-to-Vehicle and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Communication

The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) chose three sites as test venues for connected vehicle technologies. Tampa, Florida, New York City, and a stretch of I-80 in Wyoming are all part of the large-scale pilot program focused on vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication systems. If this technology proves successful, several scenarios could become a reality – including accident prevention. If a car could tell nearby vehicles that it’s slowing down and warn other drivers with a real-time message that they’re approaching a collision or traffic jam, it could decrease the risk for everyone involved. This pilot program aims to see how the technology can help traffic and make the roadways safer. We’ll be watching for the results.

  1. AI and Autonomous Cars

The most exciting and mind-blowing innovation in the automotive industry continues to be the self-driving car. Just this week Alibaba confirmed tests in China, joining Baidu and Tencent in the country’s autonomous car race. China is likely to emerge as the world’s largest market for autonomous vehicles and mobility services, worth more than US $500 billion by 2030, according to a recently released McKinsey report. We’re far from navigating a majority of autonomous vehicles on the road, but we expect the number of companies conducting self-driving car tests to increase around the globe.

Connected cars sit at the intersection of many different technologies, including wireless protocols, sensors, cameras, and infotainment systems, just to name a few. Allion USA hosts a fleet of vehicles and it’s our specialty to customize a testing solution to speed your product to market. Contact us to kick-start the testing process for your connected car today.