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Ongoing Evolution of Connected Automotive Infotainment

Mobile communication remains a dynamic market that is enabled by a number of wireless technologies that are still evolving. The interior of commercial vehicles and consumer automobiles is yet another emerging frontier for the Internet of Everything.

According to the latest market study by ABI Research, connected automotive infotainment systems will exhibit a CAGR of 33.8 percent over the next five years, with a rapid expansion in connected navigation and in-car Wi-Fi driving growth.

Developed regions, which accounted for over 60 percent of system shipments in 2014, will account for only 37.4 percent of shipments in 2020.

According to the ABI assessment, just over half of all connected automotive infotainment systems shipping in 2020 will do so in the Asia-Pacific region.

"This growth in connected infotainment is largely consumer driven, with OEMs and Tier One suppliers both recognizing the need to provide an integrated digital experience which is consistent and compatible with the remainder of the end-user's consumer electronics," said James Hodgson, research analyst at ABI Research.

ABI believes that many OEMs have made commitments to equip the majority of their consumer vehicles shipping in 2020 with embedded connectivity.

Nevertheless, a significant number of vehicles are still expected to rely on smartphone integration for their connectivity, with shipments of telematics systems supporting such integration on average expected to exhibit a CAGR of 60.6 percent between 2015 and 2020.

"By leveraging as many of the user's smartphone capacities as possible, optional smartphone integration allows the inclusion of a number of infotainment features at a lower marginal cost. This makes it an ideal solution for price-sensitive vehicle segments," Hodgson explains.

In more luxurious vehicles, OEMs will feel compelled to include smartphone integration as a standard feature, in order to maintain their relative superiority in the marketplace.

However, it's unlikely that systems such as Google Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink will serve as the vehicle's sole infotainment system. Instead, they will likely complement the OEM's own proprietary system -- as is the case with the new Volvo XC90.

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