With mobile device consumers demanding more in-car apps, telematics companies are working with individual automakers to enable drivers to have on-board telematic devices, other than GPS. Some automakers are discovering that cars equipped with Machine to Machine (M2M) and Human Machine Interface (HMI) are not only telematic solutions to deliver mobile integration, vehicle diagnostics, safety and security functions for drivers, but can also provide navigation and infotainment from the driver’s personal cloud via new applications that are browser-based; they see the potential for market growth.
According to IHS iSuppli Corporation, a global provider of market research in Automotive Infotainment & Telematics, the electronics market is due to see growth in 2012 as more automakers –like Toyota, Ford and Honda to name only a few – are not only focused on car production but are increasing electronic content in vehicles. Of those automakers that have already in-car apps for smartphones are Toyota that has the Entune app and Ford that has the SYNC AppLink.
As explained in the Telematics Update HMI Report 2012, which provides an in-depth analysis on how automakers are using in-vehicle smartphone integration to be able to capitalize on this lucrative business opportunity, it says telematic companies are equipping themselves to face the growing demands for in-car connectivity. It also expresses how important it is to know which original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are bundling telematics services.
Due to the growing demands for cutting edge safety, convenience, and now infotainment services in the vehicle, most automakers are now placing mobile apps onto telematic devices so drivers can have them at their fingertips. What may appear unsafe to use in cars, is actually not. Thanks to technology, a driver can use his voice to control some of the mobile apps while driving; this helps keep the drivers’ eyes on the road. Not only does this meet the government's strict safety and driver distraction regulations, but it also prevents the negative media attention, as in the case of cell phone use as one of the main causes of motor vehicle accidents.
These days, automakers are discovering how important it really is for drivers to have in-car apps. Acting like onboard computers, these telematic devices, which rely on drivers' smartphones for connectivity and require a SIM card to be installed in the vehicle to establish the required online connection, are able to perform valuable services for drivers: they can convey specific information, serve as an automotive tracking and monitoring device, and be an aid in car and road safety.
With so much to offer drivers, one might think why some automakers and technology suppliers (other than companies like QNX, Delphi and Garmin which are already automotive suppliers) have yet to adapt and thrive in this changing environment in making use of telematics and apps for luxury, mid-size and small vehicles. Have they not seen the HMI Market Forecasts or considered staying ahead of market competition or thought about what has and will continue to revolutionize the automotive industry?
Edited by Jennifer Russell