New cheese image

New cheese image

Some 80% of consumers expect the connected car of the future to provide the same connected experience they are used to at home, at work and on the move via their mobile phone, according to a survey carried out for telecom firm Telefónica.

Telefónica says that according to it survey, around half of consumers now consider connected features, such as inbuilt connectivity and the ability to plug in a smartphone, a key part of their next car purchase. Features such as increased safety, early warning systems and smarter navigation are cited as the most popular, with almost three-quarters (73%) of drivers listing safety and diagnostics features as the most important.

The findings are part of Telefónica's Connected Car Industry Report 2014.

Key trends identified by the report include:

  • There is sufficient global demand for connected car services, with 71% of drivers surveyed saying that they are interested in using, or are already using, connected car services.
  • 80% of consumers expect the connected car of the future to provide the same connected experience they are used to at home, at work and on the move via their mobile phone.
  • Across all markets surveyed, there was clear consensus about the three features most in demand: increased safety, early warning systems and smarter navigation. Almost three-quarters (73%) of respondents chose safety and diagnostics features as the most important, giving a clear indication of the areas they would expect connected services to focus in the future. Usage-based insurance models are also very popular, with 54% of UK drivers choosing it one of the connected car features they would be most interested in.
  • On average 35% of drivers expect not to own their own car by 2034, and instead predict they will be using alternative options such as car sharing services.
  • The dashboard is the favoured way for accessing connected services, particularly for safety, navigation and vehicle diagnostics, with more than 60% of respondents across all markets preferring to access features in this way.
  • Drivers in different countries will prefer to pay for connected services in different ways. Most Spanish drivers would prefer a one-off payment (49%) while those in America, Germany and the UK would favour basic connectivity with the option to choose additional services. Brazilians are split between the latter and a full-on PAYG model, suggesting a degree of flexibility not seen in other countries.

Pavan Mathew, Global Head of Connected Car at Telefónica commented: "Through looking at the connected car from a driver's perspective, it's clear that the demand for connected services in cars is unquestionable. Even though we're just moving off of the starting line, people are ready for it and know what they want. But challenges to widespread roll-out remain.

"Many consumers currently think of connected car services in terms infotainment and WiFi, but this changes when they are made aware of the variety of options that the technology can offer. Safety and diagnostics appear to be the most attractive features to drivers, illustrating just how important factors such as road safety and vehicle maintenance are in consumer purchasing decisions.

"We can expect to see a gradual creep of connectivity into vehicles over the next few years but there won't be an explosion over the next 12 months," said Mathew.

"The reason for this lies in the complexity of the challenges that connectivity is trying to address.

"While OEMs still have a way to go before they break out of their traditional role as a manufacturer and become a full, connected service provider, they certainly have a strong, trusted base to build from."

Earlier this year Telefónica announced an agreement with Tesla to provide connectivity for the Tesla Model S in Europe.