United Kingdom: Machina Research unveiled its inaugural ranking of global automotive manufacturers according to the scale and sophistication of their connected car programmes. BMW, with its ConnectedDrive service, tops the list, followed by GM, which has been something of a trailblazer with OnStar. Ford features in third place courtesy of scale and increasing focus on developing an embedded offering. The all-round sophistication and comparative maturity of their offerings allow Audi and Chrysler to round out the top five. The full ranking is:
Overall the ranking looked at a combination of weighted criteria such as which in-car services are available, the openness of the system to developers, as well as the overarching purpose of the connectivity. Mercedes Benz and Tesla lack the volumes of sales to feature at the top of the ranking, but are the two manufacturers for whom connected car services are most central to their overall strategy. Toyota, VW and Honda benefit from their scale and anticipated connected car volumes.
While the concept of the connected car is not a new one, the next two years will see adoption rocket as car manufacturers move to including a mobile connection in an increasing number of new vehicles. As a result drivers are set to benefit from services such as connected navigation, music streaming, and in-car WiFi. As a result, getting the connected car strategy right will be critical to future success.
Sponsors of the study, Vodafone, recently announced a new agreement with Volkswagen and Audi in Europe to provide automotive connectivity, starting with new Audi models from 2015 and an embedded SIM chip developed specifically for the automobile industry will feature in new vehicles.
“It is this machine to machine communication (M2M) that is likely to play a central role in the development of automotive industry in the coming years. As well as providing drivers with new and exciting services, vehicle manufacturers also stand to benefit by developing new lines of revenues and help differentiate them in this fiercely competitive marketplace.”
Commenting on the results, Matt Hatton, Director at Machina Research, said: “The emergence of the connected car is a very important development for both the mobile and automotive industries. For mobile companies it is a tremendous new opportunity for connecting another smart device. For automotive manufacturers it provides a new differentiator, an additional revenue opportunity, and creates a channel to build a stronger ongoing relationship with drivers.”
“The range of applications on offer is enormous, from simple remote door unlocking and heating activation, through to emergency calls, navigation, entertainment, and vehicle fault diagnostics, plus many more besides. In this, our inaugural study, we identify those car companies that are best positioned to take advantage of the massive potential of the connected car in all its diversity.”