Gartner projects 250m connected vehicles by 2020
Research firm predicts smart cars will be ‘major element’ of Internet of Things
By 2020, there will be 250m connected vehicles on the world's roads, according to estimates from Gartner, Inc.
The business intelligence firm expects the burgeoning number of smart vehicles to feed innovations in in-vehicle services and automated driving capabilities and predicts that connected cars will form a "major element" of the Internet of Things (IoT).
Gartner believes that 4.9bn connected things will be in use this year, up 30% from 2014. The company projects that the number of connected devices will reach 25bn by 2020.
"The connected car is already a reality, and in-vehicle wireless connectivity is rapidly expanding from luxury models and premium brands, to high-volume midmarket models," said James F Hines, research director at Gartner.
"The increased consumption and creation of digital content within the vehicle will drive the need for more sophisticated infotainment systems, creating opportunities for application processors, graphics accelerators, displays and human-machine interface technologies. At the same time, new concepts of mobility and vehicle usage will lead to new business models and expansion of alternatives to car ownership, especially in urban environments."
Gartner forecasts that about one in five vehicles on the road worldwide will have some form of wireless network connection by 2020, amounting to more than 250m connected vehicles.
Several tech firms have investigated driverless vehicles as vehicle connectivity has progressed. Tesla and Google already have prototypes in service and Apple has reportedly begun speaking with auto-industry experts about how to put together its own electric car.
But one issue manufacturers of connected vehicles may have to confront, if Gartner's growth claims are to materialise, is cyber security. Last week a US senator raised concerns after quizzing 20 manufacturers over the protections in their wireless networking. Senator Ed Markey claimed his investigation showed in-vehicle networks to be "largely unprotected" from intrusion.