According to a new research report by Berg Insight, shipments of OEM embedded telematics systems worldwide are forecasted to grow from 8.4 million units in 2013 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30.6 percent to reach 54.5 million units in 2020. Moreover, Berg Insight forecasts that the number of cars sold worldwide equipped with head-units featuring handset-based telematics capabilities will grow from 7.0 million in 2013 to 68.5 million in 2020. Telematics is a broad term that may be applied to a wide range of connected services in the automotive industry. Berg Insight’s definition of a car telematics system is an automatic system designed for passenger cars that incorporates some form of cellular communication. Automotive manufacturers can choose between several connectivity options when creating connected car services, which are not mutually exclusive. The main options today are embedded telematics devices, tethered handsets and integrated smartphones. Car manufacturers often use a combination of these options to support different customer needs and keep pace with the rapid development of mobile technology.
Connected car services are gaining momentum globally after many years of development and gradual rollout. The drivers behind adoption of telematics systems among car manufacturers are both commercial and regulatory. Safety regulations that aim to make automatic emergency calls with vehicle location mandatory in all new cars are for instance being adopted in the EU and Russia with the eCall and ERA-GLONASS initiatives respectively. In other markets such as North America and Japan, commercial services have driven adoption of OEM telematics services that have evolved from being a differentiator to a mainstream feature offered by most car brands.
Several categories of connected car services are now offered by leading car manufacturers. Examples include emergency call and roadside assistance, stolen vehicle tracking (SVT), vehicle diagnostics, connected navigation and infotainment, as well as convenience applications. Convenience applications for instance include remote control of vehicle functions such as door lock/unlock and air conditioning, vehicle status and finding the last parking position. Several other applications also exist, for instance usage-based insurance, leasing and rental fleet management, as well as electronic toll collection and road charging. Most telematics services can be supported by any connectivity type, although embedded connectivity is the most suitable option for applications including emergency call, SVT and convenience applications. There are many business rationales for car telematics, ranging from monetary savings for the car owner in the case of SVT and usage-based insurance, to product differentiation, improved customer relationship management, potentially lower costs of product recalls and soft value creation for the car OEM.
Berg Insight forecasts that the number of telematics service subscribers using embedded systems will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 38.1 percent from 16.6 million subscribers in 2013 to 158.9 million subscribers in 2020. “A key factor that influences the growth in active subscribers is the length of the free trial period included in the price of new cars”, said André Malm, Senior Analyst, Berg Insight. He adds that the free period now typically ranges from 6–12 months in the case of Chrysler, GM, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Volkswagen to 3 years for Hyundai and 10 years for BMW. “Renewal rates for telematics subscriptions after the free period expires are presently relatively low”. However, car brands are now launching cloud-based telematics services that facilitate customisation of service packages to better meet the needs of individual customers. Several car manufacturers have app stores that enable car owners to download apps directly to the infotainment system of the car. “New split-billing solutions being introduced by telecom operators also increase flexibility in business models for car manufacturers offering connected car services to their customers”, said Mr Malm. Split-billing can for example enable car manufacturers to bundle services such as eCall, roadside assistance and diagnostics for the lifetime of the car, while high bandwidth applications like infotainment and car hotspot features are billed separately.
About Berg Insight
Berg Insight offers premier business intelligence to the telecom industry. We produce concise reports providing key facts and strategic insights about pivotal developments in our focus areas. Our vision is to be the most valuable source of intelligence for our customers. To date we have provided analytical services to hundreds of clients in 69 countries on six continents. Our customers range from many of the world’s largest mobile operators, IT companies and telecom vendors, to venture capitalists, technology start-ups and specialist consultants. Our present focus areas are wireless M2M, Location-Based Services, mobile Value-Added Services and Next Generation Technologies.