Next-Generation Driving Technology Puts CE Companies in the Driver's Seat: Futuresource Consulting

As the automotive and entertainment worlds continue to converge, with next-generation driving technology is transforming the automotive market, according to new research from Futuresource Consulting.


“There’s no doubt that the car is the next entertainment and communications battleground,” says Mike Fisher, Associate Director at Futuresource Consulting. “As autonomous driving technologies start to become commoditized, the consumer electronics industry is stepping in. It’s playing a significant role in differentiating car manufacturers’ products through enhancing entertainment and improving productivity during car journeys. With new car demand rising on a global scale, the automotive market could prove to be a significant driver of revenues for many players in the consumer electronics industry.”

The worldwide passenger car market is expected to exceed 85 million auto shipments in 2018, rising to more than 100 million shipments in 2025. The majority of this growth is being driven by developing nations. As an example, the market in India is expected to nearly double in size from 2017 to 2025. Markets such as the UK, USA and Western Europe have hit saturation point, but they do show significant opportunities for high-tech autonomous driving and in car entertainment systems.

 Technology giants appear to have the upper hand in this converging market. “Tech giants with expertise in AI, the likes of Apple, Google and Amazon, have opportunities to dive deeper into vehicle ecosystems, enabling passengers to bring their digital lives inside the car,” says Fisher. “A whole range of new services is coming into play, such as personal virtual assistants, and personalization using AI and facial recognition. Fuel and parking payments, toll payments and postal deliveries to vehicles will all become commonplace, together with more targeted retail and e-commerce services.”

The advent of fully autonomous vehicles will open up consumer electronics opportunities even further. The first ADAS (Advanced Driving Assistance Systems) level four car – a vehicle that features a high, but not complete, level of autonomy – is expected by 2020, allowing the driver to be completely distracted by other tasks in most driving scenarios.

“We’re not there yet, but AI is setting the scene for even more personalized services,” says Fisher, “such as the intelligent and emotional concepts showcased by Mercedes, Hyundai and Toyota, as well as 3D holographic virtual assistants, as demonstrated by BMW and others.”

With car manufacturers exploring the emerging trend for shared mobility services (MaaS), additional requirements for vehicle security and personalization will come to the fore. This new way of accessing cars without the inconvenience and cost of ownership, could hold huge appeal for urban and younger consumers. It’s likely that MaaS will require new approaches to vehicle security and personalization, such as facial and voice recognition sign-in, which adjusts vehicle settings based on pre-set individual preferences, as well as enabling or disabling some features based on the trim level specified by each occupant.

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“Beyond entertainment and communications, we’re also going to see the rise of connected car data as a multi-billion-dollar market,” says Fisher. “Everything from real-time maps, to car repair diagnostics, to pay-as-you-drive insurance policies will be made possible by the flow of data across networks. However, this all relies on personal data recording and brings privacy legislation into play, a dangerous minefield that needs to be negotiated with care. Not only can this lead to heavy fines, but any security breaches may also sow the seeds of consumer distrust.”

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