Shipments of OEM embedded telematics systems will grow to 54.5 million worldwide in 2020
Shipments of OEM embedded telematics systems worldwide are forecast for dramatic growth over the next six years, new research shows.
The systems will grow from 8.4 million units in 2013 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30.6% to reach 54.5 million units in 2020, according to Berg Insight. Demonstrating the remarkable expected growth levels, the number of cars sold worldwide equipped with head-units featuring handset-based telematics capabilities will grow from seven 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.
Berg Insight forecasts that the number of telematics service subscribers using embedded systems will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 38.1% 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 added that the free period now typically ranges from six to 12 months in the case of Chrysler, GM, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Volkswagen, to three years for Hyundai and 10 years for BMW.
‘Renewal rates for telematics subscriptions after the free period expires are presently relatively low,’ he notes. However, he continued to add that 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 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.
Automotive manufacturers can choose between several connectivity options when creating connected car services, which are not mutually exclusive, says Berg. 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, notes Berg. 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.