Parks Associates’ forecast bodes well for Apple’s CarPlay

A new prediction by Parks Associates bodes well for Apple’s CarPlay. Over 40 million U.S. vehicles will be connected to the Internet by the end of 2015, and that number will steadily increase through 2016, according to Parks Associates, according to the research group. 

Parks Associates says new data shows that 64 percent of car owners in U.S. broadband households would like built-in support for at least one connected activity in their next car. That demand is in contrast to current connected activities in the car, the majority of which are done on a smartphone without any connection to the car.

"Automakers are keying into this demand by embedding connectivity in new vehicle models. Many are also supporting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto-they do not want these mobile-centric solutions to be differentiators for their competitors," says Jennifer Kent, director, Research Quality & Product Development, Parks Associates. "Many of these solutions will be on display at CES 2016 in January and Autonomous Car Detroit in March. With the exception of smartphones, no other device touches so many points in a person's life as the car, from home to work to family and community interaction. Car-generated data will increasingly enrich connected solutions outside the car, while also offering an interaction touch point for those external solutions from within the car.”

Here’s Parks Associates’ top-five trends for connected cars for 2016:

  • Automakers embrace Apple and Android.
  • Connected cars lead the way in crossing boundaries between different Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystems.
  • Connected technologies enable a shift in vehicle ownership models to one defined more by experience.
  • Autonomous driving features will come to market system by system, such as emergency braking services.
  • Privacy concerns will remain in the headlines until connectivity becomes indispensable to driving.

Parks Associates research shows 44 percent of car owners in U.S. broadband households have some kind of advanced connected car feature and 61 percent of car owners prefer to bundle vehicle data consumption with smartphone data consumption. Nearly 25 percent of vehicle drivers in U.S. broadband households find the ability for a connected car to automatically set a home "away mode" very appealing, and more than 50 percent of U.S. broadband households express privacy and safety concerns regarding connected cars.

"The increase in connected vehicles creates a larger addressable market for hackers, so privacy and security breaches will also increase. Consumers and regulators will continue to focus on the issue until connected car features are ubiquitous and necessary to the driving experience," Kent says. "Only then will the consumer evaluation of the security/value trade-off relent, as it has with online banking, e-commerce, and other forms of connected living."

According to Apple, CarPlay is the “smarter, safer and more fun way” to use an iPhone in your car. It gives iPhone users a way to make calls, use Maps, listen to music and access messages with just a word or a touch. Users can control CarPlay from the car’s native interface or just push-and-hold the voice control button on the steering wheel to activate Siri without distraction, says Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing.