Location forecast: the innovations powering connected cars in 2024
From electrification to developments in the digital cockpit, 2024 promises to be a landmark year for connected cars and the innovations driving them.
Vehicles were once strictly hardware, but that is changing. We now talk about the software-defined vehicle (SDV), a receiver and transmitter of data that connects with the world around it in a variety of ways.
This represents an opportunity for car manufacturers. Customers want their vehicles to connect to their existing digital world. At the same time, the SDV is a chance to offer new services that can make the driving experience safer, more comfortable and even more entertaining.
While these trends are expected to grow in 2024, there are also significant changes in consumer habits. Despite hiccups along the way, ride-hailing providers are having a moment. Younger drivers are interested in sharing or renting cars rather than owning them. Meanwhile, regulation continues to drive change, from boosting electric vehicles (EVs) to pushing forward Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) technology.
One thing is for sure: connected cars are going places.
ISA: no longer on ice
The arrival of ISA regulation in the European Union (EU) was a critical moment for the automotive industry. ISA, a vehicle safety feature that helps drivers stay within the current speed limit, became mandatory in all new-model trucks, buses, cars and vans in the region from July 2022.
In 2024, ISA will be compulsory inside all new vehicles sold in the EU, meaning automakers can no longer put this moment off.
Highly accurate and up-to-date maps are a more reliable way of updating drivers about the speed limit than cameras, due to implicit speed limits and lack of visibility in some conditions. Nine out of 10 original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have chosen the HERE ISA Map to stay compliant with regulations and help keep drivers safe.
Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Board has called for similar measures that make speeding difficult or impossible to be introduced in the US, so what started in the EU could have global implications eventually.
In many regions, a surge in EV sales in 2023 looks set to continue. In Australia, for example, EV sales in the first half of 2023 topped last year's annual total. EV OEMs in the region increasingly prefer working with a single vendor to oversee the entire spectrum of services that contribute to a better driving experience. Traditionally, they relied on multiple vendors, but this new approach has streamlined operations and made them more efficient.
India has ambitious targets to reach 30% of all vehicles powered by electricity by 2030. This has been an impetus for increased sales in the consumer market, but also in the logistics sector. For example, Amazon India is partnering with Eicher Motors and Buses to further electrify its eCommerce logistics in the country, with the target of deploying up to 1,000 electric trucks over the next five years for its delivery operations.
Despite relatively sluggish EV sales in some regions of the US, the country has ambitious infrastructure plans. It remains to be seen if sales will increase in line with these proposals.
Ride-hailing is here to stay — and it is evolving in many cities to become more sustainable
Ride-hailing came to disrupt traditional taxi services but has now changed the way people move around, even taking over from other forms of public transportation and car ownership.
Key companies in the sector have reported healthy profits recently. The use of location data to match drivers to passengers makes transportation more efficient — and recent trends suggest it could become more sustainable, too.
BluSmart, an Indian start-up, is operating electric taxis in New Delhi and Bengaluru, while a proliferation of alternative forms of transportation for hire across cities globally, such as e-bikes and scooters, offers a green alternative to traditional ride-hailing vehicles.
Sharing is caring
From carpooling and car sharing to rental cars and shared bicycles, consumers are increasingly seeking ways of getting around that are sustainable, cost-effective and efficient.
Again in India, Tata Power EV Charging Solutions is collaborating with car-sharing platform Zoomcar to promote EV adoption in the country and to drive sustainable mobility growth, for example. In Europe, organizations such as BlaBlaCar and Allostop in France and MiFaZ in Germany can connect drivers with passengers on longer journeys.
Some predict there will be 63.15 million car-sharing users worldwide by 2027.
How automakers will adapt to this new reality is yet to be figured out, but increasing investment by OEMs into the SDV suggests software-based services is one way they can continue to make revenue.
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