The North American in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) market will experience a rapid proliferation of smartphones in infotainment systems, even while Europe will slowly adopt the trend. Automakers around the world will shift focus from providing in-vehicle services through infotainment systems to smartphone apps, and will try to provide a standard interface to connect smartphones in cars.
However, luxury automotive OEMs will continue providing their proprietary infotainment solutions with smartphone interface as an added feature to address consumer interest. OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers are working to provide a standard interface for smartphone connectivity. North America will witness more products and services shifting to the mobile phone-based medium, which is more cost-effective, with the active involvement of the telecom community.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (automotive.frost.com), Strategic Analysis of the Impact of Smartphones and Apps on the European and North American Infotainment Market, finds that 43% of consumers prefer an advanced HMI interface as standard equipment in the car. 9% of the people surveyed could be classified as high app users (using apps on a weekly basis) inside the car and among these, the navigation app was the most popular. The future infotainment will be one where it is built into the car with the capability of communicating with the external world, either through the smartphone or through a dedicated connection.
"OEMs and suppliers are attempting to reduce the life cycle gap between consumer electronics and automotives by introducing a standard interfacing solution," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Krishna Jayaraman. "Smartphone usage and apps adoption will favour the enabler and replicator approaches, triggering the hybrid system trend."
The North American infotainment market is a very good example of the growth of hybrid systems, as exemplified by Ford Sync. The European market for smartphone based infotainment systems is still at a nascent stage, and expected to gradually take off. Moreover, as the region is a hub of luxury automotive OEMs are reluctant about introducing a system fully dependent on smartphones that will replace their built-up infotainment systems.
The biggest challenges facing the market currently are the lack of standardisation of infotainment platforms and driver distraction.
"Developing a standard protocol for easy integration of portable devices with vehicles is difficult because of varied OEM products and consumer electronics life cycles," explains Jayaraman. "Moreover, as the smartphone exposes the driver to a large amount of information, it might prove to be a major source of distraction."
The North American market is leaning towards providing infotainment services as apps on smartphone, which can be accessed using a standard interface in a safe way. The European market is cautiously approaching the smartphone based infotainment platform.
If you are interested in more information on this study, please send an email with your contact details to Katja Feick, Corporate Communications, at katja.feick[.]frost.com.
Strategic Analysis of the Impact of Smartphones and Apps on the European and North American Infotainment Market is part of the Automotive & Transportation Growth Partnership Service programme, which also includes research in the following markets: Executive Analysis of European and North American Automotive App Store Concepts and Services, Strategic Analysis of European Market for Low Cost OEM Navigation Systems, Strategic Analysis of the European Automotive Human Machine Interface Market and Executive Update of European Passenger Vehicle Telematics and Infotainment Markets. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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