Do you think today’s children will be learning to drive 10 to 15 years from now? Or will connected cars and self-driving technology transform this once standard rite-of-passage toward adulthood into a ritual of the past?
The explosion of the Internet of Things (IoT), combined with major advancements in connected car technologies, has taken the world of driving to an entirely new level, and the auto industry is responding by working with technological innovators in a race to bring the latest features to market. The drive is fueled by the significant revenue opportunity, that, according to PwC is set to soar from $52.5 billion in 2017 to $155.9 billion in just five years.
Incredibly, many functions that were once relegated to futuristic movies are now present in commercially-available vehicles, such as rear-facing cameras, windshield-based heads-up displays showing a car’s speed, GPS navigation directions and more, and driver-assistance systems capable of changing lanes and executing other complex driving tasks without any human intervention. We are living in a very exciting time for transportation, as our vehicles resemble their predecessors less and less every year.
Tesla’s Autopilot feature is one of the most advanced driver-assistance systems on the market. Consumer opinions vary greatly between excited anticipation of a future with fully-autonomous cars to utter terror about the thought of trusting a computer to navigate the road while sitting in the back seat focusing on something entirely different, such as working, watching a movie, or even catching up on sleep.
Virtually all experts in the auto industry predict radical changes over the next 5 to 15 years, with technology research company Gartner forecasting a market of 250 million connected cars on the road by 2020. And the reality is that much of that growth will be new data services and new offerings, as opposed to changes in the actual metal and rubber of the car itself. The Internet of Things is a key aspect of this technological revolution, and it’s expected that a massive range of new business models will emerge out of connected car data. In fact, consulting firm McKinsey estimates that connected car data will be worth a staggering $1.5 trillion per year by 2030.
These new technologies in the auto industry affect every aspect of buying, selling and driving a car, from the emergence of online used-vehicle companies such as Vroom and Beepi, to the unveiling of other innovators like Carvana, with its fully-automated, coin-operated car vending machine. And how about the recent explosion of on-demand transportation options, such as Uber and Lyft? These advancements have already had a profound effect on the manner in which consumers view automobiles, shifting priorities away from ownership and toward convenience and advanced technological functionality.
The next five years are expected to see a radical transformation of the auto industry as we know it. Although no one can predict every detail with absolute certainty, it’s impossible to deny the massive changes that are on the horizon.
Guess it’s the perfect time to buckle up and enjoy the ride.
Written by Igor Ilunin, head of IoT at DataArt.