Smarter Cars

The growth of the Connected Car is one of today’s key technology trends. Developments in on-board intelligence and broadband connectivity make it possible to create new kinds of services that go beyond traditional vehicle telematics.

However, the dynamics in the space are complex. Unsurprisingly, given the size of the opportunity at stake, a great number of potential providers are targeting a slice of the action, including the automotive OEMs themselves, mobile network operators and the major OS players such as Google, Apple and Microsoft. And, given the emergent status of the market for connected cars, many of the fundamental dynamics of the marketplace are still to play for.

There are real questions over consumer preferences for built-in vs bought-in connectivity, and for manufacturer-ecosystem applications resident on a ‘closed’ vehicle platform vs open platform solutions, or even over-the-top solutions from OS providers. Such preferences are also likely to change over time, and with the age of any given vehicle, and as consumer preferences change then so does the business case for any given application type.

Besides these automotive ‘platform wars’, the automotive sector is generating a continuous stream of innovative solutions, ranging from autonomous driving to new business models (including ‘servitisation’).

Machina Research’s Smarter Cars Research Stream focusses on the leading edge of next generation automotive technologies and the impact that they will have across the entire of the automotive and related industries.

Key forces influencing new technology adoption in the car market [Source: Machina Research 2014]

Key themes

The topics covered by this Research Stream include the following:

  • Operating systems – Including proprietary manufacturer platforms, third party OSes such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and options such as MirrorLink.
  • Future-proof connectivity – how can automotive OEMs plan a product strategy for connected cars in a rapidly-changing software and network environment
  • New business models – Shared car ownership schemes built on the use of new technology, including those from automotive OEMs, e.g. BMW’s DriveNow, and disruptive alternatives from the likes of Buzzcar, RelayRides, and Zipcar.
  • Communications Service Provider strategies for the connected car - CSPs are looking to the automotive sector as a major driver of revenue in IoT, so understanding their strategies for the market is critical.
  • Alternative vehicle-related applications – A diverse range of auto-related application developments, including crowd-sourced data such as Waze, and taxi alternatives such as Uber.
  • Autonomous driving and Advanced Drive Assistance Systems – The technical, commercial and regulatory issues related to self-driving cars, vehicle automation, and platooning.
  • Hacking, tracking and distracting - examining these three big hurdles the connected car needs to overcome.


During the course of twelve months, the anticipated deliverables for this Research Stream include the following:

  • Research Notes providing commentary on the key themes as identified above,
  • A Strategy Report on the subject of Smarter Cars.
  • Access to the existing library of previous publications.
  • Direct access to Machina Research’s team of industry analysts.

Lead Analyst

The lead analyst for this Research Stream is Jeremy Green.

Latest reports in this Research Stream

21 October 2016
Report type: Research Note
Machina Research has recently been focusing a lot of attention on mobile operator plans for their radio access network evolution, including 2G and 3G switch-off as well as new evolutions to the 3GPP technologies specifically aimed at IoT including LTE-NB1 (also known as NB-IoT) and LTE-M1 (also known as Cat-M). ...
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19 October 2016
Report type: Research Note
One of the key perceived opportunities associated with IoT is in the monetisation of exhaust data from various applications. Specifically, this involves the trading of data to third parties via some sort of data hub. Most of the initial progress in this space has been made in smart cities, based ...
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04 October 2016
Report type: Research Note
Historically, factory-fit embedded connectivity in vehicles was supported through a combination of roaming and/or a local SIM (either secondary or physically swapped out. The advent of eUICC offers much more attractive options for MNOs to support their global automotive OEM clients. This Research Note examines the concept of ‘local break-out’ ...
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Smarter Cars reports

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