Last year, for the first time, carriers added services to more cars than phones. Connectivity is no longer a luxury – it is an expectation – and that prerequisite extends to automobiles more than ever before. The connected car industry’s rise reflects the need for access: according to a recent report, the connected car market in 2017 was $72.95 billion, with an expected rise to $280.36 billion by 2026.
A critical component of this expected market expansion is the sophistication of the networks that support connected car applications. Features that consumers currently enjoy – GPS, audio streaming, hands-free texting/calling, and Bluetooth – to name a few – have been powered by 3G networks. But, as is the case with any technological advancement, finding newer, more powerful capabilities is key to differentiation.
For the connected car market, remaining viable means exploring and implementing the possibilities of applications supported by 4G LTE networks, which offer even richer features and expanded capabilities. 4G LTE is a game-changer in a number of ways, but its benefits are most obvious in three areas:
Increased use capacity: 4G LTE allows carriers to add more subscribers per spectrum assignment.
Faster speeds: The need for higher bandwidth in applications like real-time traffic streaming maps, for example, are only growing. 4G LTE is able to support that bandwidth without affecting quality.
Increased reliability: 4G LTE is not only “stronger,” but network failure is more drastically limited than 3G.
Today, many automobile manufacturers are including 4G LTE as a standard feature, with Ford announcing earlier this year that all of its vehicles will be equipped with 4G LTE by 2020. Here are some of the ways 4G LTE is enhancing the connected car experience:
Better diagnostics: Easy-to-implement diagnostic readers will allow drivers to access up-to-date information about their vehicle’s performance so they can proactively address emerging problems, as opposed to reactive measures once a breakdown occurs.
V2V: Vehicle-to-vehicle capabilities communicate data about fellow drivers to your vehicle – such as speed and direction —to help reduce accidents. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates this could reduce accidents by 80 percent.
V2X: Vehicle-to-everything further connects cars. For example, V2X can warn drivers of upcoming road construction and other obstructions. Should there be an accident, the technology could immediately connect driver and passengers to emergency services, even determining the nearest hospital.
Improved audio and navigation: 4G is creating a better experience for drivers using enhanced navigation systems, and provides a seamless music streaming service experience with systems that are directly integrated into the vehicle.
OTA Updates – 4G LTE provides the capability to send over the air (OTA) software upgrades, allowing features to as up-to-date as possible at all times. This is especially important with safety features.
For automobile manufacturers, the data generated via 4G LTE-supported apps allows for better insight into which features are most popular, efficient, and useful to consumers. This will only empower them to advance the connected convenience of the driving experience.