In Sweden and Finland, for example, a driver might want to switch on their car heater remotely with with their smartphone ten minutes before leaving for work, so that the ice on their windscreen melts. This would require the car manufacturer to integrate the application with the heating system.
Steve Hilton, principal analyst at Analysys Mason, who contributed to the report, added that planning cycles for new product launches in the automotive sector are at least three years, so it is still too early to say whether all of the various connectivity applications for cars will yield acceptable returns on investment.
"The automobile is one of the remaining frontiers that lack consistent connectivity," said Hilton.
However, the ubiquity of 3G connectivity across Europe, together with the emergence of new 4G networks, means that the industry can now offer a much more consistent experience, and Vodafone expects to see the number of applications that take advantage of embedded connectivity to grow rapidly.
Earlier this year, the GSM Association predicted that the connected car market will be worth almost 40 billion globally in 2018, up from 13 billion in 2012.
Over 80 percent of the total will be driven by the growth of embedding SIM technology into new vehicles to enable mobile connectivity. This will encourage a range of mobile-based services around safety, security, infotainment, traffic information, navigation and vehicle diagnostics, the GSMA said.
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