One In Five Cars Worldwide Will Be Connected To The IoT By 2020

Gartner report predicts huge rise in the number of connected vehicles across the world

The number of connected ‘smart’ cars, able to monitor the environment around them and possibly even drive themselves, is set to skyrocket in the next few years, new research has projected.

A report by analyst firm Gartner predicts that by 2020, over a quarter of a billion connected vehicles will be on the world’s roads as the technology implanted in them improves.

This equates to around one in every five cars on the planet, and marks a major increase from a similar report the firm released last year which predicted 150 million connected vehicles by that time.

audi bobby piloted driving carFuture drive

Gartner sees the connected car as a key part of the growing Internet of Things, forseeing the vehicles as a key way for users to communicate with the world around them to stay safe and ensure a smooth journey.

The firm has forecast that 4.9 billion connected things will be in use in 2015, up 30 percent from 2014, and will reach 25 billion by 2020.

“The connected car is already a reality, and in-vehicle wireless connectivity is rapidly expanding from luxury models and premium brands, to high-volume midmarket models,” said James F. Hines, research director at Gartner.

“The increased consumption and creation of digital content within the vehicle will drive the need for more sophisticated infotainment systems, creating opportunities for application processors, graphics accelerators, displays and human-machine interface technologies,” Hines added.

“At the same time, new concepts of mobility and vehicle usage will lead to new business models and expansion of alternatives to car ownership, especially in urban environments.”

Several major car manufacturers have already revealed prototype or concept connected vehicles, and have been ably supported by technology firms offering the software to power them.

Both Audi and Mercedes-Benz unveiled self-driving car concepts at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2015 in Las Vegas, with Audi’s A7 (pictured above) setting off for the event on an automated 550-mile drive from San Francisco, and Google has also revealed its own self-driving car will begin testing on Northern California’s roads this year.

Both Google and Apple have also revealed special versions of their mobile operating systems targeted at smart vehicles, allowing users to connect up their mobile device and car for navigation, entertainment and communication purposes.

In June, Google introduced the Android Auto project, its bid to get the Linux-based mobile OS inside our cars, which is expected to compete with Apple’s CarPlay, a similar platform for iPhone owners.

Think your transport technology quiz can take the chequered flag? Try our quiz!