Source: EE Times

By   12.04.2020

My neighbor, a Tesla owner, thinks of his 2018 Model 3 as an “iPhone on wheels.”

It’s true, and the connectivity between electric vehicles and the wireless infrastructure that updates car software and sends traffic and other safety alerts is expanding at a rate reflecting the growing popularity of connected cars.

According to a market forecast released this week by Rethink Technology Research, the global auto connectivity market will exceed $48 billion by 2027, a five-fold increase over the previous year. The market researcher also takes a crack at forecasting the “added value revenue opportunity” associated with connected cars, coming up with the astonishing estimate of half-a-trillion dollars over the same period.

In short, connected cars will become remote offices on wheels — far more than the iPhone analogy my Tesla-owning neighbor describes.

The market analyst surmises the connection of cars will be facilitated by emerging “vehicle-to-everything,” or V2X, deployments capable of automatically connecting cars with each other and with roadside infrastructure via cloud-based services. That framework would also be able to connect cars with pedestrians. (What about us bikers?)

The leading connectivity technology is predicted to be cellular, which Rethink asserts is winning the standards competition over Wi-Fi-based technologies such as Dedicated Short-Range Communications and the the latest version of the Intelligent Transportation System.

Rethink also predicts cellular V2X deployments will combine traditional cellular networks with local nodes operating in the 5.9-GHz band reserved for auto communications. “This will enable the integrated short- and long- range communications required for autonomous driving, but which will enhance safety and advance other use cases in any case.”

Autonomous driving remains to be seen; navigation enhancements and distracting infotainment applications seem much more likely.

While 5G bandwidth promises even greater automotive connectivity opportunities, the market analyst settles on existing 3G and 4G/LTE links as the initial driving force behind its bullish auto connectivity forecast. China, South Korea and other Asian markets are expected to be the first to incorporate 5G connectivity into intelligent transportation networks.

Over the next decade, the Rethink forecast notes, “the big theme will be development of more advanced and lucrative connectivity services around [vehicle to everything], increasing safety and ushering in autonomous driving, as well as enhanced infotainment.

“The car will increasingly be a personal connectivity hub for consumers and, taken together, these will accrue substantial incremental revenues beyond the underlying connectivity,” the report concludes.

Fasten your seatbelts.