Connected Cars Driving Consumer M2M Market

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Connected cars are a significant area for consumer based M2M (machine to machine) growth according to new research from Parks Associates which projects by 2017 17.6 million consumers will subscribe to embedded connected vehicle services such as General Motors' OnStar and Chrysler's UConnect Access.

The research firm predicts 47% of all new vehicles sold in the U.S. will have embedded cellular modules by 2017.

"Mobile network operators (MNOs) such as Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile see M2M as a way to diversify their revenues and secure a strong foothold in this early market, particularly in the auto industry," said Parks Associates Analyst Jennifer Kent, who will host a webcast Thursday, March 28, titled "M2M: The Next Billion Mobile Connections." "MNOs can leverage their relationships with module manufacturers, app developers, and consumers to provide auto OEMs with valuable integration services, thereby generating service revenues on top of network access fees."

The consumer-facing aspect of the M2M auto industry started with the launch of GM's OnStar service in 1996. Auto companies like Ford and Nissan have relied on smartphones for other connected services but are now rolling out embedded modules in electric car models to provide core assistance and navigation services, including performance and diagnostics information and remote control of the vehicle's locks, horn, and temperature remotely.

"The M2M market for consumers has seen steady growth over the past decade and is shaping up for a bright future," Kent said. "Declining sensor and networking costs, increased interest from MNOs, expanding use cases, and new business models are converging to drive the M2M industry forward."

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