IHS subsidiary IMS Research is predicting in a new report that the number of connected cars in Western Europe will grow to 15 million units by 2019, meaning more than 95 percent fitments of new car, thanks to eCall.
eCall is a proposal to enact legislation mandating the fitment of a crash proof embedded emergency calling system in all new cars sold within the European Union in 2015.
IMS Research believes that the eCall mandate, beyond its cost to the automotive industry, brings up interesting opportunities for the car manufacturers.
“While several manufacturers have tried and failed to sell emergency calling to consumers over the past ten years, what has become clear through both business success and consumer research is that drivers will pay for services that are relevant to their daily lives.“
Since no killer app has been yet brought to life by a car maker in terms of connected service, there is still room for innovation and, hopefully, revenue generation, according to IMS Research.
Recommandation of the European Commission
However, at this stage eCall still remains a recommandation of the European Commission and has not been approved by the European Parliament yet (read here).
Car manufacturers are reluctant to implement it because of its cost and, due to the widespread penetration of phones, would prefer a solution that would leverage the phone of the driver or passengers rather than installing a costly wireless modem and SIM. This is for example the thinking of Pim van der Jagt, Managing Director Ford Research Europe in a recent interview with GPS Business News (read here).