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Automechanika Lecture Series Highlights Future of Connected Vehicles

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FRANKFURT, Sept. 17, 2014—As consumer demand for in-vehicle technology continues to grow, connected car technology will transform all sectors of the aftermarket industry.

That was the message during ‘1+1=3: Advantages of Connecting the Automobile Internally and Externally,” a lecture series held Wednesday during Automechanika Frankfurt 2014.

According to data from Accenture, the world in 2017 will feature more than 211 million connected vehicles, up from only 45 million in 2011. This growth will bring about a number of changes in consumer, technology, regulations, transportation, eco-systems and business model trends.

Several experts spoke on a variety of topics related to connected cars, including the management of big data, consumer demands, and potential changes the technology could bring to the industry.

Consumer demand will be the biggest driving force in dictating what connected vehicles will look like in the future.

Although 63 percent of all driver want to use their smartphone while driving, an Accenture study found that consumer willingness to pay for the service is low.

Axel Schmidt, a member of Accenture’s executive board, noted that Apple’s influence could be at play here. Because many consumers are used to purchasing relatively inexpensive apps, a harmonized look and feel of user interfaces at a low price is of high importance.

Even so, Schmidt predicted that connected vehicles will become the prerequisite to selling vehicles and effectively drive industry convergence in the aftermarket sector, including independent repair shops.

Schmidt said that OEMs will attempt to retain customers longer with service departments, and new stakeholders, such as aftermarket insurance companies and diagnostics, will become new stakeholders.

And while it may seems that OEMs have the upper hand, Schmidt said that the independent aftermarket will gain market power through predictive maintenance and diagnostics.

Jurgen Lumera, director of global TIS product management and innovation at Bosch GmbH, described a number of other benefits to connected car technology for the aftermarket.

In particular, Lumera noted that repairers will be able to access real-time data for diagnosing and repairing vehicles, creating a more fluid, rather than linear, repair process.

Lumera also said that the technology will enable new services to gain traction in the aftermarket ecosystem, including pay-as-you-drive insurance and context-based mobile marketing.

While there are a number of advantages to connected cars, speakers also noted the challenges. Data security overwhelmingly remains a concern.

Hort Leonberger, head of the connected vehicle business unit at Deutsche Telekom, noted that the company reported more than 210 million cyber attacks in 2014. Leonberger said that proper infrastructure will need to be in place to not only protect the data, but to also transmit the overwhelming amount of data into value-added practical information.

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