250m connected cars to hit roads by 2020, claims report

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One in five cars will be connected by 2020, a new report has claimed, leading to more than a quarter of a billion networked vehicles on our roads.

The report from Gartner said cars will form a "major" element of the Internet of Things market. By the end of this year there will be 4.9 billion connected "things", up 30 percent on a year ago. The researchers predicted this number will reach 25 billion by 2020.

The report said companies will neeed to focus on areas such as telematics, automated driving, infotainment and mobility services.

Connected cars were one of the dominant themes of this year's CES trade fair in Las Vegas, with the event having a heavy focus on the Internet of Things.

James F Hines, Research Director at Gartner, said: “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.

"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.

"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.”

The report also claimed no dominant IoT platform will merge until at least 2018, with IT departments having to sift through a number of different solutions from companies.

Alfonso Velosa, Research Director at Gartner, said: “Many standards and ecosystems for the IoT are still in development and some of the vendors and ecosystems may fail during the working lifetime of current IoT projects. CIOs will need to ensure their prime system integrator has a strategy to future-proof their project.

"This is especially critical if the project involves infrastructure that may be in the field for decades. A gateway-based architecture will be a key approach to future-proofing IoT projects.”

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