IHS Forecasts Significant In-Car App Shift

IHS has conducted a survey of 4,000 people in the USA, China, Germany and the UK, intending to buy a new car within the next 36 months. Of these people, 90% own a smartphone – with “wide implications” for consumer behaviour while driving. Smartphones were also found to influence consumer expectations on how vehicles and apps should integrate with them, said IHS’ Colin Bird.

Mobile app growth continues to be high, with around 132 billion downloaded last year (exceeding $25 billion in revenue, $10 billion from iOS alone). In the future, IHS expects vehicle manufacturers to integrate apps into their vehicles, and to see increased partnerships among OEMs and app integrators.

The three major platforms for in-car apps will be Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink. This year, IHS estimates that sales of these systems will be 643,000, 861,000 and 1.1 million, respectively. However, the situation will have changed by 2020, by when sales will reach 31 million for Android Auto, 37 million for Apple CarPlay and 17 million for MirrorLink, the firm believes.

Almost 45% of respondents said that they would use in-vehicle apps if they enhanced the driving experience. The most popular types of app were navigation (53%), weather (40%), music (38%), news (33%) and social networking (29%).