The Future of Infotainment with Connected Cars

It’s often hard to imagine the future, at least right now – given the pace of technology and innovation in the twenty-first century. A connected world, for example, existed merely within the realms of our imagination as recently as a decade ago. But the concept is a matter of ubiquity today, a term people have grown to become familiar with. In the automotive industry, cars manage more than ever before, with scope around future innovations to assist with safer driving, convenient interfaces, and improved entertainment.
However, just as it was a decade ago, people are most likely to miscalculate the state of infotainment systems ten years from now. Nonetheless, there are a couple of trends – obvious enough to help project certain expectations within the coming years. A good starting point when trying to predict the future is in investigating what certain companies have already begun to explore.

A More Robust Vehicle Navigation System
Smart devices, smartphones, it’s easy to note that our dependency on such devices have only increased since its invention many years ago. With competitive pricing and faster technological revolutions, the market for these devices have widened to cover a diverse range of people, from across different income brackets.
An old Pew Research report once cited that the number of American smartphone-users jumped from 35% in 2011 to 77% in 2016. This increase was also associated with a significant decrease in the use of in-car navigation systems. On the other hand, a few companies chose to use smartphone-preference as an advantage instead, by integrating it into their vehicles to improve in-car navigation.
For example, Toyota’s Dynamic Navigation feature ensures that the maps are stored in a hard drive, SD card, or DVD. Owners will no longer have to visit dealerships to update maps and can instead rely on their systems to communicate with smart towers for access to directions and the most recent maps.

A Subscription-based Revenue Model
While there are a few car manufacturers willing to include infotainment systems in their entry-level vehicles, many prefer to avoid the inclusion to keep prices down; the decision relies on the assumption that drivers would need to pay for the infotainment system during the time of purchase. As an alternative, some companies rely on subscription-based models.
Given that most infotainment features require a form of subscription, this strategy allows for vehicle companies to earn more from people usually unwilling to invest in a system upfront.

Making Wallets Obsolete with Mobile In-car Payments
Another interesting feature under work is the inclusion of mobile payments into vehicles; it marks a simple improvement to enhance experience, to ensure that drivers are no longer required to pull out wallets or phones to buy food, gas, coffee, and other items; they can rely on their vehicles to pay for them now.
Jaguar was amongst the first automakers to offer the in-car mobile payment system, developing a touch-based system to make transactions via the Shell payment app. Hyundai, in 2018, announced plans to develop a connected car experience with Xevo that would include a payments component also. The Honda Dream Drive provides drivers with the ability to enjoy a diverse range of voice-controlled features, including a payments system.

As is the case with most technologies, progress is unexpected. But due to announcements and roadmaps made public by some of the world’s best vehicle manufacturers, it does become possible to predict the future, at least to a certain degree.
At GlobalEdge, we enable you to take quality, intuitive, and reliable infotainment systems to the market via comprehensive system development and validation services. So, yes, to a certain degree, we do know what we’re talking about. The question is, are you ready to embrace it?

About the Author

Vinayak S Kumbar heads the Automotive Practice at Global Edge Software Limited. He can be reached at