The demand for Internet technology is rising to new heights with the news today that by 2016, 92 million vehicles will feature technology to integrate smartphones into motor vehicles, according to a new report by Juniper Research, forecasting smartphone-automobile integration as “all but standard” within five years.

Although insurers will see certain inherent risks, such as the potential for an increase in distracted driving incidents, the benefits will be in the technology's ability to deliver commercial Telematics.

Commercial telematics, driven by its potential to increase driving efficiency and manage insurance costs, is slowly making its way into the industry, and mobile accessibility is a germane dovetailing pursuit. According to the report, with automakers able to include new protocols such as MirrorLink from the Connected Car Consortium that integrate smartphones and allow them to become hubs, the symbiotic relationship between telematics and smartphone integration is complete—each promotes the implementation of the other.

New protocols in production by an increasing number of automakers enable mobile Internet, smartphone apps and content access across the range of vehicles that they sell. In addition, Juniper notes increasing sophistication in the ways telematics can be employed: Fleet managers can use telematics to increase fleet efficiency, comply with regulations and monitor driver behavior, while players are also leveraging the power of the cloud and internet portals to enhance the services they offer.

“Integrating the smartphone into consumer cars represents a new route for mobile Internet and infotainment to enter the vehicle,” says report author Anthony Cox.  The report notes that the main inhibitor for this form of telematics will be limited growth in the automotive market over the next five years, particularly in developed regions.

Indeed, while several insurance companies are testing the technology, according to the report, insurance telematics remains in its infancy with most widespread commercial use not happening until at least 2014.




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