Meeting The Growing Demand For Connected Car Data

Analysts predict that worldwide sales of connected vehicles will reach 76.3 million units within two years, meaning nearly 70% of worldwide new light-duty cars and trucks will ship with embedded connectivity. In the U.S., that number climbs to 90%.1

The connected car technology of the near future will be a digital platform that uses a multitude of sensors, such as radar, LIDAR, cameras, ultrasonic sensors, and vehicle motion sensors to safely transport passengers and goods. Inside the vehicle, connected cars will provide immersive experiences, in some cases turning the interior of vehicles into virtual theme parks through extended reality (XR) technology.

The amount of data that these transportation platforms must capture, transmit, and receive will grow accordingly, with data traffic from connected vehicles expected to exceed 1,000 times the present volume, surpassing 10 exabytes per month by 2025. 

How do you manage that volume of data in a mobile environment?

The case for a new connected car business model

For connected cars, several elements are driving the data explosion:

1. Telematics, used in B2B applications to support fleet diagnostics, routing, traffic, and safety. Telematics uses GPS data to help companies track vehicles and connected assets (like trailers), monitor maintenance needs, track vehicle speeds and location, and provide insights to improve driver behavior, increase safety, and reduce insurance premiums.

2. Infotainment and related entertainment services (e.g., music, video, cloud-based gaming in connected vehicles). Automotive infotainment is one of the fastest-growing aspects of the automotive industry. Modern vehicles can already connect personal navigation systems and smartphones. Infotainment relies on rich data flows and can assume many shapes, from short-form content for local drives to mobile-pay content such as movies and events, live content transfer, and even intelligent messaging when pertinent news events occur. We will see broader changes moving forward, from fully immersive gaming experiences in the back seat—including games that integrate actual dashboard projections from the connected vehicle—to a reimagined cockpit in the front, complete with dashboard instruments projected onto the windshield so drivers can safely stay focused on the road versus looking down at the dash.

3. Analytics provided by connected cars can detect critical trends and usage patterns that assist OEMs and dealers in forecasting and optimizing inventory for spares by minimizing carrying costs but still improving fill rates. Connected cars enable dealers and fleet operators to optimize parts and services planning by having the right parts in the right location when a vehicle needs repair, improving the quality of service for drivers and customers.

4. Video upload from onboard cameras for autonomous driving applications. This includes edge cases for neural network training and teleoperated driving.

5. Over-the-air (OTA) software updates as electric vehicles become more software-centric and new software-as-a-service subscriptions are introduced. As OTA adoption grows, software file sizes are also expanding.

These developments require large amounts of data transmission, which in turn will require the adoption of a new business model across OEMs, mobile network operators (MNOs) and technology providers. Just as engineers developed systems of roads and highways that allowed for faster vehicle transportation in the 20th century, partners within the automotive industry will need to design, build, and support a communications network to manage the flow of connected vehicle data. The resulting global ecosystem of partners will require collaboration among OEMs, technology solution vendors, network operators, cloud infrastructure companies, and service providers.

The case for a new business partner

MNOs are becoming key strategic partners for OEMs, for example, in the rollout of connected in-vehicle-entertainment systems. In-vehicle-entertainment systems and the software and connected services required to deliver these entertainment experiences have become an area of differentiation for OEMs.

MNOs like T-Mobile for Business represent essential OEM partners as they seek to orchestrate data needs more effectively for their connected vehicle efforts, including efficiently managing data flow and volume. OEMs may also turn to MNOs in the future to determine what can be processed in the car to reduce transmission volume, identify what data is needed to leverage Mobile Edge Computing (MEC), and deprioritize data transfers via network slicing to save costs.

Finding the right partner

The future of the connected car is exciting and complex, and it will take the right strategic partners to bring each vision to life.

Industry leaders like T-Mobile are helping bring our 5G future to life, working in alignment with OEMs and tier one manufacturers to ensure we’re all building toward a seamless and connected automotive future.

For connected cars, nationwide coverage is essential for the connectivity to provide safety, security, and basic functionality wherever a driver may be at any given moment. To learn more about connected car solutions and the nation’s largest 5G network, visit T-Mobile for Business.

5G: Capable device required; coverage not available in some areas. While 5G access won’t require a certain plan or feature, some uses/services might. See Coverage details, Terms and Conditions, and Open Internet information for network management details (like video optimization) at T-Mobile.com.

Automotive Technology