Author: Damian Tyler – Director of Business Development and Corporate Sales

With technology aiding new opportunities in the automotive industry, the concept of a fully connected car isn’t as far into the future as we might initially think. With the global connected vehicle market forecast to treble in size by 2027 to US$49 billion now is clearly the time to explore how to capitalise on both the technology and growing demand1.  At Assurant, we’ve identified the main foundation areas of the connected car and which ones hold the key for the success of future adoption.

5G and The Internet of Things

As 5G becomes more widely available across the UK, and the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow, the connected car will soon be able to digitally connect and interact with its surroundings. This includes the potential of helping to detect other connected cars to improve safety and utilise connected networks to transform our vehicles into immersive entertainment spaces. As part of the IoT, connected cars can update mapping data, improve safety system performance, and implement updates to improve performance.The opportunities for the connected car seem endless and add fuel to the automotive industry’s focus on customer centric services. A Counterpoint Research study reveals that more than 286 million connected passenger cars will be added globally during the 2019-2025 period.3  Technological advancements are fundamentally changing the way that automotive brands think about the way they can engage with their customers. It also means that drivers’ attitudes will change when thinking about what their vehicle can provide for them. 

Vehicle to Anything

Services can be divided into three broad categories:
  • Infotainment (a combination of information and entertainment which is fed back to the driver, for example via a media player)
  • Telematics (which allows the car to stay connected to the cloud) 
  • ‘Vehicle-to-Everything’ (or V2X, the communication between a vehicle and any other object that can be affected by the vehicle, enabling services such as automatic payment of tolls).4
Cars will no longer be focused on domestic functions such as speed, fuel consumption and cost. Instead, these advancements have opened up a plethora of other conceptual thoughts. For example, “Can my car automatically detect a fault, and order the required parts?”, “Can I pre-order my coffee through my car’s voice assistant whilst on my morning commute?”, “Can my car navigate me away from upcoming traffic and road closures?”
When considering the final example, it is imperative to look more broadly at the concept of ‘Vehicle to Everything’ (V2X) connectivity. Google defines V2X as a ‘communication between a vehicle and any other entity that may affect or may be affected by the vehicle.’ Through continuous development and integration of V2X, cars are becoming more intelligent and less reliant on human involvement. Today we see cars that are able to assist with parking, tomorrow there is the possibility to see cars provide more advanced actions through sophisticated technologies, like calculating the best routes using the most recent road and traffic conditions.5 That information can then be shared to other connected vehicles meaning better management of traffic and the ability to re-route cars, potentially saving hours on the road and high fuel consumption from sitting in dormant tailbacks. SNS Telecom & IT predicts that by the end of 2022, V2X will account for a market worth $1.2 Billion.6

Automotive Telematics

The connected car uses telematics to improve maintenance and upkeep experiences for their owners by not only constantly monitoring the car, but by also gathering new data from the cloud to improve the accuracy and timeliness of maintenance alerts. Connected diagnostic systems learn through the data they receive from the cloud and also run diagnostic algorithms based on the vehicle’s speed, engine, drivetrain and electronics. If an issue is detected, the diagnostics alert the driver via emails and text messages.7  According to Global Telematics Market Report, the market is expected to reach a global revenue of US$233.24 billion by 2022.8
At Assurant, automotive telematics is particularly thought-provoking . As part of our Automotive line of business, Assurant provides maintenance and repair products, so we understand how telematic data could be used to support a seamless repair journey for customers. 


Connective Assistance
A McKinsey study shows that 40% of respondents are willing to change car brands for better connectivity features.9  As the connected car continues to develop, the future looks set to enable vehicles to act more like personal assistants, allowing drivers to do more than just a call hands-free. Soon connectivity could enable drivers to acknowledge and react to vital signs through the connection of wearable technology, or through voice assistants such as Amazon Echo or Apple Alexa and understand commands such as ‘turn on the driver heated seat’. Google and Fiat are teaming up to take on connected cars. A variation on the popular 500 line of Fiats, the new Hey Google edition comes prepared for the rider who wants their journey to be fully connected and wired up.10

Through Assurant’s Connected Living line of business, there has been a significant rise where the average consumer now has nine connected devices around the home. From this, we can gauge that the connective assistance trend will lend itself to consumers expecting this kind of technology in their vehicles moving forward.

Immersive Entertainment

Chances are many drivers already have experienced some form of entertainment software in their cars. For example, CarPlay by Apple offers apps from iPhone that connect and function through the vehicle, including Spotify, Apple Maps and Siri. But as technology evolves, the immersive in-vehicle experience will continue to grow, as passengers shift from being drivers to riders, their connected-device time, including video-viewing, will increase. This new ‘passenger economy’ could be worth U$800 billion by 2035, according to Intel, and a staggering U$7 trillion by 2050.11

Rear View Entertainment (RVE) is set to upgrade using 5G connectivity, and the Tesla V10 already offers ‘Tesla Theater’ which engages with streaming services like Netflix and YouTube, as well as a variety of games to play. Other entertainment (known as Elastic Content) comes from software features by Tesla, like ‘Lucky’ which will allow drivers to go on a surprise adventure to a nearby attraction.12  Sol Rogers, CEO and founder of UK-based immersive content producer REWIND says, “Immersive technology offers a huge opportunity to turn the car into a new kind of stage.”13  Meaning we could see more connectivity based entertainment as software develops in connected cars.

Safety and Security 

With connected cars becoming more advanced, the considerations about safety are of uppermost concern. The primary safety risk with connected cars is the possibility of them being controlled remotely. The most extreme risk would be crashing a car by taking over control of the steering, braking or acceleration. Other serious risks include control of the stereo volume, lights, horn, windscreen wipers, and other features.14 Other security issues include data protection and the risk of data on driving styles being hacked by unknown sources remotely, which could provide the opportunity for monitoring and control.15  Pre pandemic, there was an 82% share of cyber-attacks run remotely against automobiles,16 and this is set to increase as the popularity of connected cars grows.

Assurant offers a range of products and services to protect our customers’ safety when using connected devices. To read more on how we are tackling safety and security with Assurant’s Pocket Geek ID, read our blog ‘Cyber Security: A Post Covid Perspective’

Connected vehicles have four main cybersecurity risks for drivers:

  • Privacy and security concerns – exposed/stolen data, malware infections, vehicle hacking
  • Fraudulent transactions – takeover of service accounts connected to a vehicle
  • Vehicle operational interfaces (safety-related) – brake, steering, engine functionality
  • Vehicle operational interfaces (not safety-related) – radio, A/C, GPS, etc. 17

There are ways however to help minimise cyber threats these include:

  • Apply software updates. However, be cautious of scams that mimic manufacturer software notices to avoid potential phishing sites and malware infections.
  • Avoid modifying car software. Custom changes to a car’s software may create vulnerabilities in a car’s system that hackers can exploit.
  • Be wary of connecting third-party services and devices to any internet-enabled vehicle. Remember that every connection is a data conversation. Make sure devices are up-to-date to avoid transferring harmful software to the vehicle.
  • Contact the manufacturer immediately if issues are experienced related to the car’s software, or there is suspicion that the vehicle has been hacked.18

In summary, the connected car’s future holds a great deal of technological and economical value for the automotive industry, with statistics showing that the market is expected to grow by 270% by 2022.19  In light of the diversification and connectivity that these vehicles will offer in the future, it is important to consider their impact not only on drivers, but also OEMs, dealerships, service providers and network businesses. It will be crucial for market participants to use the development of new connected services for themselves and their customers.20  Furthermore, data protection and driver safety are critical factors that need to be addressed as the connected car continues to revolutionise the way we think about our vehicles. Especially as Europe has the second largest market share in the connected car market.21  Once security and safety concerns have been addressed and the markets involved in the evolution of connected cars are able to integrate seamlessly, there is nothing else standing in the way of making use of the huge potential of modern services around mobility.22