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The Connected Consumer: Integrating car and home

by Jack Bergquist , 11.05.2016

Since the dawn of the smartphone, consumers around the world have been on a lightning fast path towards ubiquitous connectivity. Almost a third of U.K. consumers feel it’s essential to always be reachable1. This trend is driving change across almost all industries, with customers' houses potentially being the next step on the ladder for the internet of things. The challenge for automotive will be how it integrates with this space. In this post I’m looking at key trends in how our cars are becoming more connected with our home.

New technology and consumer demand pushing the automotive industry into continuous evolution

While the automotive industry may be accused of being slow moving, it’s been working in this space since before the first iPhone, in the guise of automatic emergency calling – a system with an embedded cell phone which calls the emergency services in the event of an accident. However, over the past five years, new technology and a spike in consumer demand has pushed the industry into a phase of continuous evolution in the connected infotainment space. We actually found that 82% of American consumers regarded the presence of technology to be important when looking to buy a new car2.

Integrating home and car

This trend could be set to continue in the coming years for customers looking to buy a new home as well. Our recent Smart Home report found that 78% of Leading Edge Consumers felt such technology will have an impact on their lives in the next few years. As the home becomes more connected, a new challenge opens up for vehicle manufacturers, who will not only have to integrate with consumer devices like smartphones, but also a host of connected devices in the home too.

Fortunately manufacturers are already working on solutions to such integration issues. For example, BMW has already announced limited smart home integration in the new 7 series. The SmartThings application is a first step between integrating home and car, and it’s sure not to be the last as other Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) also look to integrate such functionality. In the future, as the car becomes another touch point for the customer's cloud-based life, it is very likely you’ll be able to receive updates in your vehicle regarding picking up groceries, be able to run a bath or even preheat the oven at just the right time on your journey home.

Learn more about the connected car and smart home in our latest video.



Please email me your thoughts at Jack.Bergquist@gfk.com.

1GfK Consumer Life (Roper Reports ©) 2015
2 GfK Connected Technology Report USA 2016
3 GfK Consumer Life (Roper Reports ©) 2015