Silicon Valley And The Auto Industry Are Battling Over How To Bring Apps Into Cars


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Perhaps the greatest potential for popular smartphone or tablet software and services is not in household appliances like TVs or refrigerators, but in cars.

To state the obvious: Cars are inherently mobile. Many of the things people do in their cars - listen to music, look up directions - mesh nicely with popular app-mediated activities on mobile gadgets. Americans spend an average of 1.2 hours a day traveling between locations and an average of 38 hours a year stuck in traffic. If mobile apps and Internet-based services can shoehorn their way into the in-car environment, that means a great opportunity to absorb consumer attention, and gather data. Not to mention, current dashboard "infotainment systems" are mostly terrible.

In a recent report from BI Intelligence, we examine how Silicon Valley and Detroit are waging a war over consumer technology in the car. We explore the technical underpinnings and leading initiatives for bringing mobile into the car, analyze the three main ways to bring mobile products and services into cars, explore whether app usage in the car will be centered on the phone or in computing systems and connectivity embedded into the car, look at whether car companies will bring the war between Android and iOS into the car or if they will build their own Web-ready platforms, and detail what apps and services might stand to gain the most from in-car usage.

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Here's a brief overview of the prospects for the mobile car:

In full, the special report: