Automakers aim to connect cars to each other, and the majority of the data in vehicles is projected to come from entertaining consumers in those cars.
As more devices and machines become connected to each other, a lot of the data over cellular networks will be streamed to consumers in their vehicles, based on new study.
Almost all (98%) cellular machine-to-machine (M2M) data over the next five years will come from in-car infotainment systems, according to Juniper Research.
That data, in the form of Internet radio, music streaming and other data-heavy information services, will amount to about 6,000 Petabytes (roughly 300 billion hours of music) by 2021, according to the M2M: Strategies & Opportunities for MNOs, Service Providers and OEMs 2016-2021 study.
Juniper defines M2M as "the connections, interfaces and infrastructure allowing data to be transferred between machines and between machines and individuals. M2M includes the management system, interfaces and portals to extract value from the machine data."
Integrated SIM connectivity in vehicles will enable service providers to remotely push software updates to cars, as well as monitor subscription-based services over that connectivity.
Moving forward, the study suggests that networks will increasingly need to shift toward offering value-added services to consumers, rather than just data connectivity.
“The wider M2M market offers a reprieve from declining traditional voice and messaging revenues,” Sam Barker, researcher at Juniper, said in a statement.
“Operators are now chomping at the bit to capitalize on the growth of M2M.”
The largest force in the M2M market for the foreseeable future will be in connecting vehicles to each other, in so-called vehicle-to-vehicle capabilities, according to Juniper.
Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz just entered into an agreement with Here, a connected car data company, to share their vehicle-generated data with each other in an effort to further progress to a system of vehicle-to-vehicle communication across manufacturers.
This seems to reflect a broader push for sharing data across companies and competitors when it comes to the Internet of Things.
Another recent study from MIT Sloan Management Review found that the majority (66%) of businesses involved in IoT-related projects share their data with competitors, customers and suppliers.
Outside of the Here agreement, Audi is also implementing vehicle-to-infrastructure connectivity in select models currently in production. With this connectivity, drivers can receive information directly from traffic lights, such as when they will turn red or green.
Inside vehicles, Juniper also expects heads-up displays (HUDs) with augmented reality components, which could lead to rich media navigation integrated over what the driver is seeing in real life, to enter the markets within the next one to two years.