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Old 7th September 2018, 01:10   #1
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Default Connected car platforms: Do they influence your car purchase decisions?

It is said that the Indian Automotive Industry moves along with Maruti Suzuki. So now with Maruti Suzuki also jumping into the world of connected cars with the 'Suzuki Connect' platform - I feel the time is right to talk about the relevance of these systems in the Indian market, and more importantly - whether it does affects our purchase decisions and ownership experiences.

Connected car platforms: Do they influence your car purchase decisions?-sme3hrhs_suzukiconnectlaunched_625x300_24_july_18.jpg

Companies strongly believe so. The numbers and forecasts internationally are mind blowing -

Quote:
The Number of Telematics Subscribers Using Embedded Systems is Forecasted to Grow at a CAGR of 31.9 Percent From 49.0 Million Subscribers in 2017 to 258.1 Million in 2023
Quote:
Research estimates that more than 32 percent of all new cars sold worldwide in 2017 were equipped with an OEM embedded telematics system, up from 23 percent in 2016.
Connected car platforms: Do they influence your car purchase decisions?-telematics.jpg

The story is not going to be very different in India as well. As we know, market penetration for such devices were very less until recently - but I am willing to bet that the growth rates will be staggering going forward. Dont take my words for it, experts think so too -

Quote:
Just 1.4% of cars in India are connected, said Sheetal Patil, Global Product Manager for Infotainment at Visteon
Quote:
Maruti Suzuki VP Tarun Aggarwal expects all cars to be connected “within a few years”, as does Microsoft, with Ankur Agarwal, CTO Global Delivery Services projecting that by 2025, new car connectivity will be at 100%.
I'm yet to come across anyone making purchase decisions based on the availability of connected car technology. So what is driving this massive growth? I mean - beyond the obvious factor of modern technology (Internet of Things, massive cloud computing power, seamless wireless connectivity, accessible smart phones with everyone, etc) enabling such possibilities! The data collected by these devices are probably worth millions too - and this could be a reason as well - OEMs can have clients who will find use for this data - Insurance companies for example have shown their willingness to jump in with tailor made plans for individual driving patterns.

Connected car platforms: Do they influence your car purchase decisions?-honda-connect-infographic-colour.jpg

So the real question is -
  • Has it made a difference for us, the consumers?
  • Will it be a differentiating factor in your next car purchase decision?
  • Do you feel its just a gimmick?
  • Or would you like to avoid it (Please state reason) in the next purchase?

Related links -
Suzuki Connect (Maruti to introduce ‘Suzuki Connect’ in India soon. EDIT: Now launched)
Honda Connect (Honda India launches mobile app & communication device - Honda Connect)
Toyota Connect (Toyota unveils “Toyota Connect” telematics services in India)

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 7th September 2018 at 01:12.
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Old 7th September 2018, 08:47   #2
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Default re: Connected car platforms: Do they influence your car purchase decisions?

Great thread! At this point I am not sure if this is going to impact my purchase decisions, but eventually it could be. I don't think its a gimmick, and its use on safety & security front will be quite massive I guess.
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Old 7th September 2018, 09:33   #3
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Default re: Connected car platforms: Do they influence your car purchase decisions?

Has it made a difference for us, the consumers?
With cars becoming more 'computers' than 'cars', we need some interface to 'understand' our cars. These telematics apps gives us that. no need to buy those OBD2 connectors from aliexpress now
From an utility and convenience perspective, we need to install less apps in our phone (fuel data, trip data among others...) apart from giving us many important information
From a safety point of view, giving location for RSA, opening the car when you have lost keys may all be helpful. And emergency alert system. remember the incident in Ecosport media drive in 2013? (Ford EcoSport Toppled by Reviewer - Emergency Assist Dhamaka)
That's how for now it has made a small difference.

Will it be a differentiating factor in your next car purchase decision?
I will look at it during my next car purchase, but it can't be a deal breaker.

Do you feel its just a gimmick?
Personally no, apart from some useless features like low fuel alert (we can see on the instrument cluster, can't we?) many will be useful. if someone felt that it was a gimmick, it would've made an appearance here (The most useless features in cars)

Or would you like to avoid it (Please state reason) in the next purchase?People with acute Privacy concerns will hate this. Privacy concerns topic was discussed in the Ather scooter thread
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Old 7th September 2018, 09:38   #4
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Default re: Connected car platforms: Do they influence your car purchase decisions?

A lot of people (like me) do not fully understand the concept and the benefits of such a platform and hence it is not a purchase decision influencer.
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Old 7th September 2018, 09:42   #5
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Default re: Connected car platforms: Do they influence your car purchase decisions?

Nice thread. I think we are far away from this influencing car purchase decisions. But there is no escaping the fact that this concept is gaining more and more traction.

Not only manufacturers, even insurance companies are starting to do this by offering telematics based insurance products. Bajaj Allianz is one such Insurer. Last year when I renewed my insurance, decided to be a guinea pig and opted for this telematics device. Had shared a review (Link)

While I will need to wait to see if from an insurance perspective, any benefits come up, The rest of the info it provides (trip details tracking, rash acceleration/hard braking event triggers) are still pretty crude and does not really serve the purpose of 'enhancing and improving your driving experience').

But, as mentioned in the links, the ability to collect, manage and process huge amounts of data is increasing exponentially and with the whole Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning stuff also taking off, this will be priceless data in the hands of the companies.

How they want to use it to benefit customers vs improving their own bottom-lines is something we need to see. Privacy will be a big concern. Especially if the data collection goes beyond what a typically OBD device can read. If the data can genuinely report a real time health status of my car, that is definitely helpful. But if the data is used to push marketing and ad's, then that is a concern.

Last edited by navin : 7th September 2018 at 13:20. Reason: typos
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Old 7th September 2018, 10:04   #6
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I really do not trust these apps that requires permission to access my phone data. I am not sure if they are really treated confidential and are secured and not being misused. Quite honestly I do not trust the Indian dealerships where they may even sell my data to a third party. So yeah I would never buy a car that comes with "connectivity" even if it means settling for alternatives.
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Old 7th September 2018, 10:51   #7
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Default re: Connected car platforms: Do they influence your car purchase decisions?

The car connectivity feature in Tesla cars impressed me. Along with monitoring car's performance, Music and media streaming is one of the major parts of Tesla's car connectivity feature. Monitoring real-time performance is a key aspect for an electric vehicle.

I think all the Car manufacturers do have their Android/iOS apps to push notifications like services booking, insurance renewal, workshop locator, service feedback and promotional schemes. However, these apps are very basic. Recently launched car connect platforms are advanced. They are useful but not game changers.

I don't think it will be a differential factor in the purchase of the car. Just three months back we bought a Honda WRV for my dad. We didn't buy Honda connect add-on, which was available at 7999/-.

However, this feature is the future and I"ll love to have it in my next/new car if it's inbuilt and without any extra cost.
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Old 7th September 2018, 11:12   #8
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Default re: Connected car platforms: Do they influence your car purchase decisions?

Personally I am not yet fully convinced on the 'connected car' thing, which I think is more of a non linear revenue generation method for the car companies, going the way it is being implemented & sold. Thus did not opt for the 'Honda connect' when I paid for the Jazz.

If I need to extract any details which is not being displayed via the dials / lights / MID, I would either use my OBD scanner or OBD adapter + smartphone app to extract details for further troubleshooting.

Also, with cars becoming more and more drive by wire, I am actually wary about having any telematics device on 24x7 constantly beaming out data , which may be captured by hi-tech thugs for malafide intentions.

But one area where a limited application may be beneficial (and de facto mandatory soon) is for personalized insurance quotes rewarding safe drivers.
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Old 7th September 2018, 11:48   #9
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Default re: Connected car platforms: Do they influence your car purchase decisions?

Important topic, much needed thread, thanks for starting.

Looks like a paradigm shift in car/mobility based services. During the period 2006-2010 remember the leaders from Amazon, Google and Microsoft were talking about cloud computing. Back then, I just could not get the concept in my head nor could foresee the potential, and now that's going to be the norm.

I guess, eventually all cars might have to get connected and may be even regulated for security reasons.

Last edited by Thermodynamics : 7th September 2018 at 11:59.
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Old 7th September 2018, 12:29   #10
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Default re: Connected car platforms: Do they influence your car purchase decisions?

Unless the connected car platform can diagnose any fault codes remotely and have the solution ready by the time i drive into their workshop, i think it will mostly be a gimmick, with limited benefits.

No use having front end apps, when the back end (related to service, diagnostics) is not integrated in real time.

Good for fleet service operators, though.

As of now, it definitely does not influence my purchase. And will definitely not pay for availing this type of service.
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Old 7th September 2018, 13:04   #11
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Default re: Connected car platforms: Do they influence your car purchase decisions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
eventually it could be.
Eventually - yes. I guess thats the whole point. Companies are investing huge amounts of money into this probability. Infact, its not even a probability if you look at their investments - connected cars are here to stay. And its not just about traditional car companies. Connected cars technology has suddenly opened up the industry to the IBMs (as an example) of the world. IT industry seems to be very excited and funding a great amount of capital into this future too.

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Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
That's how for now it has made a small difference.
You are surely ahead of me in this learning curve. Great points all! What do you feel about the subscription payment model for us devices though? The AliExpress OBD connect was a one time investment, that too a small one in comparison, isn't it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
Or would you like to avoid it (Please state reason) in the next purchase?People with acute Privacy concerns will hate this. Privacy concerns topic was discussed in the Ather scooter thread
Important topic. Glad you brought it up. There was a case where the data collected was left without security by a software vendor -

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/india...mpromised.html (Honda Connect data leaked! Personal details of thousands of Indian customers compromised)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddy View Post
A lot of people (like me) do not fully understand the concept and the benefits of such a platform and hence it is not a purchase decision influencer.
I'm in this list too - my car is now become old school. Hell, it does not even have parking sensors! I'm yet to play around with connected car technology - so it might not affect my purchase decision next time. However, I think manufacturers who have introduced it as optional accessory now will soon push dealers into selling more of these, and I'm willing to bet that dealers will soon start pushing these devices like they include RSA and inhouse insurance etc within the on-road price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
Bajaj Allianz is one of these manufacturers. Last year when I renewed my insurance, decided to be a guinea pig and opted for this telematics device. Had shared a review (Link)
Great thread that one. And yes - thats surely the future direction.

Like you say, I feel the real interest driving it is the 'data'. Data is money ever since BigData and Machine Learning started making fun of previously unheard quantities of data, that too not even required to be presented in a structured format to the systems to get meaningful insights out of it.
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Old 7th September 2018, 13:22   #12
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Default re: Connected car platforms: Do they influence your car purchase decisions?

I am an user of the Skoda Connect platform on my Skoda Karoq. I have briefly mentioned the available services in my ownership thread (Ownership report: Skoda Karoq 1.6 TDI Style DSG). The offering has 3 parts - emergency services, proactive services (which lets us connect to the service station) and remote access services. The first two are free for 14 years and the third on is free for the first year.

The proactive service part includes the breakdown call function. Skoda claims that vehicle defect data can be transmitted to the service station, so that the diagnosis can be made easier. I have set up my preferred service station in the portal. Skoda claims that when the vehicle needs service (based on the data captured), the service station can proactively schedule an appointment for me. It would be great if these services work as advertised.

Now, coming to the remote access services part (which is a paid service after the first year), I can do the following via the mobile app:
- access driving data (same as that on the MID, no analysis is provided by the app)
- check vehicle location (may be useful when parking on the streets). Honk and flash can be triggered via the app to make it easier to find the car in a crowded parking place.
- check lights and lock status
- get speed and area notifications (may be useful for parents who give the cars to their children to drive)
- request and access vehicle health report (it shows the status of engine, brakes, lights etc). I can also schedule the report to be generated every month or every 1000km etc.
- control the auxiliary heating

Skoda claims that the vehicle health report can be accessed by the service center when I go in for a service. When I generate a report, it just show status of engine, brakes, lights etc as just OK without any details. I guess the service center may be getting a more detailed report. I hope I will also get a more detailed report in case some issues crop up.

For me, the proactive service part has the potential to make a difference in the ownership experience. Among the remote access services, I think there are no services offered currently which make a vital difference to my driving or ownership experience. Of course, I have another 10 months to decide if I will pay for the remote service from the second year onwards. Currently, I am leaning towards NO.

Would it influence my car purchasing decision? Currently, no. In a few years' time, who knows?

Skoda offers a more premium Infotainment Online service as well for cars which have navigation included. I have no experience with that.
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Old 7th September 2018, 13:55   #13
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Default re: Connected car platforms: Do they influence your car purchase decisions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
What do you feel about the subscription payment model for us devices though? The AliExpress OBD connect was a one time investment, that too a small one in comparison, isn't it?
yes The OBDII connectore we got was a small thing but it could do very less too. these OE embedded telematics can do more.
The subscription model is just a way of making money. I feel that it will all eventually become cheap after telematics becomes a norm. as StarrySky has written above, some really useful functions all have to be subscribed. Some years down the line, it'll be a norm and almost free by default. It's just a Kano model.

Quote:
I'm in this list too - my car is now become old school. Hell, it does not even have parking sensors! I'm yet to play around with connected car technology - so it might not affect my purchase decision next time.
Watch the movie Upgrade and you'll be happy with your car

Quote:
However, I think manufacturers who have introduced it as optional accessory now will soon push dealers into selling more of these, and I'm willing to bet that dealers will soon start pushing these devices like they include RSA and inhouse insurance etc within the on-road price.
No two thoughts about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
Not only manufacturers, even insurance companies are starting to do this by offering telematics based insurance products. Bajaj Allianz is one such Insurer. Last year when I renewed my insurance, decided to be a guinea pig and opted for this telematics device.
Now my question is how do we plug many OBD connectors if Manufacturer, Insurer, or later some tyre shop, service providers like cartisan for example, detailers all come with telematics services
Driving style based WA, WB, tyre replacement...
Location based detailing like under body treatment...
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Old 7th September 2018, 14:36   #14
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Default re: Connected car platforms: Do they influence your car purchase decisions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
Now my question is how do we plug many OBD connectors if Manufacturer, Insurer, or later some tyre shop, service providers like cartisan for example, detailers all come with telematics services
Driving style based WA, WB, tyre replacement...
Location based detailing like under body treatment...
Simple.. OBD Splitter. We are good at splitting anything.

On a more serious note, I think how this will evolve is that from a manufacturer side, this will soon be integrated inside and will not be exposed to the customer. Maybe the HU will be used as a display unit. I guess many high end cars already do this. Insurers also will start piggybacking on the same data.
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Old 7th September 2018, 14:37   #15
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Default re: Connected car platforms: Do they influence your car purchase decisions?

Please read my post fully before classifying it as OT.

It is such an irony that another very popular recent thread here on TBhp has been 'the most useless features on cars' where in several members of a car enthusiasts forum found a host of most useful features, useless. Naming a few of the 'useless' features below:
1. Cruise control.
2. Rain sensing wipers.
3. Boot light.
4. Instrument cluster backlight dimmer.
5. Headlight leveler.
6. Headlight low beam.
7. Keyless push button start.
8. Autolock feature for doors.
9. Switch to deactivate cabin light when doors are open.
10. Intermittent wiper speed.
11. AC air flow modes.
12. Push button start.
13. Rear windscreen wipers.
14. Keyless entry.
15. Automatic climate control.

and many more such basic features that come standard in many a modern car.

Now the above list comes from members of TBhp. Wonder what other features the rest of the general public find useless in their cars. Do you think they will be bothered whether their car is 'connected' or not? This could very well be ignored and termed as another one of the many useless features. They might find the whole process of downloading the app and then linking it to your car, very cumbersome. Plus, the alerts and features popping up on your mobile screen could prove bothersome to many and this 'connection' feature will eventually find its way to the above mentioned thread.

Therefore, IMHO, a large bulk of the Indian car customer do not care or are not ready for these features yet. We are miles away from such things influencing their buying decision.

The car makers are therefore wasting their time and money providing such features here. They have not understood the Indian market well enough. And am surprised Maruti hasn't either.

Last edited by SCORPION : 7th September 2018 at 14:40.
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