The emergence of connected services such as off-board navigation, social media integration, in-car Wi-Fi and accompanying application frameworks is driving the adoption of cloud-based vehicle platforms enabled by embedded or tethered 4G broadband cellular connectivity, according to research firm ABI.

But more strategic functionality such as analytics and big data for smart mobility and autonomous driving, and how cars will interact with the wider “Internet of Everything” for services such as vehicle-to-grid and vehicle-to-home will be the key drivers propelling the cloud into a mainstream automotive technology, the firm says. By 2020, more than 40 million cloud-enabled vehicles will ship yearly.

“Despite the numerous benefits of the cloud including flexibility, scalability, real-time updates and customization, the specific nature of automotive solutions imposes the need for hybrid solutions, guaranteeing uninterrupted performance when the connection is temporarily lost,” Dominique Bonte, vice president and practice director at ABI, said in a statement.

The proliferation of cloud platforms adds to already growing concerns about privacy breaches and security threats, Bonte said. However, the cloud itself will turn out to be the best possible protection, he said, allowing real-time monitoring and updates—not just for adding or improving features but also to remotely fix security gaps.

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