According to the findings of a new report from Allied Business Intelligence Inc (ABI), the use of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (also known as 802.11) wireless technologies in the automobile will dramatically alter the face of the automotive environment in and out of the vehicle.
According to report findings, nearly 20 percent of all new vehicles will feature embedded Bluetooth hardware by 2007, while almost 12 percent will contain embedded 802.11 hardware.
The report says that future Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-based automotive applications will deliver new opportunities to all aspects of the industry, from silicon vendors and hardware manufacturers, to automakers and gasoline retailers.
Due out later this year, Chrysler's UConnect Bluetooth hands-free car kit will mark Bluetooth's introduction into a production vehicle.
But ABI says that while telephony may be Bluetooth's key automotive market driver, Wi-Fi's principal driver stems from the FCC's allocation of the 5.850-5.925 GHz band for DSRC (Dedicated Short Range Communications). This, says ABI, will spur the introduction of interoperable, Wi-Fi based automotive services, such as toll collection, mobile commerce, and entertainment. However, the report notes that hurdles still need to be overcome, including high silicon costs, power consumption, and a lack of roadside infrastructure.
Although it may be another couple of years before vehicles come off the assembly line with 802.11 hardware, Bluetooth-enabled equipment will be embedded in several new American, Japanese, and European vehicles beginning in 2003.
"Hands-free telephony will be just the beginning," said Frank Viquez, ABI Senior Analyst and report author. "The introduction of Bluetooth and 802.11 into the automotive environment promises to enable a slew of new and sophisticated automotive applicationsHe also noted that a partial list of such applications include remote vehicle diagnostics, compelling and less expensive telematics services, highly advanced automotive safety systems, and remote audio and video downloads into the vehicle."