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Today’s consumers want - in essence - their cars to operate like smartphones. Enter the software defined vehicle (SDV).

Complete with digital cockpits, which reimagine how consumers interact with their vehicles, automotive software technology for the connected car is evolving fast to meet this need. The in-cabin experience is now just as much about apps, user interface, and audio and video features, as it is about driving design, dynamics and comfort.

Here, we’ll discuss:

  • How a consumer’s connected lifestyle is integrated through a car’s digital services
  • How future driving experiences are being personalised and made more immersive
  • The potential value in software as a revenue stream for manufacturers
Is your driving experience going the extra mile?

While a car’s worth was once determined by mechanical performance and exterior styling, today’s consumers are looking for vehicles that connect them with the world around them.

In a recent survey, the EPM (Experiences Per Mile) Advisory Council found that vehicle connectivity and adaptability play essential roles in today’s purchasing decisions1. Features such as the highest horsepower, closest cornering or biggest brand name will always sway decision-making, but they’re no longer at the top of consumers’ wishlist. Instead, connected cars are shaping automotive sales. By creating vehicles that are more connected, manufacturers can target tech-savvy consumers who want the latest technology innovations in every aspect of their lives.


What, then, do consumers expect from their digital cockpits and the connected car?

Firstly, they want them to help make their lives easier and more convenient. Does your vehicle enable on-the-go toll payments, or advanced parking reservations? Alternatively, is predictive maintenance offered, quickly identifying any possible issues and ensuring they’re remedied before becoming a more costly problem? These features help to save time and money for both the driver and passengers.

Secondly, they expect cars to come with built-in navigation tools. Most new cars provide live traffic updates and optimise recommended routes depending on real-time information, but what’s next?

Autonomous vehicles are expected to account for about 12% of global car registrations by 20302, with experts predicting the global self-driving industry will expand by 16% every year3.

Autonomous vehicles are expected to account for about 12% of global car registrations by 2030

Thirdly, consumers want to be entertained, with infotainment services providing the chance to deliver a truly enhanced driving experience - covering everything from social media to video streaming and gaming. Indeed, some gaming brands are viewing tomorrow’s cars as an opportunity to transform automobiles into real-life controllers. People will be able to use their dashboard screens, steering wheel and pedals to play games while inside their vehicles, bringing the gaming experience to life in a more immersive way. One manufacturer has even announced a headset-based virtual reality system, which pulls from the car’s navigational data to sync certain aspects of a game to the real-world driving experience.

Finally, consumers need to feel safe and secure when using tomorrow’s SDVs. Does your new car feature a dashcam? ADAS functions like pedestrian detection and avoidance, lane departure warning and correction, or traffic sign recognition? With automatic emergency braking and blind spot detection systems also on the rise, the National Safety Council reports ADAS technologies have the potential to prevent 20,841 deaths a year - about 62 per cent of total traffic deaths4.

These features and functionalities are personalising the driving experience, too. For instance, how about a system that automatically recognises when you’re driving in an unfamiliar area, and proactively brings up an on-screen visualisation of your surroundings? Or a data-driven driving experience, which takes into account the habits and needs of the individual behind the wheel? For example, a busy professional with a long commute will have a very different set of requirements than someone simply taking their children to school, or nipping to the shops. This could also extend to the in-cabin experience, tailoring a vehicle’s temperature, seat adjustment, choice of radio station, volume, and much, much more.

If customers understand the value they receive from sharing their data, then manufacturers can nurture greater loyalty, through personalised experiences that serve to make their customers’ lives better. The benefits of this approach are clear: greater user engagement, increased loyalty and stronger sales - particularly crucial as OEMs size up new opportunities for software as an additional revenue stream.

Scaling software as a revenue stream

SDVs are creating a new opportunity for manufacturers to monetise the full lifecycle. As discussed, the most successful players in the near-future will be those that focus on evolving the driving experience, and software updates throughout a vehicle’s lifetime will be critical to achieving this.

While recent research highlighted that fewer than 3% of current customers say they purchase vehicles fully online, 29% indicated that they want to buy their next car entirely online5. And this is just for the initial purchase. Consumers will expect connected cars to evolve throughout their lifetime, accomplished through simple and fast software updates.

Therefore, in this new automotive world, manufacturers are no longer limited to solely the sale of a vehicle and its aftermarket parts. Connected cars bring about an incredible opportunity to generate steady income streams throughout the lifetime of a vehicle, with estimates suggesting that recurring services could boost OEM car sales revenue by some 30% in the next decade6.

Did you know?
Recurring services could boost OEM car sales revenue by some 30% in the next decade

In fact, one report cites 39% of consumers are currently interested in unlocking additional digital features after purchasing a vehicle, with this figure rising to 47% for customers of premium OEMs. And you can expect these stats to rise as SDVs become the norm in the coming years.

As a result, there will be a rush of OEMs looking to monetise these new services. Software is creating a powerful new profit opportunity for savvy automotive leaders, while better meeting consumer needs too.

But, to stay relevant, OEMs must transform both their technology stack and business mindset.

To help you out, we’ve created a complimentary new e-guide for you to download. Discover the vital software considerations you need to take into account for this new kind of driving - and manufacturing - experience.

Latest Automotive E-Guide

SDVs are accelerating innovation at an astounding pace. Learn how software and personalised driving experiences can help you unlock new revenue opportunities, and overtake your competitors.


1 WardsAuto, ‘Measuring the future of consumers’ automotive needs’,

2 Statista, ‘Projected autonomous vehicle registration share worldwide between 2021 and 2030’,

3 G2, ‘30 Self-Driving Vehicle Statistics to Drive You Crazy’,

4 National Safety Council, ‘Advance Driver Assistance Systems’,

5 McKinsey & Company, Online sales and subscriptions will shape tomorrow’s car financing journey’,

6 McKinsey & Company, ‘The new key to automotive success: Put customer experience in the driver’s seat’,

Mobica, a Cognizant company
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Global software engineering powerhouse, digitising the physical world. Mobica's expertise from chip-to-cloud empowers businesses to craft pioneering customer journeys.

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