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Vodafone’s Riding Shotgun in the Race for the Connected Car

June 17, 2014

This week sees mobile technology giant Vodafone take its slice of the car market in the race for ultimate car connectivity. The company has secured a £115m deal to purchase car tech company Cobra Automotive, in order to penetrate the motoring market – and expand its “machine to machine” growth strategy.

The connected car war rages on – with tech giants battling it out to connect more and more products to the internet from the comfort of the all-important driver’s seat. This now hugely competitive space comes from a recent and unexpected surge in demand for the M2M (machine to machine) communications, optimising the efficiency of these technologies and expanding functionality on an ongoing basis.

Cobra Automotive specialises in telematics software – collecting and reporting data from car systems like the steering and brakes – with Audi, Renault, Bentley and Lamborghini among its telematics friends list. On top of that, the company also develops anti-theft and parking assist systems for Volkswagen, Nissan and Toyota. If it weren’t for Cobra’s £38m debt (as of March this year), the company would no doubt have held their own in the illustrious connectivity race.

Currently, only about 10 percent of vehicles have built-in internet connectivity. But, according to studies by British consulting firm Machina Research, that number is expected to look more like 90 percent by 2020 – making this the party to which all telematics companies will be fighting for an invite.

Vodafone have been vocal about their plans to conquer the car market and achieve full in-car integration. M2M Director Erik Brenneis describes this new deal as creating “a new global provider of connected car services”, offering Vodafone customers the full package via “a full range of telematic services.”

And Vodafone isn’t the only major player of the mobile world looking to take their business on the road. Other prominent mobile operators are making the leap into the “internet of things”, as the M2M industry is otherwise known, in an effort to combat the decelerating growth in their core market.

Last week we gave you the full scoop on Apple’s game-changing CarPlay technology, guaranteed to take the car connectivity world by storm with the help of its trusty sidekick Siri. While we’re skeptical as to whether Vodafone stands a chance of competing for connectivity with this mobile giant, check out CarPlay for yourself to draw your own conclusions.

And if all this talk of upgrades is giving you the new car itch, why not take the leap today? At the Car Loan Warehouse, we’re experts in car finance – and we can find you a loan that suits your budget. Try the online car loan calculator now to find your rate – or apply today if you’re ready to get connected.

About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.