Research has suggested that 37% of people would switch automotive brands to improve car connectivity. In some countries, the percentage of consumers willing to switch brands for enhanced connectivity is even higher – 56% of those surveyed in China, for example.1 Connected car market growth is accelerating, with an estimated CAGR of 26% over the period 2021 to 2025.2
The evolution of connected car services
For decades, cars have been more than a way of getting from A to B. Instead, they’re a part of our lifestyles, and drivers expect increasingly personalized user experiences and flexibility surrounding car connectivity decisions.
What is the current driver experience in a connected car?
Right now, consumers mostly connect to their vehicles via Bluetooth on their smartphones, or using standards such as MirrorLink or CarPlay to enjoy their personal digital content and entertainment services in the car. Alas, Bluetooth is not a seamless solution – it has frequent interoperability issues – and the aforementioned systems have application limitations. At the same time, drivers and the car itself compete for bandwidth if only one SIM is in use to connect the car.
G+D’s Dual-SIM Dual-Active (DSDA) technology is set to change this, leveraging eSIM technology with two independent built-in SIMs to ensure immediate access to all mobile services.
What are the benefits of Dual-SIM Dual-Active (DSDA)?
One SIM is responsible for car-to-cloud communication for telematics services, while another is the personal eSIM, providing comprehensive access to infotainment services and much more. It signifies a shift to a service-centric approach that allows customer experience to take center stage. The main purpose of a vehicle is to get from A to B, but as we are increasingly spending more and more time in cars, infotainment has become more important, and a way for automakers to differentiate between brands. As these systems evolve, voice commands will take hold to ensure ease of use for drivers, and in the future, mixed reality could be a very real part of infotainment systems in our cars.
A connected car is always connected to the internet via an eSIM, offering onboard Wi-Fi connectivity and the ability to download update releases easily and immediately. The telematics eSIM safeguards the manufacturer’s digital services. One example is eCall, a function that contacts the emergency services automatically in case of an accident, providing location information. In March 2018, eSIMs were made mandatory in the European Union, precisely because of the benefits of the eCall system.3
Other services include software updates, navigation, and up-to-the-minute traffic information. For the growing number of assisted-driving cars and later autonomous vehicles, the fast exchange of trustworthy data is essential, not least to ensure safety.
A connected car is a safer car. As well as the lifesaving eCall function, other security features include real-time location tracking, emergency SOS calls, and roadside assistance.
For the driver, the entire travel experience is also made much more comfortable. The personal eSIM provides information and entertainment applications that can be used in parallel with car-to-cloud communication. One of the most important features is the ability to generate new product and service innovations.
Connected vehicles in action
G+D’s Dual-SIM Dual-Active solution is already in use in the brand-new BMW iX and BMW i4 series, and will be available in further BMW Group models in the future. Other car manufacturers are also in the process of implementing this. The solution means that passengers have immediate access to private digital services in the connected vehicle, such as music or video streaming. Additionally, multiple eSIM profiles can be stored so that the entire family has access to private digital services when in the car, and the solution allows for automatic activation when entering the car, and deactivation when leaving it.
The Dual-SIM Dual-Active solution benefits both carmakers and buyers. Manufacturers are able to offer infotainment and telematics services via one central eSIM management platform, with separate accounts and mobile connections. For those using the car, it’s a customer-centric solution that maximizes safety, privacy, and user experience. Moreover, the BMW iX is the first premium car to integrate 5G technology, meaning customers benefit from the high bandwidth and low latency of 5G networks.4 With this concept, car-sharing companies will be able to offer their customers a variety of personalized services in the near future.
Embracing an ever-connected world
The amount of data exchanged between cars and their back-end systems is growing rapidly, in parallel with many other IoT cases. Dual-SIM Dual-Active technology helps tackle the challenges of growing levels of data, providing seamless connectivity and allowing the consumer to use private data plans while in the car. The car’s connectivity is used for user-centric services, but at the same time, the OEM competes for connectivity bandwidth. Furthermore, phone calls on one SIM are tricky, as the car SIM number is not necessarily associated with the user. And finally, by separating the networks, it’s much easier for car manufacturers to meet different regulatory requirements in different countries (such as when issuing telecommunications licenses for consumer-oriented ISP services).
The future of connected cars: harnessing 5G technology
With the increasing networking of vehicles, data-based services will become more and more important. This applies not only to vehicle data, but also to driver-centric data. New business models are set to emerge. Based on data gathered or provided by the passenger, services can be increasingly tailored. And other services will benefit the customer too – remote diagnosis or remote repair services are possible, with consumer devices seamlessly integrated into the vehicle. With the emergence of 5G technology, car-to-car communication will improve, and faster internet speeds, low latency, and better coverage will become the norm.
Dual-SIM Dual-Active technology also paves the way for autonomous vehicles. V2X (vehicle-to-everything) technology – along with a broad data set in the cloud that can be used to inform and communicate – will create a digital horizon that makes autonomous driving an increasingly likely reality.