In January, IBM predicted the connected car would be commonplace by 2025, and that vehicles would also be able to socialize with one another and share relevant information. However, L2’s Insight Report: Connected Cars shows that automakers still struggle with basic smart car app functionality – suggesting that this vision might be overly optimistic.

While 64% of U.S. Auto brands have apps letting drivers connect their smartphones and vehicles, 36% of those apps get negative reviews concerning faulty or missing updates. Car control features are largely limited to four basic functions (locking, climate control, remote start, and using the car’s horn and lights), and even these features are sparse. For example, just 15% of free connected car apps have a lock/unlock feature.

Connected car appsMoreover, those free apps are a rarity. Half of connected car apps require a paid subscription, particularly for car control features. The L2 study suggests that this is a mistake: paid apps result in slower adoption and will be difficult to sustain unless they provide clear, ongoing value for consumers. Rather than looking at early adopters as a source of revenue, the study recommends brands use their apps to cement an ongoing relationship with consumers.


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