We all know about e-commerce. Get ready for m-commerce.
That's short for mobile commerce - as in banking and shopping from your car.
Banking and shopping will make up the greatest share of automotive telematics, says a study by RolandBerger Strategy Consultants.
The study predicts an 'e-vehicle wonderland' by 2004, with automotive telematics subscribers in the United States increasing from 820,000 this year to more than 11 million in 2004.
'Shopping and working while driving saves time, and the mobile office turns a journey into productive time,' said Michael Heidingsfelder, executive vice president of RolandBerger's Troy, Mich., office.
'Clearly, many consumers want the same computing flexibility in their vehicles that they already have in the office and at home, and this requires the intelligent devices to be mobile.'
Drivers will be able to do their grocery shopping, for example, in a traffic jam on the way home from work, Heidingsfelder said. A driver will be able to access a grocery store Web site from the car, order the groceries, pay online with a credit card and pick up the bag, he said.
Although the study forecasts tremendous growth, it also notes that the perfection of the human-machine interface in vehicles is crucial to that growth.
The size and growth rate of the telematics market will be affected by legislation and regulations affecting cell phone use in moving vehicles, Heidingsfelder said.
To protect the telematics market, automakers and suppliers must reduce the time drivers need to figure out how to use in-vehicle electronic devices. For instance, Heidingsfelder said, SAE has proposed a standard under which completing tasks would require no more than 15 seconds.