The Korea Herald


Global smart car market to grow 7 percent by 2018

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : May 7, 2014 - 20:30

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The global smart car market is expected to grow 7 percent each year by 2018, around double the automotive market growth of 3.5 percent during the same period, according to a recent report published by KDB Research Institute.

The market hit around 230 trillion won ($224 billion) in 2013.

Smart cars are connected vehicles which provide more safety and convenience with electronics and communications technology. Recently, governments and global industries have been fostering the industry as a new growth engine. 

“The smart car market is expected to grow as information communications technology is becoming an important factor for purchasing cars,” said Cho Yun-jeong, a researcher at KDB Research Institute, in a report on smart car industries.

Up to 79 percent of consumers said safety is an important factor this year, up from 64 percent in 2012. Another 65 percent said an Internet connection is essential, up from 49 percent for the same period.

In line with this trend, global car makers have shown great interest in developing software for smart cars in recent years. GM and Ford unveiled their plan last January to invite developers to create apps for automobiles in a bid to enhance the driving experience and allow digital consumers to stay connected in their cars.

Global platform companies such as Google, Apple and Microsoft have also jumped into the markets in partnership with car makers. They have rolled out operating systems for vehicles as part of their business strategy to sell more smartphones linked to cars.

The nation’s tech giants have not yet shown outstanding performance in core electronics parts of smart cars such as semi-conductors. Instead, they are more focused on infotainment business, considered as a bridge to smart cars.

Samsung Electronics is now spurring the development of auto technologies called MirrorLink, a global standard to connect smart devices to audio, video and navigation systems in cars. India’s Tata Motors’ new vehicles, which will be rolled out next year, are expected to sport Samsung’s MirrorLink system.

LG Electronics also set up a vehicle component unit last July to push ahead with smart and electric vehicles. They have provided their infotainment solutions such as navigation systems for hybrid and electronic cars of Hyundai Motor Company and General Motors.

By Shin Ji-hye (