Global Smart Phone In-Car App Sales, 2015 & 2020 [CHART]

Self-driving cars may be an extreme technological advancement in the automotive industry at the moment, but consumers are still working on adopting other, smaller, innovations in the auto space that bridge the gap between digital and physical. In-car smartphone apps such as Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto are one example, according to data released in January 2015 by IHS. These can be integrated with a vehicle’s human-machine interface—dashboards are a big example—allowing smartphone users to put their phones down when driving.

While the user base is small at the moment, IHS expected the smartphone car app market to explode in the coming years. The research firm forecast that Apple CarPlay for iPhones would surge 2,550% worldwide between 2015 and 2020, from 1.4 million units sold to 37.1 million. The future for Google’s Android Auto app is just as exciting, if not more. Sales were estimated to skyrocket from 1.1 million to 39.9 million during the same timeframe, an increase of more than 3,527%.

One overarching theme among GfK’s and IHS’s respondents was safety, seen as the greatest advantage to such technologies. As the auto world moves to a connected future, car brands and ads should take a safety-first approach. Read the rest at eMarketer.