The battle for the dashboard will intensify as companies fight to supply the brains and technology behind increasingly sophisticated infotainment systems. In western Europe, the market for content-rich systems using dashboard displays of 4.5 inches and more will rise to 3.0 billion euros by 2020 from 2.5 billion euros now, according to analysts IHS Automotive. The number of new cars equipped with these more expensive systems in western Europe will rise to 40 percent from 20 percent in the same time period as customers increasingly demand smartphone-like connectivity and usability, the company predicts.
“We’re seeing that infotainment is becoming more and more of a selling point as people spend more time in traffic,” Jack Bergquist, IHS senior analyst for infotainment and telematics, said. One of the biggest dilemmas for automakers is deciding which underlying software platform to use. BlackBerry subsidiary QNX is the global leader with a 44 percent share of the in-dash operating systems market, according to IHS. Microsoft ranks second followed by Linux-based solutions.