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Vehicle Head Unit: 1.8 billion connected cars in 2030 drive new revenue streams for auto OEMs

  • 5G
  • Connected Vehicles
  • Vehicle Head Units
  • In-Vehicle Infotainment
  • Electric Vehicles
  • Connected Car
  • On-Demand Services
  • Vehicle to Vehicle
  • V2V
  • Vehicle to Infrastructure
  • V2I
  • Vehicle to Everything
  • V2X
  • Matt Arnott
  • Suruchi Dhingra
This report provides Transforma Insights’ view on the Vehicle Head Unit IoT market. The report provides a detailed definition of the sector, analysis of market development and profiles of the key vendors in the space. It also provides a summary of the current status of adoption and Transforma Insights’ ten-year forecasts for the market.

Report summary

This report provides Transforma Insights’ view on the Vehicle Head Unit IoT market. This segment comprises the factory-fit connected telematics control unit within passenger cars and commercial vehicles, typically connected to the driver’s display for the purpose of delivering multiple services.

Transforma Insights predicts that by 2030 this market will grow to 1.8 billion connected devices, making it one of the most important IoT applications, particularly in terms of cellular connections on which connected cars inevitably depend. There is strong user demand for connected vehicle services from consumers as well as a strong motivation from auto manufacturers to find additional high-margin services both through selling recurring services to the customers and through the sale of vehicle data to third parties for use cases related to applications such as fleet management, smart city, vehicle diagnostics, and financial services.

The report provides a detailed definition of the sector, analysis of market development and profiles of the key vendors in the space. It also provides a summary of the current status of adoption and Transforma Insights’ ten-year forecasts for the market. The forecasts include analysis of the number of IoT connections by geography, the technologies used and revenue.

A full set of forecast data, including country-level forecasts, sector breakdowns and public/private network splits, is available through the IoT Forecast tool.

Key market developments in Vehicle Head Unit Application Group

The report examines key factors that are influencing the development of the market, including:

User demand and adoption is growing

This section of the report begins with a discussion of the reasons behind the rising demand for connected vehicles (such as supporting improved driving comfort and safety) and then focuses on various types of connected services. It then talks about how OEMs are witnessing a noteworthy increase in paid subscriber penetration rates and how are they responding to cater to this response (like strengthening their software platform and advancing their network technology).

Indirect monetisation

This section focuses on the additional revenue streams (in addition to subscription services) for car manufacturers. For instance, OEMs sell vehicle data to third parties to help them develop and train application models for use cases related to, but not limited to, fleet management, smart city, vehicle diagnostics, and usage-based insurance.

Embedded vs tethered systems

This section of the report explains how the delivery of such services is dependent on a consistent internet connection delivered through an embedded cellular connection or shared smartphone data connection. It then talks about the benefits of embedded cellular connectivity (like a vehicle being consistently connected even if the driver is absent) as well as its drawbacks (such as the additional cost of a separate connection). It also discusses how the eCall mandate (that mandated all new cars in the territories to be sold with some form of onboard connectivity) has driven the adoption of embedded in-vehicle connectivity.

5G will dominate but 4G/LTE leads today

This section explains how partnerships between OEMs and CSPs are becoming increasingly common with the rising demand for cellular connections, then discusses how 5G will be critical to unlocking the full potential of data monetisation of connected cars (resulting in a more lucrative revenue stream for automakers), and mentions the current barriers to the adoption of 5G connected vehicles (like higher module unit costs than 4G/LTE).

Impact of electric vehicle adoption

This section discusses the correlation between factors like increasing electric vehicle adoption and their effect on the demand for vehicle connectivity. For instance, providing connectivity to electric vehicles allows drivers to easily adapt journeys to their vehicles’ needs through the use of navigation services that can provide directions to the nearest available charging station.

Connected motorcycle is an emerging opportunity

This section expounds on the growth of the connected two-wheelers market in future, which is still at a nascent stage. For instance, emergency functions like automatic emergency calls and breakdown calls will drive the adoption as the demand for safer connected rides will increase.

Security concerns holding things back?

This section lists some of the reasons that make people hesitant to adopt connected vehicle services, such as not trusting the security of connected vehicles. It also talks about how manufacturers in some countries are already being or will soon be mandated for a more robust security system in vehicles.

Some examples of relevant IoT deployments in this application have also been included in this report. For example, Audi has collaborated with Verizon to embed access to Verizon’s 5G Ultra-Wideband network in its vehicles for personalised and augmented mobile services and advanced driver assistance features, amongst other use cases.

Key vendors for Vehicle Head Unit

The key vendors section lists some of the main providers of products and services related to the market such as Audi, BMW, Continental, Stellantis, Honda, Hyundai, Ford, General Motors, Magneti Marelli, Mercedes Benz, Nissan, Porsche, SAIC Motor, Toyota, Visteon, Volkswagen, and Volvo. The report provides profiles of the various vendors including aspects most relevant to this Application Group, such as product offerings, pricing, financial results, and technology.

Market forecasts for Vehicle Head Unit

In the market forecasts section, we provide a summary of the forecasts from the Transforma Insights IoT Forecast Database:


The report charts the growth in the number of vehicle head unit devices which will grow from 412 million in 2020 to 1.8 billion in 2030.

Transforma Insights forecasts are compiled on a country-by-country basis. This report includes a regional summary, showing splits between Australasia, Greater China, North America, Europe, Japan, Latin America, MENA, Russia & Central Asia, South East Asia, South Korea, India & South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.


Transforma Insights’ IoT forecasts include splits between the various connectivity technologies as follows: 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G mMTC, 5G non-mMTC, LPWA (non-mMTC), Satellite, Short Range, and Other.

This section discusses which technologies will be used in the vehicle head unit application group.


This part of the report discusses the market growth in terms of revenue (module revenue, service wrap revenue, and VAC revenue). Transforma Insights estimates that the revenue in the Vehicle Head Unit Application Group will grow at a CAGR of 17%.

  • Acura
  • Aptiv
  • Audi
  • Bell
  • BMW
  • BMW Motorrad
  • Cadillac
  • Chevrolet
  • Continental AG
  • Chrysler
  • Daimler
  • Ducati
  • Fiat
  • Ford
  • Foxconn
  • Genesis
  • General Motor
  • Google
  • Honda
  • Hyundai
  • Jaguar
  • Kia
  • KTM
  • Magneti Marelli
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Mitsubishi
  • Nissan
  • Nvidia
  • Opel
  • Porsche
  • SAIC Motor
  • Stellantis
  • Techblocks
  • Toyota
  • Ujet
  • Visteon
  • Volkswagen
  • Volvo
  • Internet of Things
  • Hyperconnectivity
    • Transportation & Storage
    • Consumer