Canada lags behind the U.S. and UK in connected car tech adoption, says report

BlackBerry in-car

According to ABI Research forecasts, there will be approximately 500 million connected cars worldwide by 2022.

However, Canada is poised to play a small role in that expansion, with only 4.9 percent of passenger vehicles in the country having built-in connectivity from the manufacturer.

This places Canada markedly behind leading countries like the United States, the UK and Germany, which have penetration rates of 12 percent, 11 percent and 9.2 percent, respectively.

Mojio and ZTE aim to fill this gap by working with Canadian carriers to introduce connected car services to a greater number of vehicles through a plug and play device and a mobile app.

So far, the companies have worked with Rogers and Telus to leverage the combination of ZTE’s 4G LTE connected car device and Mojio’s open platform and mobile app for connected cars. Now, Bell is joining its carrier competitors to offer ZTE and Mojio’s car services.

According to ZTE and Mojio, support from three major carriers means that 9 out of 10 of Canadians are now eligible to enhanced their vehicles with a wide range of connected car features

In other words, this equates to approximately 20 million compatible cars across Canada that can now be upgraded within a few minutes.

According to ZTE, its Connected Car Device
Built is compatible with the majority of vehicles built after 1996 and plugs into a car’s On-Board Diagnostic (OBD-II) port. Using Mojio’s Android or iOS app, the car will then connect to the wireless carrier’s service to easy setup.

With ZTE and Mojio’s services, users will be able to access:

  • Location tracking using GPS to receive notifications when a car enters or exits common areas like homes or schools
  • Smart Security to get immediate push notifications in the event a car’s ignition is started, parked cars have been bumped and more
  • Vehicle diagnostics (such as engine, fuel and battery information)
  • Wi-Fi Hotspot for passengers on up to five mobile devices

“Regardless of country or culture, people around the world want access to crucial information about their cars, especially data that empowers them to make smarter decisions about family safety, driving behaviour and vehicle maintenance,” said CEO Kenny Hawk in a press statement. “Canadians from coast to coast deserve to get more from the cars they’re already driving and shouldn’t have to wait for a ‘new car’ to take advantage of connected car technology.”

“Canadians are looking for better ways to control the connectivity, safety and diagnostic options of their automobiles,” said Lixin Cheng, CEO of ZTE Mobile Devices and Chairman of ZTE North America, in a press statement. “ZTE is delighted to offer its product to all major Canadian wireless carriers, covering 90 percent of Canadians, that enables consumers to take control and easily upgrade their vehicles to a modern connected car experience.”