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Germany’s Mercedes Benz has come first in a ranking of carmakers that measures their approach to connectivity, with BMW and GM are close behind in the top three. By Staff Writer

According to analyst firm Machina Research, Mercedes with its mbrace and Mercedes me systems, offers the most complete set of Internet of Things (IoT) features and solutions.

BMW came second with ConnectedDrive, followed by GM, which was something of a trailblazer with OnStar.

mbrace-vehicle-controls-d
Mercedes with its mbrace and me systems

The last 5 years have seen an increased focus from automotive OEMs on connected car services, with infotainment, remote control and diverse other connected services increasingly seen as a key differentiator.

The aim of this study is to provide Machina Research’s view on the relative sophistication of the connected car offerings of the main automotive OEMs based on features and functionality.

“The connected car is one of the most important segments of the IoT and one of its more interesting vertical ecosystems. The OEMs must work with MNOs, suppliers, software engineers and so many others to deliver working, connected, easy-to-use systems for their customers. Mercedes, BMW and GM have made excellent headway here, but there are still opportunities and room for growth,” said Pierce Owen, IoT Analyst at Machina Research.

Eighteen OEMs were included in the rankings. The top ten are listed below:

  1. Mercedes-Benz
  2. BMW
  3. GM
  4. Audi
  5. Volvo
  6. Volkswagen
  7. Lexus
  8. Hyundai (tied)
  9. Nissan (tied)
  10. Jaguar Land Rover

About the ranking

Machina Research has identified a set of criteria which characterise the quantitative and qualitative features of the connected car today and in the coming years. These criteria included:

  • Remote control
  • Driving behavior
  • Security
  • Maintenance and diagnostics
  • Infotainment and navigation
  • Connectivity
  • eCommerce
  • Smartphone integration
  • Mobility as a service
  • Volume and consistency

The maximum score for each criterion was 10, resulting in a total maximum score of 100. If some features within a criterion were offered but not all (as was the case in most situations) the offered features were weighed against those not offered, and partial credit was awarded.

Where there were different packages or tiers of connectivity offered as options, Machina Research evaluated the most complete offering. If that offering was not available for all models, that was considered in the volume and consistency score.

In several cases the study combines multiple marques under the same group umbrella. For instance, GM and Chevrolet have been combined into a single “GM” entry. Likewise Chrysler is combined with Jeep and Dodge. This is simply because the groups are following consistent strategies, GM with OnStar and Chrysler with Uconnect, across the footprint.
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