From the moment in the late 1990s when General Motors first offered its OnStar services to customers, the connected car has grown in both its ubiquity and its ability with every advancement in mobile technology. Today, the connected car market is not only making driving safer and more productive, but the segment is growing exponentially.

There are already more than 250 million connected vehicles on the roads around the world, according to Gartner. A Capgemini study suggests industry growth could reach 350 million connected cars in active use by 2023. That would represent 24% of all cars worldwide, up from just 8% in 2018. A study by Meticulous Research pegs the smart transportation market at a CAGR of 17.5% from 2020 to 2028, when they project the segment to be worth $33.6 billion annually.

Rapid urbanization and the need to control the flow of traffic more effectively is encouraging governments, international safety originations, and industry alike to use the information-sharing and connectivity of smart cars to improve road safety, traffic flow, and environmental performance. Additional reasons include reducing greenhouse gas emissions and minimizing automobile-related accidents.

Safety and Productivity

It is ironic that while the smartphone and the connected car rely on many of the same technologies, the rise in one—the smartphone—has necessitated innovations in the other—connected cars—to help improve safety. With the widespread adoption of the smartphone over the last 15 years, distracted driving (and its attendant accidents) has risen to unprecedented levels. Despite laws to prevent smartphone use by drivers, the temptation to check an email or a tweet, or to update navigation maps while driving often proves too difficult to resist for many drivers. As a result, to improve safety and productivity while driving, connected car manufacturers have begun integrating hardware that works with smartphone features and utilizes the devices’ available hands-free buttons on the wheel or dashboard console.

5G-enabled automobiles

By 2030, the automotive industry is expected to be among the top four industries for 5G-enabled service providers. With the widespread rollout of 5G, as well as, access to 4G LTE connectivity, the connected car of the not-too-distant future promises to be a software-defined, network-aware, ultra-connected car. Beyond the capabilities of today’s vehicles, the connected car of a few years from now will feature driver assistance systems and sensors that enable vehicles to see around corners, avoid hazards, provide awareness of pedestrians and the environment, and collaborate with other cars around them. For example, construction workers can be informed if a vehicle is approaching a construction site. Traffic police can identify cars speeding dangerously. And the car’s awareness of its owner’s driving patterns can alert the vehicle if the driver appears intoxicated.

Unprecedented data insights

5G connectivity will give car manufacturers and governments unprecedented amounts of data about connected vehicles that will help improve both performance and regulation. Data analytics can provide insights into both customer and automobile needs. Software updates can be automatically pushed to a vehicle’s onboard computers throughout the car lifecycle, ensuring that the car’s own software can diagnose and fix issues, add functionality, and even provide predictive maintenance, all without the need to visit a repair shop.

Moreover, connected cars give automakers more options to increase revenues through different services. The global market for car data alone could be as big as $750 billion by 2030, according to McKinsey & Company. Beyond data, however, new sources of revenue will be found across the connected car value chain. Mobile, cloud, analytics, and computing opportunities exist in the infrastructure, service providers, drivers and passengers, other vehicles, homes, and OEMs and dealers that will be involved in the connected car space. Many such opportunities will require setting up new business models.

Little surprise, then, that heavyweights like Apple, Google, and Amazon are all targeting opportunities in connected cars. After all, the global connected car market is large and experiencing explosive growth now and well into the future. With their ability to boost road safety, productivity, and performance connected cars will be improving the driving experience well into the future.

CARS ETF: Investing in Future Cars, Driving Our World Forward

The auto industry is poised to undergo the biggest transformation in a lifetime. With the automobile industry racing towards autonomous driving and electrification, there is a growing demand and opportunity to invest in this industry.

The Evolve Automobile Innovation Index Fund (TSX Ticker: CARS), CARS ETF, is Canada’s first automobile innovation ETF. CARS ETF takes a diversified approach to invest in the supply chains behind autonomous, connected, electric, and shared vehicles. The fund has a portfolio of 33* companies involved in the development of electric cars, self-driving cars, and automobile innovation. These include some of the world’s leading manufacturers and automobile companies such as Tesla, NIO Inc, Plug Power Inc, Aptiv PLC, Ferrari NV and Volkswagen AG.* CARS ETF is a great way to gain access to the future of the automobile and shift your investments into gear.

For more information on the Evolve Automobile Innovation Index Fund or any of Evolve ETF’s lineup of exchange-traded funds, please visit our website or contact

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Tags 5G  Auto Innovation  autonomous vehicles  Connected Cars