Driving Home for Christmas: How Cross-Border Connectivity is Making Long-Distance Holiday Travel Smoother 

With the holidays upon us, many families are strategizing their drive home for Christmas to maximize time with loved ones and optimize their route to get there as smoothly as possible. For some, it will mean making the drive across different countries to get home for the holidays. As more and more vehicles are now connected to the internet, proper cross-border connectivity (CBC) is essential to ensuring the holiday travel season doesn’t turn into the nightmare before Christmas. 

It’s forecast that there will be 367 million connected cars on the road by 2027, up from 192 million today. As software-defined connected vehicles become increasingly ubiquitous, the features they enable are becoming ever more important to drivers. In fact, 40% of car buyers are willing to change brands for better connectivity features – and this percentage is increasing year over year. This next-generation of in-car mobility services is redefining how end-users interact with their cars – for example, enabling features like in-car navigation and entertainment, which are particularly helpful during long drives. It’s also transforming the way car companies manage vehicles by enabling them to monitor vehicle performance, gather diagnostics and deliver over-the-air (OTA) updates for an improved driver experience.  

However, at present, gaps in CBC are a major threat to ensuring seamless connected vehicle functionality across countries. As the European Commission highlighted: “Cross-border connectivity is essential for the deployment of software-defined connected vehicles, as it enables vehicles to communicate with each other and with infrastructure across borders.” In short, CBC is crucial for ensuring connected cars remain connected, no matter the distance travelled or the number of borders crossed. Continuous connected vehicle service becomes even more important during the holiday season, when more people will be making cross-border trips to visit friends and family. When we consider the additional components of drivers rushing to get to their destination and navigating unfamiliar roads, we can quickly understand how a gap in essential connected in-car services, like navigation and emergency services, can spell a recipe for disaster. 

But it doesn’t have to. CBC is essential to ensuring smoother cross-border journeys in connected vehicles without having to compromise on connectivity. CBC creates a seamless customer experience for connected vehicle drivers in which they can easily access in-car services regardless of location. Instead of connected services dropping in and out as the vehicle crosses into a new country, drivers can enjoy continuous connectivity for a vastly improved driver experience – no matter where they are. This is even more imperative around the holidays as research shows that accidents are more likely to happen during the holiday season, making it even more critical that cars remain connected across borders to provide real-time location data for emergency vehicles and services. 

What’s more, different countries have different regulations around areas such as safety, emissions, privacy and more. CBC technology helps auto OEMs and service providers ensure compliance with these regulations as a vehicle crosses borders by enabling automatic updates via software that adapt the alerts and functionality of the vehicle to meet regional requirements. 

At Cubic, we already know CBC plays a crucial role in the new era of software-defined connected vehicles. We now connect and manage over 17 million vehicles in nearly more than 190 countries across the world. With the rapid pace of acceleration towards the new era of software-defined connected vehicles, one thing is clear: true end-to-end connectivity is essential. Our technology doesn’t just enable connectivity, it allows car makers to monitor, manage and update multiple aspects of a vehicle in real time, globally and across borders.