The survey shows that car radio continues to be one of the most popular infotainment features (Photo:GM)

Apple and Google are set to take a sharply bigger chunk of the automotive connectivity market in the next five years, according to a study by market researchers IHS Automotive.

The report projects that Android Auto, Google's technology to connect smartphones to in-car infotainment, will be in 31 million new cars by 2020, up from an expected 643,000 this year. CarPlay, the Apple alternative, is set to grow to 37 million from 861,000 this year. And MirrorLink, an independent system that lets drivers "mirror" a modified image of their smartphone on the in-car screen, will increase to 17 million from 1.1 million.

The strong growth reflects expectations that the integration of apps in the car will become a key requirement for connected drivers, IHS said. The totals will be further boosted by increased partnerships between automakers and app integrators.

IHS polled 4,000 vehicle owners in the US, China, Germany and the UK. Those selected said they were likely to buy a new car in the next 36 months.

The consumers interviewed  identified their favorite apps for use in the car. The top five were navigation, weather, music, news and social networking. They expressed the least interest in points of interest and local books, health and fitness, business and productivity and education and podcasts.

Nearly 70 pc of car owners surveyed cited strong interest to continue listening to music via AM/FM radio and CD. A similar number of people, however, said they preferred listening to music from mobile devices, streaming radio, satellite radio or music stored on an in-car hard drive. In China, IHS said, the strong preference was for streaming music from a mobile device.