Navigation drives growth for telematics in the premium car segment – and EU safety regulations may open the volume market in 2009

Gothenburg, Sweden 15th March 2005: Navigation solutions will drive growth for telematics in the premium car segment and EU safety regulations could open the volume market for embedded telematics solutions after 2009, according to a new report from Berg Insight.

The report reviews the status of the European market for telematics solutions for the premium car segment. Car navigation and routing solutions have reached maturity and are becoming increasingly common in the premium car segment. Owners of exclusive high-end cars are more and more frequently installing GPS-aided security solutions that enable tracking of stolen vehicles. Safety related services such as automatic emergency calls have however failed to attract customers and as a result previous service offerings from some car manufacturers have either been reduced or withdrawn. Remote diagnostics and maintenance services are only being introduced slowly and have a far way to go before they enable continuous remote monitoring of vehicles.

“Navigation systems are popular among consumers because they are directly connected to the driving experience”, says Tobias Ryberg, Principal Analyst at Berg Insight. He explains that the combination of high quality flat colour displays, inexpensive GPS-positioning units and the availability of dynamic traffic information in the RDS-TMC channel of the FM-radio networks generates solutions which are highly attractive to large segments of customers. Furthermore Tobias points out that the successful European cooperation around the RDS-TMC technology for broadcasting of traffic information has resulted in widespread geographical coverage on the continent.

For the mobile industry, the automotive telematics market could take off in earnest after 2009. By that year the European Commission has proposed that all new cars sold in the EU should automatically notify an emergency centre with an exact location in case of an accident. If the proposal is realised all 15 million cars sold in the EU annually will have to be equipped with telematics unit consisting of a GPS satellite navigation device and a mobile communication unit.

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