Automakers Jumping on Consumer Telematics Bandwagon


Several new and returning entrants to the consumer telematics space are helping to validate an industry some think is still uncertain, according to recent findings from ABI Research.

"At a time when some automakers are still deciding if initiating a telematics program will prove beneficial to them, others are forging ahead full-steam," notes Frank Viquez, ABI Research’s director of automotive research.

In Europe, where telematics has yet to exhibit clear signs of growth, aftermarket navigation systems promise to outsell OEM-installed systems for the first time ever this year. Viquez adds that a growing number of automakers are even approving the fitting of some aftermarket dash-top systems by the dealer. Additionally, the region’s aftermarket navigation leader, TomTom, may also be regarded as a telematics service provider (TSP) through its TomTom Plus service. The subscription service feeds real-time traffic and weather information to its devices via Bluetooth and the user’s mobile handset. TomTom has also recently acquired Datafactory AG, which removes any doubt the hardware vendor plans to further define itself as a TSP.

These and several other telematics issues are discussed in the latest release of ABI Research’s "Global OEM Consumer Telematics, Navigation and Infotainment Service", which includes research reports, market updates, forecast databases, analyst access and vendor matrices.

In North America, GM has committed to make OnStar standard across nearly all its North American models within two years, while Toyota has reintroduced its Lexus Link telematics service after a two year hiatus. While no true real-time traffic data services to the vehicle existed a year ago in this region, 2005 will draw to a close with no fewer than four real-time traffic service providers.

In Asia, Ssangyong Motors recently launched its Everway service, bringing the total count to three OEM-based telematics providers for South Korea in less than two years. Meanwhile, Toyota G-Book Alpha telematics service in Japan has signed on Mazda as its most recent OEM customer.

Founded in 1990 and headquartered in New York, ABI Research maintains global operations supporting annual research programs, intelligence services and market reports in wireless, automotive, semiconductors, broadband, and energy.

- Source from ABI Research (Oct 27, 2005) -