Vendors plug-in to connected navigation

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Growing demand for real-time updates on traffic, live local search and map information is prompting personal navigation device (PND) vendors to develop connected devices with two-way real-time connectivity based on cellular or Wi-Fi technology..

A new ABI Research study suggests that 34 per cent of all PNDs from firms including Magellan, Mio, TomTom and Dash will ship with onboard connectivity by 2013.

"What's at stake is the generation of new recurring revenue streams in an increasingly competitive PND market characterised by spectacular price erosion," said ABI principal analyst Dominique Bonte.

"In order to be successful, connected PND vendors will have to design seamless solutions and compelling services, and adopt the right business model.

"They will have to embrace open development platforms to stimulate the design of third-party applications."

Bonte explained that connectivity allows PND vendors to offer enhanced navigation with optimised local search featuring dynamic points of interest such as fuel prices, parking space availability and speed traps.

Other real-time information, such as traffic and flow data, satellite imagery, online map updates and even full off-board navigation, can also be included.

Connectivity makes it possible to launch new services such as location-based social networking applications, and to use PNDs as commercial portable telematics devices for vehicle and asset tracking.

The most promising aspect of two-way connectivity, according to Bonte, is its ability to upload data in real time.

This allows companies such as Dash to deploy connected PNDs as passive probes to collect real-time traffic flow information and redistribute it to customers.
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