Japan is still number one in the field of high-end automotive navigation, but ABI Research is seeing features that were once available only in Japan showing up on vehicles in Europe and North America.
Writing for the newly named Aftermarket Navigation, Infotainment and Telematics Service, ABI’s Dan Benjamin notes that Japanese navigation systems historically contained all the maps needed to cover a large region, whereas models in Europe and North America required swappable memory cards or CD-ROMs. "But the trend is now for North American and European systems to include high-capacity hard drives or much larager flash memory cards that can contain far greater detail and geographic coverage."
Another trend reported is the increasing popularity of real-time traffic information among European car owners, whether delivered via GPRS-based wireless services or via "traffic channel" radio services, Benjamin adds.
"Within the next 12 months we expect some of the aftermarket offerings in North America to help make traffic services more popular as well."