Once a luxury item, embedded in-car navigation systems are now increasingly becoming less expensive and are offered in mass-market cars. At the same time, more and more car navigation units are becoming connected and multi-functional as they converge with other technologies in the car.
The attachment of embedded in-dash factory installed navigation units is expected to increase from 22 percent at the end of 2013 to 38 percent by 2019, according to ABI Reseach. This represents a compounded annual growth rate of 13.6 percent.
“However, this growth will be eclipsed by the number of smartphone-based navigation devices used in the car, particularly off-board devices, where navigation is performed in the cloud as opposed to on the device,” said Gareth Owen, Principal Analyst of ABI Research, which forecasts that shipment of handset-based navigation services will reach 1.68 billion globally by 2019.
Mobile phone-based navigation has been around for many years and is very popular, with many people using free or low-cost navigation apps from the likes of Google, Apple and Nokia.
Until recently, however, handset-based navigation apps have been quite tricky and distracting to use in the car, as the handset must be attached to the windscreen and data such as destination information must be entered manually into the phone.
This will change soon with the launch of smartphone integration technologies in an increasing number of new cars of such as Apple’s CarPlay and MirrorLink from the Car Connectivity Consortium, which will enable the mobile phone to be controlled directly via the car’s infotainment system.
“With Apple launching CarPlay and Google probably about to launch something similar on the back of recent announcements about the Open Automotive Alliance initiative, this is probably the point at which smartphone-based navigation really starts to become relevant in the car,” said Owen.