In-Vehicle Navigation Systems Reach Critical Mass

Turn by Turn Navigation, OnStar

MSNBC - July 15, 2012

The Price of OEM Installed Nav Systems Due to High-Tech Suppliers, Mandates

Until recent­ly the cost of OEM-installed nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems has been a bar­ri­er to wide con­sumer accep­tance. As the price begins to come down, the num­ber of in-vehi­cle nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems is expect­ed to grow four­fold in North Amer­i­ca by 2019. Automak­ers could be soon sell­ing 13 mil­lion new nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems annu­al­ly.

Con­sumers have been using GPS nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems for a num­ber of years. Most of these have been third par­ty devices sold through big box retail­ers for a frac­tion of the cost. While not in the $100 range just yet, the OEM price is com­ing down.

Ford is offer­ing a sys­tem for as lit­tle of $600. Using Ford Sync and GM’s OnStar, dri­vers can be pro­vid­ed with ver­bal direc­tions to a des­ti­na­tion, elim­i­nat­ing the need for a cost­ly video screen.

Third par­ty nav­i­ga­tion sup­pli­ers like Garmin and Tom­Tom are fac­ing new com­pe­ti­tion from high-tech firms like Apple, Google, and Microsoft. The high-tech com­pa­nies are part­ner­ing with automak­ers to devel­op the con­nect­ed cars of the future. Con­nect­ed cars involve more than just nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems. They are work­ing to devel­op the first gen­er­a­tion of self-dri­ven cars.

One of the expense-dri­vers of in-vehi­cle nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems is the in-dash video screen. Fed­er­al reg­u­la­tors are cur­rent­ly devel­op­ing rules to require all light duty cars, truck, and SUVs to be equipped with back­up cam­eras. This man­date would require the instal­la­tion of video screens. This fed­er­al gov­ern­ment action would rad­i­cal­ly dri­ve down the cost of upgrad­ing to a full nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem.

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