Yesterday, I wrote about my experiences with various types of satellite navigation. Here are some of the major trends in the space and my predictions for what we can expect to see in the next three years.
Trends that will continue
- Integration of live traffic data – There are already some in-car and portable navigation devices that incorporate live traffic data. XM offers live traffic data feeds for a number of OEM and aftermarket units. Predictive traffic and routing will also be integrated.
- Falling prices – Prices for PNDs have already fallen dramatically and that trend will continue. The falling prices for PNDs will put downward pressure on OEMs for both the navigation units and data updates. It’s hard to justify paying $2,000 for a navigation system and $300 for an update DVD when you can buy an up-to-date PND for $300 or less.
- More branded content – You’ll be able to see guide information from major brand sources. Some Acuras already let you pull up Zagat ratings. Expect to see more of that. You’ll be able to pull up hotel reviews from Frommers and AAA, movie reviews from Ebert & Roeper.
- Google- and Yahoo!-branded PNDs – Google and Yahoo! will leverage their strong online brands and partner with a PND manufacturer to develop a custom device. (There was a Mapquest PND, but it was purely a rebadged TomTom.) The device will use similar map styles to the online mapping services. You will be able to access your online address book to set your destination.
- More data – Look to see weather, restaurant ratings, parking lots with space available, aerial views and other similar information overlaid on maps.
- User generated content – The Google and Yahoo! PNDs will take their troves of user-generated data to provide more up-to-date point of interest data. Navigation systems today use point of interest data that is 3-18 months old from aggregators like InfoUSA and Acxiom. Google Maps has much fresher data; you’ll be able to access that from your PND. The Yahoo! PND will let you pull up geotagged Flickr images of your destination. It might even show you interesting places to visit along the way.
- Two-way communications – As wireless Internet comes to the car (likely through Bluetooth integration), you’ll be able to make restaurant reservations, get alerted to new email and a lot of other things you shouldn’t be doing while driving.
- More personalization – The systems will learn how you drive and adapt. If you routinely drive on roads that don’t exist, they will be added to the system. (And optionally uploaded to the map provider.) My car will avoid I-66 for most routings.