I still remember the first time I ever saw a navigation system in a car. It was sometime in 2000 and I had just arrived in Japan. Our distributors at the time were taking us to see a customer outside of Tokyo. I was jet lagged and I had a headache and they had the volume turned up loud. We still managed to get lost but I was really impressed by the little machine shouting out turn by turn directions.
In less than a decade, navigation systems have become common – almost ubiquitous. I saw, in a recent article, that in 2007 almost 9 million vehicles shipped with in-vehicle navigation and over 30 million dedicated portable navigation devices were sold. In 2013 the combination of these two categories will exceed 100 million units shipped in a single year. The conventional PND market is even more impressive where the expectation is that over 300 million units will ship in 2013 alone.
It seems to me that companies that are strong in the conventional PND market are well positioned to move into the in-vehicle and dedicated portable navigation units. Nav N Go is just such a company. They supply over 70 consumer electronics companies and are working with the likes of Harman Becker, Clarion and others to bring their technology into the automotive market. At CeBit, earlier this year they demonstrated an initial integration with QNX and have continued to work towards a tighter integration with QNX CAR. We are planning to show this integration at the upcoming Telematics Update Detroit show in early June. If you’d like to see it in action drop me a line.
I wonder how long it will be before paper maps go the way of the dodo?